How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work for a Child?
Published on:March 24, 2016
Personal Injury Lawsuit Work for a Child?

Everyone in the state of New York is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit if they feel they have been either purposely injured, or injured due to someone else’s negligence. That means that children have the same rights to a personal injury lawsuit that adults have but, as you may imagine, the process for children filing personal injury lawsuits is a little different.

Statute of Limitations

In the state of New York, there is a list of different time periods that make up the statue of limitations for particular types of accidents. For example, if you have a product liability suit to file, then you need to file no later than three years after the incident. But if you want to file a medical malpractice suit, then you have only two and half years to file.

The statue of limitations for each type of personal injury lawsuit changes for claims against the government, and claims made by children. For you particular type of personal injury, you will need to talk to attorney to find out if you are still within the statute of limitations, or if the statue has expired.

Guardian Ad Litem

It is assumed that not many children are followers of Perry Mason, so that is why the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem. If there are parents involved, then the court will often appoint one of the parents to this important position. But being a parent does not mean that you will automatically be appointed as your child’s Guardian Ad Litem. The court will assign the person that it best feels represents the best interests of the child, and that may not be the parents.

Standards of Care

The standards of care is in reference to the victim’s ability to make the right decision in a personal injury situation regarding the dangers involved, the right steps to take, and the quick decision to get medical help. In most states, children are not expected to understand their situation, and the level to which a child is responsible for their actions varies by situation and state. In some states, children are waived of all responsibility, which makes a counter-suit impossible.

Parental Consideration

The final verdict in a child personal injury case awards the child funds based on their injuries. But since the parents pay the medical bills, the parents get the portion of the court award set aside for medical bills. In some states, this is all done in the same case. In other states, the parents are permitted to file a separate suit to recover the costs of their medical bills.

When you think of personal injury lawsuits, you do not often think of children being involved. But children can be injured due to the negligence of others as easily as adults. In the case of a child, the courts will often look at negligence much differently than with adults. The courts need to establish how responsible a person is for the injuries obtained by a child exploring on their own.

There are statues and rules set aside in each state to govern child personal injury claims. Before you bring a personal injury lawsuit to trial on behalf of your child, it is important to know the rules that are set up and what you, as the adult, are expected to do.