Do You Need a Child Injury Auto Accident Lawyer?
No one wants to think of a child getting injured in an auto accident. The situation is even worse when an insurance company fails to pay the medical bills. Because minors cannot file a lawsuit, a parent must act on their behalf to help them receive compensation. Accident lawyers have experience with these matters and can get a settlement offer from the insurance company or pursue a case in court.
What should you do post-accident?
After an auto accident involving a child, it is important to get a copy of the police report and proof of the accident. An accident lawyer uses this information to establish fault and to help the adverse driver’s insurance company pay for the damages to the young passenger. This also places all of the responsibility to pay the medical expenses on the other driver’s insurance. Unfortunately, an insurance company might refuse to pay these bills initially, or more compensation may be required. At this point an attorney may need to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the child. The child’s guardian or parent(s) are named on the lawsuit as their legal representative.
How to sue on behalf of the child?
Personal injury cases can usually only be made by the person who suffered the injury through no fault of their own. Compensation in these cases is designed to cover pain and suffering, as well as medical costs and loss of future earnings. A child is unable to legally bring their own claim against a third party, although the law allows a parent or guardian to do so on the child’s behalf. This parent or guardian, or legal representative, must be of fault for the accident. An accident lawyer can help a parent learn about filing a lawsuit for the child after an auto accident. Unlike adults, a minor has 2 years after becoming an adult (18 years of age) to file a lawsuit.
Should you accept a settlement after a child injury auto accident?
After a lawsuit is filed against a third party insurance provider, it is not uncommon for the company to offer a settlement. These settlements also release the company from any further liability. When an offer is received it is crucial to consult with an accident lawyer to make sure the amount offered is enough to cover all medical costs as well as other expenses to care for the injured child.
Although no parent wants to consider what will happen if their child is injured in an accident, it is necessary understand that the law has set up a way for parents to receive compensation on their child’s behalf. Accident attorneys often specialize in cases like this and help parents and guardians receive a settlement to take care of their child.
The funds of the child are left in a secure account
After the settlement of a minor’s injury case, a conservatorship must be opened where a probate judge has to approve the settlement, attorney’s fees and costs. The judge may reject the settlement and force the parties to go to trial. Thus, the plaintiff’s representative (the minor’s parent or guardian) must be prepared to explain why this amount was accepted on behalf of a minor. Once approved, the funds of the minor will go into a protected bank account. The funds cannot be withdrawn before the minor is 18 years of age, but the minor’s parent or guardian may petition the court to release the funds before that time for the child’s benefit (school, medical needs).
Contact our office if you family has experienced a child injury auto accident.