As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children from harm, but sometimes the unthinkable happens and they get hurt. Personal injury claims involving minors are heart wrenching because they involve the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
When we visit with parents about what happened to their child, emotions run extremely high. Parents are stressed and agonized over watching their child feel pain. They also feel anger and experience a sense of injustice if another party’s negligence caused an injury to happen that could have been avoided.
As we meet with those parents and guardians, our first priority is to let them know they don’t have to face this experience alone. We can help obtain payment for the medical care your child needs to recover and help create a path toward a better future so you can focus on giving the nurturing and support your child needs.
How Personal Injury Claims Involving Minors are Unique
Adults can represent themselves in personal injury cases, but minors can’t. In Texas, minors are persons under the age of 17. In Louisiana, a minor is someone under 18.
A minor can’t enter legally binding contracts, and they can’t deal with the insurance company. They can’t negotiate settlements. They rely on an adult to act as their “next friend,” a representative who acts in their stead. Typically this is one of the child’s parents, but it can also be a guardian.
Settlements in Child Personal Injury Claims
Children can’t act on their own behalf, but they still deserve compensation for the same types of damages an adult might receive. They might receive a settlement for
- Permanent injury
- Loss of future income or career opportunities
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, activities and relationships
- Other damages
Parents typically have a separate right to receive compensation for the psychiatric treatment and medical bills they paid on their child’s behalf. They also might be reimbursed for the time off work they had to take to care for their child during their recovery.
What Happens With the Money
When you settle a personal injury claim on behalf of a child, the money belongs to them because they’re the ones who experienced the injury. The parties involved pay funds into a trust for the child’s benefit. When the child comes of age, he or she receives control of that trust.
Legal Assistance if Your Child Has Been Injured
If your child got hurt because of someone else’s negligence, we’re here to help. Contact our office to talk to a Longview or Shreveport child accident attorney about your case.