What If the Injured Party Is a Minor?

ELI5: Negligence

If your child’s been injured in an accident, you may be wondering what you can do to protect their rights and ensure the best future possible. Understanding how claims are handled when a child is involved will help you determine the best course of action. If your child has sustained an injury in an accident, it’s always a good idea to meet with a personal injury attorney before you make any decisions.

Can Parents File a Claim on Their Child’s Behalf? – What If the Injured Party Is a Minor?

Yes, parents can file a claim on their child’s behalf and, in most cases, the parent needs to file the claim on their child’s behalf in order to get fair compensation. Generally speaking, minors do not have the ability to make legal decisions, sign contracts, file lawsuits, or accept settlements. However, if you were injured as a child, but your parents did not file a lawsuit, you may be able to file a claim when you turn 18. Whether or not this option is available to you will depend on the circumstances and your location. If you were injured as a child, and your parents filed a claim or lawsuit already, you would not be able to file another claim for the same incident.

What Rights Do Children Have?

When it comes to making legal decisions, children don’t have many rights. Furthermore, states usually do not want to get involved with the decisions that a parent is making on the child’s behalf. In most cases, it’s presumed that the decisions the parents or guardians are making are in the best interests of the child. So parents usually have the ability to determine whether or not they’d like to file a lawsuit, not the children. However, parents are under no legal obligation to file a lawsuit on the child’s behalf. Although, as previously mentioned, the children may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party when they become a legal adult.

What Happens to the Money? – What If the Injured Party Is a Minor?

When parents win a lawsuit or receive a settlement on their child’s behalf, a good portion of the money will be spent on the injury-related expenses the child has accrued. However, it’s important to remember that the money received is actually your child’s money, not yours. Any money received on behalf of your child should be put in an account for their benefit that the child may access when they turn 18. If the settlement is large enough, you may want to consult with a financial advisor or place it into a structured settlement, meaning that they’d receive a portion of the settlement on a set schedule. The parents are able to use the funds to facilitate the child’s recovery process, but their parents are not able to use the funds for anything they see fit. For example, a parent cannot choose to buy a new television with the funds just because the parent wants one. Depending on the amount of the settlement or funds received for your minor child, you may have to go to court to get approval from the judge on what you are planning to do with the money until your child turns 18. It’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney to know if your child’s case will require a judge’s approval.

What If the Defendant Is a Minor?

A child cannot file a lawsuit, and a child also cannot be sued. However, that doesn’t mean you have no recourse if you’re injured due to the negligence of a child. If you’re in a car accident, and the person driving is a minor, you’d file a claim against their parents on their behalf. When it comes to teen drivers, parents should have insurance for their children who are driving. In many cases, parents are liable for what their children do. So if you’re injured by the negligence of a minor, their parents may be liable and would likely have to be named in the lawsuit as well. Parents may even be civilly liable for what their teenagers do, even while the teenager isn’t in the presence of the parents, or the parents are not currently supervising the child. 

Legal Representation Is Important – What If the Injured Party Is a Minor?

If your child has been injured in an accident, it is always a good idea to seek legal advice on their behalf to ensure that you’re acting in their best interests. In every case, it’s a good idea to at the very least consult a personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company. Insurance companies almost never make a fair initial settlement offer, and in almost every case a personal injury attorney will get you a better settlement or judgment than you’d get if you handled the case yourself. When it comes to compensating injuries that a child has sustained due to the negligence of another person, getting fair compensation may be necessary to protect your child’s best interests and their future.

When You’ve Sustained Injury

If you or your child has been injured due to the negligence of someone else, contact Moxie Law Group today to start exploring your legal options. Our free consultation is fast and easy; you don’t have to come to the office. If you’ve been injured, don’t wait to give us a call.

 

Person grabbing the steering wheel and driving on a busy road

Car Crash but the Other Driver Drove Away! What Now? 

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Car Crash but the Other Driver Drove Away! What Now?  If this has happened to you, don't panic! Keep reading. First Things First  Make sure that you and all your...

People holding presumably alcoholic beverages up for a toast

Can You Sleep in Your Car if You’re Drunk?  

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Can You Sleep in Your Car if You’re Drunk?   You’ve had a big night partying like it’s 1999 and Y2K is tomorrow—so should you sleep it off in your car? Ideally, no. If...

Fast red sports car

Do You Need to Buy Additional Insurance When Renting a Car? 

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Do You Need to Buy Additional Insurance When Renting a Car?   If you’re renting a car, you’ll probably be offered some “extra insurance”—but do you really need it?...

Bright orange sports car

What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It? 

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It?  What Is Rental Coverage?  Usually, when people talk about “rental car coverage” they’re talking about one of two...

An elderly man and elderly woman walking down the street together

Do Financially Abused Elderly Have Recourse?

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

With the invention of the internet, scams preying upon the elderly have gotten more and more difficult to spot, even as the aging population becomes more familiar with...

Two insurance adjusters reviewing a case

“The Insurance Company Said It Was My Fault, but It Wasn’t!”

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

" The Insurance Company Said It Was My Fault, but It Wasn’t! " What should you do now? Keep reading! Who Determines Fault in an Accident?  The insurance companies...

Insurance adjuster and potential client reviewing a document

How Much Insurance Do I Really Need?

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

How much insurance do I really need? Is the cheapest plan really the best plan? Do you even need insurance in the first place?  How Does Insurance Work?  Customers pay...

Emergency care provider putting a stretcher into an ambulance

Getting Treatment without Health Insurance 

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Is getting treatment without health insurance even possible? Spoiler alert: DON’T avoid treatment just because you don’t have insurance!  Problems with Avoiding...

Close up of a quarter and a penny.

Five Ways Insurance Companies Avoid Paying Fair Compensation

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Educational | 0 Comments

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand how insurance works. When you pay your insurance premium, you’re paying for financial coverage (up to the policy...