Seeking Damages When The Personal Injury Victim Is A Child

Author: Nicki Malekadeli
Posted on: August 28, 2018

It’s always a heartbreaking experience for parents when their children get hurt. Since they’re still in their formative years, children are prone to all kinds of risks and dangers. These include slip-and-fall accidents, pool accidents, elevator and escalator mishaps, as well as animal attacks.

What makes the experience worse is when the child’s pain and suffering was caused by another party’s negligence. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9,000 young people aged 0-19 died from unintentional injuries in 2009. The leading causes of child injuries include car accidents, drowning, suffocation, and fires.

Understanding the “reasonable Child” Principle

There are some personal injury accidents where it could be argued that the child wasn’t just the victim of the accident, but was also partially or fully responsible for the mishap. The so-called reasonable child principle simply means that the child is expected to act reasonably for his age. Under this standard, a court will compare a child’s actions with the conduct of other children of the same age, experience, and intellect.

Child personal injury claims involving slip-and-fall accidents is one good example: A child slips on a wet floor and falls because he’s running around the premises even though he knows that the floor is wet. If the child is of tender age, then he is not expected to be mindful of the slip and fall danger caused by the wet floor. In this instance, most states use the reasonable child test to determine the child’s participation in the incident. In the example above, the owner of the property will be held wholly liable for the premises liability accident if the child is of tender age.

Seeking Damages for Personal Injury Claims Involving Minors

When the personal injury victim is a child, the parents or guardians can file a case for damages involving the minor. The parents or guardians can seek the following damages:

  1. Property damage
  2. Actual medical costs
  3. Future medical care
  4. Out-of-pocket expenses
  5. Non-monetary damages (pain and suffering and punitive damages)

If the personal injury case is ruled in the child’s favor, then the parents are entrusted with the damages awarded to the child. The parents are duty bound to give the child the monetary award as soon as the child is of age.

Hire a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer to Fight Your Case

It’s important to note that the statute of limitations in California for filing a personal injury case is two years from the date of the accident. However, if the victim is a minor, then the law provides that the statute of limitations may not start until the victim turns 18. Hence, if the victim was 17 at the time of the accident, then the victim only has until the age of 20 to file a case against the party at fault.

To ensure a successful outcome for your child’s personal injury claim, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Mesriani Law Group’s knowledgeable attorneys can help you and your child reach a fair settlement to cover all the losses and damages, as well as pain and sufffering, experienced by your child.