Can I File a Lawsuit on Behalf of My Child?

When children are injured, parents frequently have questions about how to pursue legal actions on behalf of their children. A child’s exact age and mental state will significantly influence how parents should handle these cases. If your child is involved in an accident, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of a skilled accident attorney.

When a Child is Under the Age of 18

In the event that a child is a minor or below the age of 18, that child is unable to file a lawsuit on his or her own because, in the eyes of the law, children are not viewed as possessing the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts. In these cases, a parent or legal guardian must file a lawsuit on behalf of a child for the child to receive legal damages, and must do so within a specified period of time to recover financial compensation.

The law applies different standards based on a child’s age group. Courts tend to not find children below the age of 7 liable for accidental injuries. In some of these cases, however, parents or guardians of children can be responsible for resulting injuries. Between the age of 7 and 14, children are at an increased risk of being found responsible for intentional injuries. Between the ages of 14 and 18, children are held to a similar standard as adults over the age of 18.

When a Child is Over the Age of 18

In many cases, if a child is 18 years of age or older, a parent has no legal grounds on which to file a lawsuit. However, if a child is emotionally or mentally incompetent or if a child names a parent as a legal representative, the court may recognize an exception.

Common Types of Childhood Injuries in the United States

The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 9 million emergency room visits occur each year. Approximately a little over half of these accidents involved falls. Some other common injuries include being struck by objects, being stung or bitten by animals or insects, burns, defective product injuries, dog attacks, drownings, car accidents, medical malpractice, overexertion, and suffocation.

Contact a Skilled Accident Attorney

If your child has been injured in an accident, our law firm can determine whether you are able to file a legal claim on the child’s behalf. There are many complicated laws regarding children who are harmed in accidents and the assistance of a skilled attorney is often essential to ensuring that your child’s case resolves in the best possible manner. If a case is successful, it is possible to collect not only for his or her injuries but emotional suffering, lost earnings, medical expenses and various other types of damages. To discover how our attorneys can help, contact the Ferrara & Gable today.