When an individual is injured in an accident, he or she is often eligible to file a personal injury claim to recover monetary compensation for his or her expenses.
In most cases, an adult victim has two years from the date of his or her injury to file a personal injury claim. This two-year period is known as the statute of limitations, after which he or she is no longer entitled to file a claim. But when a child is injured, the rules are a little bit different. For a minor victim, this two-year period does not begin until his or her eighteenth birthday, effectively giving a child who is injured until his or her twentieth birthday to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
You need to be your child’s advocate. A minor can not seek legal representation for him or herself nor can a minor file a personal injury claim. Just because your child has until his or her twentieth birthday to file a claim does not mean you need to wait until then to seek compensation. If your child needs compensation for his or her expenses now, you can file a personal injury claim on his or her behalf now.
Just like filing a personal injury claim for yourself, you will need to keep solid documentation of your child’s accident and subsequent medical care. This is the support that the claim will need. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine exactly which pieces of evidence to curate and how to proceed with your child’s treatment and claim.
Special rules might apply to your child because of his or her age. For example, if an adult provokes a dog and then suffers a bite, the dog’s owner is not liable for the victim’s injury. This is because the adult should have known better than to provoke the dog. But if your child was younger than seven years old when the bite occurred, he or she can not be held responsible for provoking a dog into biting. Another example is the duty of care that a property owner might owe your child if your child was injured while trespassing on his or her property. Which a property owner generally owes trespassers nothing in the way of liability, if the trespasser is a child, the property owner might be held to a higher duty of care than he or she would be for an adult victim.
Contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at (732) 365-3299 to learn more about your options for filing a personal injury claim for your child. We are proud advocates for families and injury victims, serving clients throughout Burlington, Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties.