What to Know About Your Child’s Personal Injury Case

As a parent, you know you would do anything to protect your child from harm. But even the best parents can’t stop every accident, and sometimes children get hurt. Fortunately, the law affords certain protections to children and minors.

If your child was injured in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation, and this may involve a personal injury case. Learn how personal injury law changes when the injured person is a child.

You must file the claim yourself

Children can’t file their own personal injury claims in Florida. This includes teenagers as well as young children, so if your child is under the age of 18, you’ll have to file the claim on their behalf.

In some states, courts must pre-approve personal injury cases filed on a child’s behalf. In Florida, you do not need to ask the court in advance to file a claim for your injured child. You can file your claim and hire a personal injury attorney immediately.

The age of your child matters

While anyone under the age of 18 is legally a child, the greatest protections are reserved for young children. Children under the age of 6 are never considered responsible for their actions.

However, some children are old enough to know better. A sixteen-year-old who drives drunk, gets in a fight, or trespasses on private property has less to gain from a personal injury claim. In

fact, the parents may face liability if their teenager injured another person in the process.

Settlements are handled differently

If you’ve won your child’s personal injury case, the court will award whatever compensation it deems appropriate. Now what?

Needless to say, the child doesn’t decide how the money is spent. However, in many cases, the parents don’t get to decide, either. If the settlement is over $15,000, the court may hold the award in a guardianship account until the child turns 18. Or, they may appoint a neutral third party, known as a guardian ad litem, to manage the money.

If the settlement is over $50,000, the court is required to appoint a guardian ad litem.

Getting the best for your child

Depending on the details of your child’s case, you may face unexpected challenges on the way to getting the compensation your family deserves. If you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, we’re here to help! Contact our offices by phone, email, or text message for a free consultation!