Getting injured yourself in an accident caused by someone else’s misconduct can be a traumatic, frustrating, and expensive ordeal, especially if your injury has long-term or permanent consequences. However, when your child gets hurt in an accident, you may have an exponentially more stressful and complex path ahead of you if you want to hold the defendant accountable and seek compensation for your child’s losses.
As a parent or guardian in Texas, you have the right to retain a personal injury attorney and pursue a lawsuit or settlement on your child’s behalf if they end up hurt because of another person’s negligence. However, if you want the best shot possible at getting a favorable final case result, you will almost certainly need help from a Leander child injury lawyer.
Because minor children cannot legally represent their own interests in Texas civil courts, they instead must have a “next friend” act as their legal representative and take action on their behalf. This next friend is usually a parent or guardian. However, if a child turns 17 or is emancipated from their parents when they turn 16, they can file suit on their own. Doing this is not advisable, but a child injury attorney in Leander could go into more detail during a consultation.
If a parent or guardian chooses to file suit on their child’s behalf following an accident, they will be subject to a few unique rules put in place to ensure that funds recovered through this sort of claim actually go to the injured child in need. For instance, any private settlement agreement that a parent or guardian reaches with a defendant must be approved by a judge in a formal court hearing, during which the judge will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests. Furthermore, any funds recovered through a settlement or court verdict generally must either be held in the registry of the court or placed in an annuity until the child turns 18.
A defendant who directly caused injury to a child through reckless or careless conduct may bear financial liability for every form of harm the child will experience, including losses that are likely to occur in the future but have not happened yet at the time of filing. A comprehensive claim can account for damages like:
A lawyer in Leander can assess the specifics of a child injury case to help pinpoint which losses might be compensable.
No child deserves to suffer physical injury just because an adult around them failed to be reasonable and responsible. Unfortunately, that scenario plays out every day across Texas, sometimes leading to significant physical, financial, and psychological losses that permanently alter a child’s life.
If your child was hurt by another person’s negligence, discussing your legal options with a Leander child injury lawyer should be a priority. Call today to learn more.