How To Handle A Personal Injury Case Involving A Minor
When a child is injured as a result of another party’s negligence or causes an injury, these cases have special rules for liability and compensation.
Injuries to Children
Parents of an injured minor must file a lawsuit on their behalf under 231 Pennsylvania Code Rule 2027. The lawsuit must be controlled and supervised by a guardian. Therefore, the parent or guardian will be who discusses legal strategy, pursues compensation, and makes decisions with a child injury attorney. Cases involving children can come about in many ways, for example:
Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death among children in the U.S.
Drowning is another leading cause of injury or death for children under 14. According to the CDC, It is responsible for more deaths than any other cause in children ages 1-4, other than birth defects.
Damaged equipment or unsafe landing surfaces on an improperly maintained playground can cause injuries. Additionally, students may be harmed as a result of the actions or inaction of another student, teacher, or administrator.
Parents should never have to worry about their child’s safety when they are at a daycare facility. However, unfortunately, there are many cases of children being harmed due to a lack of supervision or poorly trained staff.
Children under the age of six are particularly at risk for unintentional poisoning from certain household chemicals, since they do not understand their dangers.
Dog bites are often not fatal, but they do send tens of thousands of children to the emergency room each year.
Injuries also commonly occur due to hazardous toys or defective products, amusement parks, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice.
If a parent can prove a party’s negligence is responsible for their child’s injury, they can recover compensation in the form of damages. For instance, current and future medical bills, lost income while taking care of their child, and the child’s pain and suffering. By law, personal injury cases involving minor children must be brought by the time the child turns 20. However, it is typically in their best interests that a parent pursue the claim relatively soon after the injury. That way, evidence remains readily available.
Injuries Caused by Children
When a minor child is responsible for injuring another party, parents can be held liable in some cases under Pennsylvania Code Title 23 Section 5504. If the court agrees that a child is liable and they do not pay the judgment within 30 days, the injured party can petition the court to hold the parent(s) responsible. Parents may file an answer to the petition, And if they dispute it, the case will go to trial. If there is no dispute, the court will enter judgment against the parents. However, there are limits to the amount of compensation an injured party can recover from a minor’s parents. As a general rule, claimants can hold a minor’s parent(s) responsible for up to $1,000 for any injuries suffered by any one person or $2,500 for all injuries suffered by more than one person, regardless of how many people are injured.
If the injured parties’ financial losses exceed $2,500, parents can pay $2,500 to the court to discharge themselves from liability. The court will then attempt to distribute the money proportionately. These limits apply even if two children of the same parents were responsible for another party’s harm.
Speak to a Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Personal injury cases involving minor children can be complex, and each one has its own unique set of unique circumstances. Arrange a free consultation with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer for help determining the best course of action.