No one ever wants to see their child get hurt – especially due to someone else’s negligence. Accidents involving children occur far too frequently and when these events arise, parents often question if they can bring a personal injury claim on behalf of their child.
California law permits parents or legal guardians of minor children to initiate personal injury lawsuits on their behalf. This is because legally, children cannot engage in litigation alone. Instead, it falls on the parents or guardians to make sure their child is appropriately compensated for any harm caused.
To file a claim on behalf of a child, the claimant must be the child’s parent or legal guardian. Under certain conditions, someone other than a child’s biological parent could be appointed legal guardian of that child, often taking on many of the rights and responsibilities that parents typically would. This would include the right to file personal injury claims for them.
A Minor’s Compromise Approval
A minor’s compromise approval is a judicial review of the settlement terms when pursuing personal injury compensation on behalf of a child. To put it simply, a compromise of a minor claim refers to the legal process of finalizing a settlement for money damages in a personal injury case to benefit a minor under 18 years of age:
“A petition for approval of compromise of claim of minor or adult person with a disability is filed when parties have agreed to settle a claim of a minor or adult person with a disability. The law doesn’t allow a minor or person with a disability to settle their own claim without an adult guardian.”
As per California law, courts are required to review settlement terms to ensure they protect and advance children’s best interests. This approval process is intended to prevent any exploitation of the child and provide an essential layer of oversight in each case.
Compensation for Injured Children
In a personal injury case for an injured child, there are different types of damages that can be claimed:
Medical Expenses: These cover costs of treatment received due to the accident, like ambulance costs, surgery bills, and follow up doctor’s visits.
Rehabilitation Costs: This includes expenses related to physical therapy or other rehabilitation services needed by your child after getting hurt.
Transportation: This takes care of transport charges incurred when visiting hospitals or clinics during the treatment and recovery stage.
Pain and Suffering: Monetary compensation for discomfort, trauma, and emotional distress endured by your young one post-accident can be obtained. These damages cover those non-financial losses which still significantly affect quality of life aspects.
Lost Future Earnings Or Lost Earning Capacity: If this incident impacts your child’s ability to earn money in the future, then they can also be compensated for lost wages that they would have earned in the future had they not been injured. Lost earning capacity takes into account lost opportunities.
For example, if planned education or professional development gets hampered because of injuries sustained, thereby reducing chances for better employment prospects, a child can be compensated for this as part of the settlement.
Navigating a Fresno personal injury claim involving your child may be challenging and emotionally charged. Seeking professional advice from an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure your child’s best interests are protected and your family gets the justice they deserve. For help, contact us to schedule a free consultation.