Can I Bring a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child?
Did your son or daughter sustain an injury in a bicycle crash or slip and fall accident in Fort Worth, TX? If so, you might be wondering:
“Can I bring a personal injury claim on behalf of a child?”
Generally speaking, the answer is yes, but it will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Here’s what you need to know.
Do I Have the Right to File a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child?
In the state of Texas, children do not have the right to take action against negligent parties when they sustain injuries in car accidents or dog attacks. However, the law does grant them permission to have a “next friend” file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf.
If you are the injured child’s parent or guardian, you are their “next friend” and can sue liable parties in their name.
You may also qualify as a minor’s “next friend” if you are their:
- Cousin, or
- Close family friend
Would you like to have a skilled personal injury lawyer from the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, review your child’s case? If so, please reach out today to schedule a free consultation.
What Must I Do to Claim Compensation on Behalf of an Injured Child?
Filing a personal injury claim on behalf of your child is seldom easy. If you want to recover the damages your son or daughter requires to cover their medical bills and other expenses, you will need to prove the other party’s liability.
To accomplish this, you will need to show the court that:
- The other party owed your child a duty of care
- The other party breached that duty of care by acting negligently
- The other party’s negligence caused your child to get injured
- Your child’s injuries are as severe and life-altering as you claim
There are a wide variety of techniques you can use to prove these points. However, most parents find that the most effective option is to gather an assortment of evidentiary materials and present them to the court.
The most compelling pieces of evidence in cases of this nature are:
- Police accident reports
- Witness testimony
- Video footage
- Accident scene photos
- Medical records
If you need help seeking compensation for your child’s injury, please pick up the phone and call the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, today. Attorney Jason Stephens has been standing up for the residents of Fort Worth for many years, and he is ready to do the same for you.
What Compensation Can Be Awarded After a Child Suffers an Injury?
The amount of compensation you may receive if you file a personal injury claim after your child is injured in a car crash or a fall depends on a range of factors.
This can include:
- The amount of money you paid for your child’s initial medical care
- The expected cost of your child’s ongoing healthcare needs
- The expenses associated with your child’s rehabilitation
- The number of days you missed from work due to your child’s injury
- The effect your child’s injury will have on their ability to learn
- The impact your child’s injury will have on their earning capacity
- The mental anguish your child endured because of their injury
- The effect your child’s injury will have on their quality of life
- The liability limits on the at-fault party’s insurance policy
Depending on the specific nature of your son or daughter’s injury, and the impact it had on your family, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing care costs
- Rehabilitation fees
- Lost income
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
When the other party acts with gross negligence, you may also be able to collect punitive damages.
In the state of Texas, payouts of this nature can run as high as $750,000.
Do you need help pursuing the compensation your child deserves after an auto accident or animal attack in Fort Worth?
If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the skilled attorney at the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC. Jason Stephens knows what it takes to achieve favorable outcomes in cases like yours.
How Much Time Do I Have to Take Legal Action on Behalf of a Child?
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 explains that the statute of limitations for the majority of personal injury suits in the Lone Star State is two years. This regulation means that individuals who get injured in bike accidents and car crashes in Fort Worth must typically file suit against the liable party before the second anniversary of the incident.
If you wish to take legal action on behalf of your son or daughter, you also have to meet this strict filing deadline. Should you wait too long to file suit against the liable person, you might lose the right to pursue compensation in your child’s name.
There are, however, a couple of conditions under which Texas judges may extend or toll (pause) the statute of limitations. They are:
- When the child’s injuries do not become apparent until some time after the accident, and
- When the at-fault party flees the state of Texas to escape civil justice
Do you need help filing a claim on your child’s behalf before the statute of limitations expires? If so, please reach out to Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, in Fort Worth, TX, as soon as you can.
How Do Courts Texas Allocate Damages in Cases Involving Injured Kids?
When courts in the state of Texas award damages in personal injury cases involving children, they are careful about where they send the money. You are unlikely to receive a direct payment at the conclusion of the suit if you seek compensation on behalf of your son or daughter.
In cases of this nature, judges almost always distribute cash in one of the following ways:
- Purchasing an insurance annuity that pays the child out over a period of years or decades, or
- Placing the funds into a court registry from which the child may collect as soon as they turn 18
As the injured child’s “next friend,” you will have considerable say in which of these two options the court picks. However, the final say on the matter rests with the presiding judge.
Can I Bring a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child? Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC for More Information
“Can I bring a personal injury claim on behalf of a child?” If you are in any way related to the injured minor, the answer to this question is most likely a resounding yes. However, if you need more information before filing the claim, you can always contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC by calling (817) 420-7000. Fort Worth personal injury attorney Jason Stephens will be happy to provide you with the aid you seek.