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When kids get hurt: Parent's rights and responsibilities

When an adult is injured in a car crash or another type of accident, there are no simple answers about getting help for the injury, who is responsible for paying for medical care or lost wages and more. However, when a child is injured, parents have additional questions and uncertainties to face when handling a personal injury claim on behalf of their child. This blog post will serve as a primer to some of the common questions parents may have if their child suffers injury due to an accident.

Kids and injuries

Often, a child is bitten by a neighbor's dog or is playing at the home of a friend when he or she is injured. When injuries are minor, pursing legal responsibility for the injury may not make sense, but, if the injury requires medical attention, causes missed days at school and perhaps an after-school job, the situation is more serious and parents have a legal responsibility to protect their children in many states.

When a child is injured in an automobile accident, auto liability insurance usually can be relied on to cover the expenses of medical care for the injury. Likewise, when injuries occur on the premises of friends and neighbors, their home owner's insurance usually has provisions for medical payments to people injured on their property.

Generally, if a claim is made on your child's behalf, without a lawsuit, the incident is minor and without issues.

If a personal injury claim is filed

On the other hand, if the responsible party refuses to acknowledge their responsibility a personal injury claim may be required to pursue compensation. These types of situations can become complex. People over 18 are considered adults in most states and can settle their own personal injury claims, but this is not the case for children under 18-years-old. If a case goes to court, a parent can settle the case, only when a court approves the settlement.

In these types of situations, parents must provide document to the court on behalf of their injured child, documentation may include:

  • How the accident occurred and the names and addresses of parties potentially liable
  • A legal justification for the claim and any potential defenses
  • A description of the child's injuries and documentation of medical expenses incurred
  • How well the child has recovered from the injury and the child's documented prognosis and future treatment needs
  • How much liability insurance coverage is available
  • The amount of attorney's fees and the case file expenses incurred in bringing suit
  • The final amount (net) due to the child

Additional documentation may be required depending on the facts of the case and severity of the injuries suffered by the child.

Partial responsibility of your child for their injury

Kids will be kids, and sometimes that results in injuries due to foolishness or recklessness. When an incident occurs where a child contributed to the incident, parents usually have a partial responsibility to arrange and pay for their child's medical care. In addition, these situations may mean a lowering of the total amount of compensation to which the child may be entitled.

A personal injury attorney can help

If your child suffers injury due to an accident or negligence of another, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you protect your child's legal rights and obtain appropriate compensation. In the Cleveland, Ohio greater metro area, contact Jeffries, Kube, Forrest & Monteleone for a risk free initial consultation. We can be reached toll free at 888-341-5854 or use our online contact form.

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