If your child suffered an injury, the first step is to bring them to a doctor. Your child’s welfare is the greatest concern. As your child recovers, you may eventually ask: How can I proceed legally after a child injury?
You may file a lawsuit, insurance claim, or both depending on circumstances. Your child could deserve a settlement for the harm they’ve endured. You may also receive compensation for your own losses.
Who May Initiate Legal Action on a Child’s Behalf?
Your relationship with the injured child may determine your next steps. You may seek compensation for a child if you are:
- Their parent
- Their legal guardian
- Their court-appointed representative
The civil legal system in Florida can be complicated. The only way to know for certain if you can file a child injury lawsuit is to call a law firm.
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Near Me (855) 529-0269
Are Child Injury Claims Different From Adult Injury Claims?
Child and adult injury claims may differ in several respects. Unique features of child injury cases include:
The Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem
While an adult has the legal standing to handle their own case, a minor does not. A court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child victim’s interests. The GAL is a court-appointed, independent party that is not generally related to the child.
The Florida Bar affirms how important a guardian ad litem can be. This guardian may:
- Protect the general welfare of the child victim.
- Secure legal representation on the child’s behalf.
- Make case-related decisions on the child’s behalf.
- Accept or reject settlement offers.
A guardian ad litem may be necessary in adult injury cases, such as those where the victim is incapacitated. However, it is a more common feature of child injury cases.
A Longer Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in child injury cases is longer than adult cases. Per Florida Statutes § 95.051, minors generally have seven years after an injury to file a claim. According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations for adult injury cases is generally only two years.
The Safeguarding of Funds Until the Minor Victim Turns 18
The court protects any settlement or judgment awarded to a child victim by placing the funds in a court-protected account. The court generally releases the funds to the child victim on or shortly after their 18th birthday.
Other differences between adult and child injury cases exist. A lawyer can alert you to any unique features of your child injury case.
What Types of Child Injuries Warrant Legal Action?
There is no single injury or circumstance that automatically warrants legal action. A child’s guardians must determine whether a claim is necessary. They may decide to take legal action based on:
- The severity of a child’s injuries
- The financial cost of treating the child’s injuries
- The extent of other injury-related damages
- The degree of pain and suffering the child suffers
Severe injuries may generally warrant legal action – though serious injuries are not necessary to bring a legal case. Speaking with our team may help you decide whether to seek justice for your child.
Our firm handles child injury cases involving:
Birth injuries harm parents and children. Your birth injury lawyer can fight for you and your child, as they will understand the sensitivity of this case type. Parents expect that a doctor will act in their child’s best interests. When medical professionals breach their duty of care, the parent may hold liable parties accountable.
Your lawyer handling a birth injury case may:
- Speak with the victim’s doctors.
- Hire medical experts to assist in the case.
- Obtain medical records and other relevant documentation.
- Pursue a financial recovery from a doctor, nurse, medical facility, and any other liable party.
Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for a child. Our team will pursue the settlement your child deserves.
Dangerous Products and Premises Liability
Manufacturers have liability for the products they produce – including children’s products. Individuals must also care for their property to not injure visitors. You might pursue legal action if your child suffered an injury because of:
- A defective car seat
- Dangerous playground equipment
- A defective helmet
- Lack of adequate warnings on a product
- Lack of barriers around a pool
- Animal attacks
- A slip or trip and fall accident
If a product manufacturer or property owner puts your child in harm’s way, they could be liable.
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Recoverable Losses in Child Injury Cases
Recoverable losses in a child injury case may include:
- Medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Costs specific to a long-term disability
- Disfigurement, loss of physical abilities, and other non-economic harm
- A parent’s losses
Your lawyer will diagnose your child’s losses, as well as your own. We will take appropriate legal action, depending on how you can proceed legally after your child’s injury.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers for Your Free Consultation
Ours is a family-centered firm and takes child injuries personally. Our founding partners Jason and Debi Chalik will lead your case so you can tend to your child’s recovery. You pay us nothing unless we secure a recovery for your child.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269