Personal Injury Involving Minors

personal injury law

Most personal injury cases result from accidents or incidents that involve adults. However, it is unfortunate that some accidents or incidents involve children. This article will discuss personal injury laws relating to accidents and incidents involving children.

It must be noted that personal injury law assumes that a child does not use the same well-informed judgment as compared to adults. As a result, there are special rules that have been created when it comes to issues relating to compensation and liability for accidents that involve children.

While accident occurrences are not uncommon with children, there exist certain incidents that befall children that lead to a personal injury claim. As with a personal injury claims relating to an adult, the issue of negligence [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (] or carelessness plays a large part even in personal injury claims relating to children.

Take note that, for personal injury case, a child is considered to be any person under the age of 18.

It must be noted that while the procedures and rules used with regards to personal injury compensation vary from one state to the next, children are entitled to the same range of damages that can be compensated for in a personal injury case that was filed by an adult. Therefore, a child may be compensated for pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress, and permanent injury,  even for future lost income if the injuries are severe and permanent. In addition, the child’s parent or guardian has the right to be compensated for medical bills that were paid on behalf of the child; however, this is separate from the other damages.

As expected, a child is not able to negotiate the settlement of their personal injury claim, therefore, their parents have the legal right to do this on their behalf, hopefully with the assistance of legal representation from Bakersfield car accident lawyers. Most states in the United States, including California, require a judge to approve any settlement before it is finalized on behalf of the child.

There are instances where minors are legally liable for accidents. The liability is similar to the issue of care and carelessness as in all personal injury claims involving adults. However, the standard of care expected of an adult does not apply to minors. The issue of one being careful gives the implication of the individual fully understanding the risks associated with being careless; however, minors, and specifically young children, do not fully comprehend the risks in the same way that an adult does. As a result, the standards are applied differently with children in different age groups regarding the standard of liability or negligence.

Generally, children who are younger than 7 years of age are not held liable for injuries that were caused accidentally; it is said that they are too young to comprehend their actions were careless. However, their parents or legal guardians may be held liable for negligence for failure to control their child  in such instances

Older children, above 7 years old, on the other hand, are typically held responsible for their negligence if they fail to act carefully,  but since they are children their actions are judged by the actions of a reasonably careful child of the same age. However, children in their middle teens are generally held to the same standard as adults.

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