Minor Child Involved in an Accident? How to Handle a Personal Injury Claim
Children who suffer injuries can experience life-long damage and require years of medical treatment, leaving the parents wondering what options they have. Protecting an injured child’s future is likely at the top of the mind of parents who are experiencing this tragedy. If you or someone you know is in this situation, consult with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights and obligations under Nevada law. You may be able to successfully seek monetary compensation for the harm your child suffered.
Common Injuries to Children
Children can experience several different types of accidents and resulting personal injury claims. Some of the most common that involve children include:
- Sports-related injuries and accidents;
- Car, truck, and school bus crashes;
- Swimming pool or water-related accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Playground injuries;
- Defective of dangerous product accidents;
- Premises liability accidents;
- Burns, poisoning, or suffocation;
- Domestic violence or sexual abuse; and
- Dog attacks or bites.
- When a child is harmed due to the recklessness, negligence, or intentional acts of another, the minor may be entitled to monetary compensation for harm suffered.
Factors to Consider
Accidents that involve children can be complicated. If your child is hurt in an injury, there are several things that you must know to pursue a claim.
The child’s parent or guardian must file the claim on behalf of the minor.
Either parent can submit a claim on behalf of their child. If there is an appointed guardian, then he or she can submit the claim for the child.
Notably, minor children have a legal right to representation, just like adults.
The appropriate court must approve any out-of-court settlements on behalf of a minor.
Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court, including claims involving minors. When approving an out-of-court settlement, a judge will review medical and non-medical information to confirm that the settlement is in the child’s best interests.
An attorney will help a parent or guardian to file a petition for court approval with the appropriate details, including the case information, the total settlement amount, and other facts. The party filing a petition with the court on behalf of the child must agree that the settlement is a complete closure of the claim.
Settlement Funds Must go Into a Trust
Once the settlement is court-approved, the settlement funds must be directed into a trust account for the benefit of the minor. The child’s guardian or parent may be a trustee, but funds cannot be taken out of the trust without court approval. Trustees must provide an annual report of the funds if the trust has a certain amount in it. Once a child turns 18 years of age, he or she can gain control of the trust funds.
Statutes of Limitations Can Vary
When a minor is involved in an accident, the statute of limitations—or the time a victim has to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in court—can vary. The time frame allowed is dependent upon the type of case. For most personal injury cases, the time frame is two years from the date of the accident. When a minor is hurt, however, the time does not start running until the child victim turns 18 years of age.
Contact Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers
If your child, the child of someone you know, or anyone else you know has been hurt in Las Vegas or the greater Nevada area due to the fault of another, contact the attorneys at H&P Law. These experienced attorneys will fight for your rights under the law.