In California, a minor is considered anyone under the age of 18. If a minor is injured in an accident and the case cannot be settled, the claim must go through a lawsuit and thus must be negotiated by a parent or guardian.
Adult children can file a lawsuit against an at-fault party, but their case will have to be negotiated by an adult. A personal injury firm like Case Barnett Law can help you with this process.
What Happens When My Child Is Injured in an Accident?
A parent or guardian may contact a personal injury law firm to claim against the responsible party for damages, especially if medical bills or rehab costs are involved. A formal MC-350 or MC-350 EX documentation must be completed. These documents state the information of all parties involved, describe how your child was injured and lay out what compensation is being sought for medical bills, rehab costs, pain, and suffering.
Suppose the parent or guardian wants to settle the claim without involving their child. In that case, all information will be kept confidential as a settlement will be reached between the responsible party and the parent.
A compromise, or settlement, can be reached outside of court, which means that a minor's case does not have to go through a lawsuit. However, both sides must agree with the terms of the settlement.
What is the Process of Filing a Claim?
Your personal injury law firm will require your child to undergo an examination by a medical professional they work with to confirm the injuries they suffered and document them. The individual who caused your child's accident may not want to come forward and cooperate, so gathering witness testimony can be important.
Before a settlement is reached, the parent or guardian of a minor must be in touch with their insurance provider. They will want to know the extent of your child's injuries and who is responsible to decide how much their insurance premium will increase after the claim is settled.
If you are wondering what to do if your child has been injured in an accident, Case Barnett Law Firm can help keep things confidential while you focus on getting your child all the compensation they deserve.
What Are My Rights?
Many people think that insurance pays for everything if you are injured in an accident. This is not always the case. If you are injured in an accident, insurance will often cover initial medical expenses, but long-term treatment may need to be paid for out of your pocket. If your child is injured, you have fewer rights because it is often assumed that the parent will take care of their child.
In California, parents have a legal responsibility to provide for their minor children financially. If the minor is injured or killed due to someone else's carelessness, the law assumes that parents will step forward to provide financial support. If the child is injured but survives, parents can recover all necessary expenses for their child's care. If the child dies in an accident or under circumstances that violate California law, parents can recover damages for loss of financial support, services and love.
Parents have a stronger case if they are the sole provider of the child's monetary support. If the child has other sources of income, the court may reduce the child's monthly needs to simplify things.
Parents suing for loss of support for an injured child must be able to show evidence that the child would have earned income, not squander it.
If the child is not injured, the parents could sue for loss of future income if it can be shown that the child would have worked or pursued education during the period of disability.
Parents may also be able to recover for loss of services the child would have provided, such as babysitting or yard work that the parents now need to pay for.
Parents may also sue for costs that they incur putting their child through college or special education programs, which they would not have had to pay for if the child were alive.
However, parents' right to sue is time-limited in California. Parents generally have two years from the date of an accident to file a suit.
Get the compensation you deserve for your child's injury. Call Case Barnett Law Firm in California today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Call (949) 861-2990 now to see how we can help you receive the money your child deserves.