How can your child receive money from a personal injury claim?
For any parent, watching their child suffer from a traumatic injury can be an overwhelming experience. Parents are concerned if their injured child will fully recover or become incapacitated for life. When it comes to personal injuries, there are medical bills and expenses to look after. If your child has sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you should consult a personal injury lawyer Virginia Beach to help file a lawsuit. You may be able to recover the medical expenses and other costs incurred while tending to the injuries. One must understand that the personal injury claim process for minors and children is different.
Let’s understand the difference between an adult personal injury claim and a child injury claim.
The process involved when filing a child’s personal injury claim is similar to an adult injury claim. One has to determine the at-fault party responsible for the injuries, look for signs of negligence in the accident, and estimate the damage costs.
In Virginia, various rules are applied to children’s injury claims. Most of these unique rules favor children.
- Their parents or legal guardians must represent a minor child involved in the accident.
- Compared to an adult, a child is allowed more time to file a claim. A minor child can file a compensation lawsuit after two years of turning 18 years.
- Settlements for personal injury cases involving children must be approved by the court to ensure it is fair for the child.
If you are approaching a personal injury law firm Virginia Beach for filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your child, here are some things to ask your lawyer.
- Can my minor child file a claim for personal injuries?
According to Virginia Law, a minor child cannot sign any legal documents or settlement agreements. However, the law allows the child’s “next friend” to file the claim on their behalf. It should be noted that the “friend” must be at least 18 years of age. Any adult who the court thinks has the best interest of the injured child can file the lawsuit. Parents of the child, legal guardians, adult siblings, or extended family members can be considered “friend.”
- Does one have to go to the court to become the injured child’s representative?
In Virginia, there is no formal process to be named or selected as the “next friend” of the injured child. However, if there is a disagreement as to who should be an appropriate representative of the child, one may have to go to court.
- How long will I have to wait to file a claim?
When it comes to filing lawsuits for personal injury claims, one has to follow the deadlines. These deadlines can vary according to various factors. However, when children are involved in a personal injury case, one can file the lawsuit within two years of reaching adulthood.
Having said that, one should file the lawsuit as soon as possible. Doing so will allow your lawyer to collect enough evidence to establish the negligence of the at-fault person. Besides, you will have enough time to negotiate with the insurance company.