Any situation that results in a personal injury can be both painful and debilitating, but when the person who is injured is a minor child, the outcome can be especially tragic. Child injuries—especially those that stem from the negligence of an adult—can sometimes have a lifelong physical and psychological impact on the child, in addition to the heartache that the parents feel when their child has been harmed.
With assistance from Bridgeport child injury lawyer George W. Ganim, Jr., you can seek financial restitution for both the economic and non-economic forms of harm your child experienced. While the damages that an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue will not erase your child’s pain and suffering, it can help minimize the impact that their accident has on their future prospects.
What Are Some Common Childhood Accidents?
There are countless ways for a child to suffer an injury but not all of them will result in a viable claim for compensation. Some common examples include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Vehicle collisions
- Playground injuries
- Defective product injuries
- Abuse or neglect
These injuries could occur at school, on private property or while traveling in a motor vehicle.
Can a Parent or Guardian File a Suit on a Minor’s Behalf?
According to Connecticut law, a minor does not have the capacity to file a lawsuit following an injury. That does not leave them without the ability to seek compensation, as a parent or legal guardian has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of that child.
Some states allow the family of an injured minor child the choice of filing the lawsuit immediately on the behalf of the minor child or wait and allow the minor child to file on their own upon becoming an adult. Connecticut State law does not extend the statute of limitations for minors under any circumstances. This means the parents or guardians of a child must make a decision on filing a lawsuit based on the child’s injuries within two years of the incident.
Legal Allowances for Child Injury Claims
The State of Connecticut recognizes that a minor child cannot represent their own best interests in any kind of civil claims for injuries and has appointed the Probate Court to oversee their claims and recoveries. Any settlement greater than $10,000 is subject to Probate Court approval, and if approved, then placed in a restricted account for the minor child until the age of 18 years old. The Probate Court will generally allow the use of that money prior to the age of 18 years old if for the health and welfare of the child.
As with any other type of case, there are filing time periods that must be followed, otherwise the child’s claim could forever be barred.
Can Adults be Held Liable for a Child Getting Hurt?
There are circumstances in which an adult could bear liability for allowing a child to be harmed but would not bear liability for an adult being harmed in the same way. For example, if a child gets hurt by an “attractive nuisance” such as a swimming pool while trespassing on private property, a Bridgeport child accident attorney can hold the property owner liable for failing to secure their property. This must be done to protect children from a danger they are too young to fully appreciate.
Similar to an adult can in the same situation, a child who suffers an injury due to another party’s negligence can seek compensation for the injuries and losses they suffered or will suffer. In the short term, a local child injury lawyer can help pursue damages for a child’s medical expenses, as well as the child’s physical pain and suffering.
In the long term, recoverable damages in a child injury claim can include loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, long-term psychological trauma and other impacts associated with a permanent disability or disfigurement. Punitive damages might also be available if the at-fault party engaged in grossly negligent or malicious behavior that the court sees a need to punish.
Talk to a Bridgeport Child Injury Attorney About Legal Options
Finding out that your child got hurt because someone else acted recklessly around them is a heart-wrenching experience. While monetary recovery is often possible in these kinds of situations, it can be difficult to handle a case on your own.
Fortunately, help is available from a Bridgeport child injury lawyer. Call Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. today to schedule a confidential consultation and start exploring the possibilities in your situation.