Whether a law firm is just starting up or as experienced as Winters and Yonkers, per se, they will easily showcase some basic differences between child and adult personal injury claims. First, most states will allow anyone who is under the age of 18 to be legally represented by a guardian. Generally, that guardian will be the parent of the minor. Since children are entitled to all of the compensation that adults get in these cases, which include medical bills, punitive damages, and so on, there will be a handful of paperwork to go through. Luckily, the plaintiff will not have to be the victim as they can simply let their parents fill out the lawsuit and go through the process on their behalf.
Finding the Proper Legal Representation
As with any other legal matter, one must begin the endeavor by finding an appropriate attorney. The best way to do that is through extensive research. For example, although Winters and Yonkers are known in Florida, one should look into many more personal injury attorney Tampa offices. Doing so will enable them to compare and contrast the services offered prior to making any long-term obligations. It will also let the victim’s parents hear from more than one lawyer. This is important since their legal opinions may not be perfectly aligned.
According to the United States Department of Justice, only 5 percent of all personal injury claims ever make it to court. This is because the vast majority of these battles end in a settlement reached by simple means of mediation or arbitration. Those two are legal ways of saying that the parties get together and discuss possible ways to come to a mutual understanding. Naturally, the statistics related to child injury claims will be even more skewed towards out-of-court agreements. After all, no parent wants their child to get additional exposure to whatever incident they might have been a part of. Therefore, the plaintiff must properly plan to make a settlement with the defendant on behalf of the victim. The best way to do that is to negotiate in presence of one’s attorney who can recite any applicable laws.
One of the downsides of child cases being treated almost identically to adult’s is the fact that there is a “reasonable” component involved. Meaning, if someone’s child was involved in a pure case of negligence that resulted in personal injury, the parents will have to prove that the defendant failed to exercise supervision that a reasonable person would. Thus, the amount of evidence that must be gathered in order to complete a valid child personal injury claim will have to be just as broad as it would be for an adult. A quick snapshot of a bruise will not be a fit leverage to reach pricy settlements.
Statute of Limitations
Although the statute of limitations refers to the time that one has to present their case, it will indicate something else for the purposes of this article. What it will stand for is knowing what can be approached as a legit personal injury claim and what might be disregarded as child’s play. For instance, a 12-year-old boy suffers a leg fraction caused by another minor while playing soccer. In this scenario, using the other child’s parents for not looking for their son to make sure he does not accidentally break anyone’s leg will be a long shot. On the other hand, if that 12-year-old breaks his leg during a school class where his professor was not overseeing the students, that personal injury claim will make perfect sense. Thus, there is an obvious limit to what can be classified as an injury-claim material.
To avoid any missed settlements, parents should look for legal advice before making decisions related to their child’s injury. Hypothetically, if there are uncertainties surrounding a recent Florida accident that involved a minor, personal injury attorney Tampa will certainly know more about the implications that an emotionally-invested parent. Going rogue on such a delicate matter can only worsen the situation and cause the victim to lose hefty payments!