Filing a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Minor
According to Childstats.gov, about 4,000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 died of injuries from various incidents in 2019, while over 4 million were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries. Many of those cases are unfortunate accidents, but far too many occur through acts of recklessness, carelessness, or negligence. If your child has been seriously injured, you may be able to recover compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada.
Minors do not have the right to file a personal injury claim on their own, but you can sue on their behalf as a parent or guardian. Here’s what happens when filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor.
How To File a Personal Injury Claim for a Minor
The first step in considering whether to file a personal injury claim for a minor is to avoid the temptation to pre-judge the case. Child personal injury lawsuits are complicated and best assessed with advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at De Castroverde Law Group, serving Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada, will provide a free consultation to make a recommendation on how best to proceed.
What’s different in a case involving a minor is that the minor can’t bring a suit themselves, negotiate a settlement, or receive any proceeds. A parent or guardian must file the case on behalf of the minor to gain the legal standing to proceed. A personal injury claim for minor proceeds in the same fashion as any other case. Your family works closely with an attorney to investigate the case, gathering and evaluating evidence to ensure you have a legal basis to sue.
You and your attorney may resolve the matter without filing a suit by negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. If those discussions do not come to fruition, you may have to file the personal injury claim for the injured minor, which will go through the standard stages of any lawsuit, including discovery, pre-trial motions, and then trial and potentially the appeal. You can settle the case at any time.
Who Has the Right To File a Claim for a Minor?
Under Nevada law, minors cannot enter into contractual agreements on their own. Since many lawsuits conclude short of a trial, the law allows parents or guardians to represent the minor’s interest in each element of a personal injury case. Under the law, settling a case for a minor is called a “compromise of claim”. A court must approve compromises before they can become final.
Either parent can enter into a compromise of claim if the parents live together. This includes the custodial parent, the parent with whom the minor is living, the guardian of the minor, or the minor’s estate. The law also requires the parent or guardian to put the money from the settlement into a savings account, annuity contract, or investment within 30 days.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases for Minors?
Nevada law generally provides two years to file personal injury cases. That two-year period starts when a person realizes an injury or when they should have known about the injury. If you file after the two years are up, a court may not hear your complaint, and your case may be dismissed. The requirements are different in cases involving minors. Nevada law suspends the statute of limitations for children under 18. As a result, you have the time to file a personal injury claim before your child turns 18, plus two years.
There are also some exceptions. For example, you must file medical malpractice claims after discovering an injury within a year. Children who seek damages for cases of sexual abuse have 20 years from the time they turn 18 or when they first discover the abuse to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What Damages Can Minors Recovery in Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury claims allow injured parties to seek compensation for various damages that result from the incident detailed in your complaint. These are generally the same for both minors and adults. On behalf of your minor, you can recover:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays and doctor, visits to treat the injury.
- Expenses for long-term care.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of the ability to earn a livelihood or real lost wages.
If the worst has happened and the minor involved has died from their injuries, parents and guardian can file a wrongful death claim to recover many of the same damages. You may also seek compensation for loss of consortium and companionship.
Common Personal Injuries to Minors
As we all know too well, risks are everywhere in our daily lives. Studies have shown that falls cause the most significant number of visits to the emergency room for children, followed by incidents where a minor has been struck by something or someone. Other common sources of personal injuries to minors include:
- Car accidents.
- Playground accidents.
- Injuries from defective or dangerous products.
- Bicycle accidents.
Get the Help You Need From De Castroverde Law
Let the attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group help review your claim and suggest the best course of action to recover the maximum for your child’s injuries. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is ready to fight for a result in your family’s best interests. We’re experienced in personal injury cases, including car, truck, and bicycle accidents, wrongful death cases, slip or trip and fall incidents, excessive force, dangerous drugs, products liability, and more.
If you’re filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor or want to know more about how to do so, De Castroverde Law Group is here to help you. Our team is bilingual and will treat your claim with care and concern. Don’t wait another day for justice. Call or contact us online for a free consultation.