When your child gets hurt, your priority is to get the appropriate medical care to treat their immediate injuries. When they are dealing with pain and intense emotions, it can be easy to forget their financial needs temporarily. However, taking care of finances with assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney is an essential part of injury aftercare.
Indiana law lets you file a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf. A Lawrence child injury lawyer could walk you through the steps to filing a claim for your child.
Under Indiana law, a child cannot bring a lawsuit. However, Indiana Code § 34-11-6-1 tolls the standard two-year statute of limitations, allowing minors to bring suit up until age 20. Note that some claims, such as medical malpractice claims, are exempt from that law. While children cannot bring claims, a parent or guardian can bring suit on their behalf.
Depending on the amount in a settlement, the court may get involved. Indiana Code § 29-3-9-7 dictates that if a settlement is more than $10,000, the court will supervise it. The court appoints a guardian whose job is to ensure the money goes to the child or that the parents spend it on the child. A child injury attorney in Lawrence could explain the guardianship process.
Children get hurt in many of the same ways as adults. Car accidents, slip and fall, and defective products are the top causes of injuries, but children are also at higher risk of injuries like burns, animal bites, and drowning.
Not every accident is a source for a claim. It depends on whether someone’s negligence caused the injury. Children are naturally curious and fast, so some injuries are nobody’s fault, but in many situations a child’s injury is due to an adult’s negligence. A child injury attorney in Lawrence could investigate the circumstances of an injury and advise parents if there is a viable claim.
A parent has to establish four things to recover damages from a third party. They must show the third party had a duty of care, they breached that duty, the breach caused the child’s injuries, and those injuries led to damages. Parents do not have to establish the third party was the sole cause of the damages. Indiana is a contributory negligence state, which means even if the child were partially responsible for their injuries, their parents could still recover financially.
Available damages for child injury claims include medical expenses, loss of future earning ability, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. However, some things available in a lawsuit on behalf of adults, such as loss of consortium or lost wages, are not generally available in cases on behalf of children. A lawyer with experience in child injuries in Lawrence could help explain potential remedies.
You want to make sure that you protect your child’s interests. That starts with getting them the proper medical care, but caring for an injury means more than medical treatment. You also want to ensure your child gets compensation for the physical and psychological harm they experienced. A Lawrence child injury lawyer could help you understand your rights and obligations as a parent. They could inform you whether you have a claim and, if so, notify you of filing deadlines and represent you in settlement discussions. Contact our firm for more information.