Can I Bring a Personal Injury Case on Behalf of My Child?
When a child is injured due to someone else’s negligence, it can be devastating for parents. You, as the parent, might be experiencing anger and sadness. The pain and suffering caused by a childhood injury may last a lifetime.
Parents should not have to suffer financially on behalf of a child because they were hurt through no fault of their own. However, many people do not know how to file a personal injury claim on behalf of a child who has been injured.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have been representing children and parents throughout Illinois for decades. We can explain how to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a child and what to expect from the legal process involving a childhood injury claim.
Contact a Chicago child injury attorney for phone consultations at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Suing Others for Your Child’s Injuries
Many parents want to help their kids if they are injured or harmed by another person, but the child may not be able to submit a personal injury claim in court for compensation for their own injury.
Although children cannot bring personal injury claims on their own behalf, parents can sue for damages that result from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
For example, if your child is seriously injured in a car accident, the right path for recovering compensation is to sue the driver of the vehicle for medical costs, loss of earning capacity, and other losses related to your child’s injury treatment and recovery period.
Below we provide more information on how to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party on behalf of a child to understand better:
- Who can bring claims on behalf of a child for compensation
- How long do these child injury cases typically take before trial?
- What types of damages are available in childhood injury cases
Child Injury Claims Statistics
In the United States, every thirteen minutes, a child dies from an unintentional injury. This disturbing statistic shows how important it is for parents to protect their kids and ensure they do not come into harm’s way.
Sadly, many kids suffer accidents in Illinois each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among kids after infancy.
The most common causes of childhood injury fatalities include motor vehicle accidents, drowning, falls, burns/fires, choking on food or candy, poisoning/drug overdose, suffocation, and other types of accidents.
A recent study indicates that over 72% of children sustain an injury each year. Many of these injuries result in death, permanent disability, or high medical expenses.
In 2009, the NCCI reported that 282 children of the same age died from injuries caused by accidents. At least one injury sustained by older children aged 15-17 led to their death in 139 child injury cases.
Parents who have lost their child due to someone’s negligence can file a lawsuit to seek justice. Personal injury claims help families recover damages for the loss of their child’s love, companionship, and guidance, as well as medical expenses and funeral costs.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the leading causes of accidents in children are as follows:
- Bicycles represent 8% of all accidents for children age 4 and younger.
- Motor vehicles such as cars, trucks, or motorcycles account for 14% of all accidents involving youngsters.
- Playground equipment is 11% of the total number of injuries among children. It's important to remember that sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots are also playgrounds.
- Dog attack and dog bite injury are 5% of accidents involving children.
- Falls are 12% of all child injury cases. Slipping on ice, falling out of bed or down the stairs, and falling off furniture are common causes of falls in children.
- Drowning is 6% of all accidents involving youngsters. Swimming pools, bathtubs, and bathrooms are common places for drowning accidents.
- Other causes of accidents in youngsters include burns/scalds from hot water, broken toys or other objects, poisoning from drugs and toxins, suffocation by choking on food or a toy.
It's important to note that these statistics are not only relevant to the child, but they often affect the parents as well. For example, if a child slips and falls on ice in front of the house after school, it is common for both parents to rush outside and see why their child is crying or hurting.
Statistics show that a child will be exposed to the same hazards, such as falling or slipping on ice, which is a leading cause of fall-related injuries.
The CDC reports that there were 110 fatal falls among people aged 65 or older between 1996 and 2006, which is the equivalent of one every three days.
Because of this finding, it is important to talk with your child about how to prevent a fall. The child’s parent can do this by using the "Five-Point Check" system, where five touch points on the body are counted to make sure nothing hurts.
If there is a problem with any touchpoints, the child needs to sit down and call for an adult who can help on their behalf.
Common Accident Injuries
According to data, the most common traffic accident injuries involving children and teenagers include:
- Traumatic brain injury: Many kids suffer traumatic brain injuries when they are involved in automobile accidents. Those injured include both traumatic brain hemorrhages and contusions.
- Spinal cord damage: It is very common for kids to suffer spinal cord damage during automobile accidents because of the vulnerability of their smaller-sized spines.
- Traumatic nerve injury: These injuries are typically seen in youngsters who break or fracture bones because the nerves within the broken area must stretch, leading to nerve damage.
- Head injury: 55% of all automobile accident-related injuries in children involve the head.
- Facial bone fractures: These types of fractures occur when the facial bones are impacted.
- Lacerations or open wounds: Youngsters that often get into accidents get lacerated or have open.
- Broken collarbones: These are very common injuries in children that occur when they are involved in automobile accidents.
- Facial scarring: This is often the result of a severe accident that involves extensive cosmetic surgery in young adults.
Accidents injure the most common ways children are similar to the common accident injuries seen in adults.
The primary difference is that children's bodies are not as developed, and they do not have the same muscle mass and bone density. They also may suffer from more brain and nerve damage because their brains and nerves are still developing.
A child’s parent can take legal action on behalf of a child when their little one is injured in an accident. They often seek justice on their child’s behalf and recover compensation for medical bills, pain, suffering, loss of earning capacity and wages, and other damages. They may file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for these damages.
Contact our personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC for immediate legal advice and schedule a free initial consultation. We offer video or phone consultations.
If Your Child Has Suffered an Automobile Accident Injury
Can a Parent File a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child?
Children who were injured as a result of automobile crashes may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim, typically filed by one or both parents or a legal guardian.
When filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a child, consider the following. To file a lawsuit, answer these questions:
- How did your child sustain injuries, and how did the accident happen?
- Was your child wearing a seatbelt?
- Was the child in the right car seat, and were they properly restrained?
- Did your child suffer any pre-existing injury before the crash that may have made him or her more vulnerable to getting hurt?
- What is the extent of your child's injury?
- How will the injury impact the child in the future?
- Did the child suffer any permanent scarring as a result of the crash?
- Did your child suffer any lost wages because he or she couldn't go to work after the accident?
- What is the financial value of all damages, including pain and suffering, pre-existing injury, and the loss of enjoyment of life?
- Did your child suffer any permanent disabilities as a result of this crash?
If you were not in the car at the time, but another driver’s negligence caused your child’s injuries, you may still have a personal injury claim. You must show that you are owed a duty of care to protect the child you brought into this world from any person who could hurt them.
Parents should consider using a lawyer to help them file their child's personal injury case and represent their best interests throughout the process. The civil court follows special rules for every child and any risk-taking to determine if their actions or behaviors contributed to the harm.
These rules can ensure that the child and their family get compensated for all damages they suffered due to this accident, including medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Determining Who to File a Personal Injury Claim Against
Can a Parent File a Personal Injury Claim Against Multiple Parties?
Parents are responsible for making sure that their child is protected from the dangers of the world, looking out for their best interest. However, sometimes even parents cannot prevent accidents from happening, and sadly their child suffers.
Parents of an injured child in accidents may be able to seek compensation for their child's damages from the following parties:
- The driver who was involved in the accident
- A manufacturer of your child's car seat or restraint system if there is evidence that they were faulty and didn't do their job properly
- Any property owner who failed to maintain their property in a safe condition
- The maintenance company failed to keep the parking lot or garage free of debris and other dangers
- A person who stole your child's car if it was taken without permission
- The insurance company of the negligent party that caused your child's injury
If your child suffers injuries as a result of any other person's negligence, then you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a child seeking compensation for medical bills or lost wages. Contact us to discuss your legal options through a free consultation.
What Parents Expect When Filing a Personal Injury Cases on Behalf of Their Child
Parents do not want to suffer or see their children suffer any more than they have to. When filing a personal injury lawsuit on their child’s behalf, parents expect the following:
- To cover all of the costs associated with their child's injuries
- Their child will receive proper medical care and treatment
- Their child will get a monetary reward for pain and suffering to act as some compensation for the injury that they suffered
- To recover lost wages if their child was unable to go back to work because of their injury
- They may use any money awarded in the lawsuit for their child's future care
- Their child's injury won't have lasting effects in the future
- They will be able to receive an award for damages that are not easily calculated, like pain and suffering (also known as non-economic damages)
- To continue living the same kind of lifestyle that they were before this accident happened
Getting Compensated for the Parents' Damages and Lost Wages
The parent or legal guardian who files personal injury claims on behalf of a child is seeking compensation for all of the damages caused by this accident.
Parents may seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, loss of income, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Parents filing a claim because they cannot work after accompanying their injured child to their medical appointments should include the wage loss as part of their personal injury claim.
Parents claiming that they suffered non-economic damages like pain and suffering can receive up to $250,000 for each person injured by the defendant's actions. It includes damages for mental pain and suffering, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment in life activities, and the like.
Some parents may seek punitive damages for the pain and suffering that their child suffered as a result of the defendant's actions. Parents who file claims for this type of damage must prove that the defendant was knowingly or recklessly negligent and will require court approval to be awarded.
Resolving a Child's Personal Injury Claim
Proving a child injury case requires admissible evidence like statements from witnesses, photographs of the accident scene, medical records, and avoiding site search web images.
Since child injury cases can be complicated to resolve due to the number of parties involved, it is best to work with an attorney familiar with these types of claims before you take any legal action.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to gather the evidence needed to prove your child's personal injury case. They will also know how to maximize the value of this evidence in front of the judge and jury if it goes that far.
The most important step is to contact our law firm so that we can assist you with your personal injury claim. We have extensive experience in successfully resolving personal injury cases involving kids and are here to answer any questions you may have along the way.
Please do not hesitate to call our law firm for more information and schedule a free consultation.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim does not have to be complicated or expensive, but you should take some time to do it right. You can file your claim by finding the right forms online and filling them out yourself, or you can file with the assistance of an attorney who specializes in working on your behalf in these practice areas of law. Call us for your initial consultation.
You're likely to get more money in the long run if you consult with a personal injury attorney. Lawyers working on your behalf can increase your chances of success by as much as ten times. Call us for your free consultation.
Working with an experienced attorney will give you several advantages:
- An attorney has access to tools that can help gather evidence and maximize your value in front of a judge or jury.
- An attorney can help you file your personal injury claim in the time allowed by the statute of limitations.
- You will save time and money if you let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle these matters for you.
- You need a personal injury attorney experienced in these practice areas. You have a limited time to file a lawsuit, so it's important to hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. If you miss the filing deadline, your personal injury claim could be thrown out of court. Contact us immediately for your free consultation.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Wrongful Death
When someone dies as the result of another person's negligence or wrongdoing, their family has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is called a wrongful death claim.
It allows the family to recover compensation for damages they have lost as a result of the death. Most wrongful death claims are filed by immediate family members, including spouses, siblings, parents, and grandparents.
In some cases, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to file a wrongful death claim on the child’s behalf. Typically, guardian ad litem protects the injured child should a lawsuit be filed in court.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff is called the personal representative or administrator. They must be able to prove in court that the person who died would have been entitled to compensation if they were still alive.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Receive Compensation for a Child's Injury
The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have years of experience representing children and their parents who have been injured as the result of another person's actions. We offer a free consultation for your child’s case review at no obligation to you.
If you or your child has suffered an injury, find out how our lawyers can help. Call our law firm today to discuss taking legal action or schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
Attorneys at our law firm are available 24/7 at (888) 424-5757 to take your call. Please have the facts of your child’s claim ready, so we can schedule a time for one of our lawyers to review your case under a contingency fee. You owe no attorney fees until we settle your case. We offer a free consultation to review your case on behalf of your child.