What To Know About Personal Injury Claims For Minors

When your child is injured in a serious accident, it can be a devastating, scary situation. You may be worried about your child’s health, especially if these injuries cause long-term damage that impacts their life moving forward. You may also be concerned about pursuing compensation from the at-fault party for these losses.

Fortunately, there are options for minors to pursue compensation after an injury through a personal injury lawsuit. However, because of their age and the vulnerability of a minor, they may face different rules and expectations. If you are pursuing compensation for your child following an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, make sure you know what to expect before you sue.

Claims for Minors May Have Different Rules

While children may not yet be independent adults, they are still entitled to compensation for their injuries and suffering after being involved in a playground accident or enduring serious injuries in a car accident. However, because of their age, miners have different rules regarding their personal injury claims and their recovery steps. Below are a few of those steps.

Minors May Have Longer Time Limits

When filing a claim for a minor, keep in mind that your time limits may differ. While adults in Arizona may only allow for two years to file a lawsuit, according to the Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-542, the statute of limitations for minors does not start until they turn 18. That gives children additional time to file, but parents may want to act now rather than later when pursuing compensation for their children.

Suing on Behalf of a Minor

While the minor may have been the one injured, they may not be able to file a suit on their own. Children are not old enough to sue on their behalf, meaning that a parent or other advocate will need to take action for the child. In fact, an officer of the court must approve any personal injury settlement on behalf of a minor plaintiff, according to Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure.

Your Child’s Funds May Not Be Available Right Away

Remember that if your child receives a settlement for their injuries, they may not receive that settlement right away. Due to their age, there may be a special bank account or fund where the compensation will be kept until your child is legally an adult. However, you may be able to access part of these funds as their caretaker for their recovery.

Minors May Suffer More Severe Damage to Their Future, But You Have Grounds to Help

When your child is injured in a serious accident, their injuries may haunt them for the rest of their lives. Given their young age, that may be far longer and more impactful than accidents involving an older adult. That means your child may experience penalties and losses for much longer because of the accident.

However, while their losses may be severe, they have rights and legal protections to help them recover the compensation they are entitled to. Beyond the extended time limits to sue, there are also higher expectations for protecting children from harm. For example, what one may reasonably expect an adult to understand, a child may not. When your child has been seriously injured and is suffering, remember that you do have legal options for justice and financial relief.