INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH OF A CHILD
Suffering injuries due to someone else’s negligence is bad enough. When it happens to your children, it’s a hundred times worse. It’s important to understand that your child has the same rights that you do to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Further, you, as their parent, have the right to recover damages for your losses. Ultimately, if your child has suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated child injury attorney in Fort Wayne, IN for immediate help.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS TO COMPENSATION IN INDIANA
In Indiana, children are defined as anyone under the age of 18. Children are considered legally “incapacitated”. In other words, they cannot file a lawsuit on their own behalf. For that reason, the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is tolled until the child turns 18. In other words, the statute of limitations won’t start ticking down until after the child’s 18th birthday.
Parents, on the other hand, can file lawsuits on their children’s behalf—and they don’t have to wait until the child is 18. There may also be instances in which the court will appoint a guardian for the purpose of the lawsuit. This is known as a “guardian ad litem”.
In Indian, the court has the right to approve any settlement over $10,000. Often the court will assign a guardian ad litem for the purpose of ensuring that the settlement is commensurate with any injuries that the child has sustained. Those proceeds are payable directly to the child but are often kept in a trust until the child turns 18.
COMMON CASES INVOLVING CHILDREN
Children are often injured in car accidents, playing at school, during sporting events, and due to dangerous conditions on another’s property. Sometimes, they are also injured by doctors during medical procedures. In each case, the child is entitled to much of the same compensation that an adult would be entitled to. They can recover damages for pain and suffering, permanent impairment, or disfigurement.
The question, however, is how did the injury happen? In certain cases, when an adult can be held to blame for the child’s injuries the case can be fairly easy to make. In other instances, another child injures your child. In that case, the court must decide the extent to which the at-fault child understood the consequences of his actions. Ultimately, the parents are liable for the wrongdoing of their children.
HOW PARENTS CAN RECOVER DAMAGES WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE INJURED
Generally speaking, when a child is injured, it’s their parents who end up paying the co-pays and taking their children to see various doctors. When the injuries are severe this can take up a lot of time and money. One parent may be required to quit a job in order to care for the child full-time. If that’s the case, then the parent can and should be compensated for their lost wages.
The parent may also be required to pay for full-time care for their child. If the child requires perpetual medical care because of their injuries, then the parents are entitled to be compensated for that.
Attractive Nuisance Lawsuits
One of the most common personal injury lawsuits involving children is known as “attractive nuisance” lawsuits. What is that? Well, an attractive nuisance, roughly defined, is any object, structure, or condition that is irresistibly attractive to children and simultaneously dangerous. These laws are on the books because children have a propensity to drawn to dangerous places that they think are fun.
For instance, swimming pools in backyards. They’re very attractive and very dangerous to children. Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that young children don’t wander off and end up in a pool. When they do, the property owner can be held responsible.
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PROVING ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE LAWSUITS
In order to prove an attractive nuisance lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that:
- The property owner knows or should know about the attractive nuisance
- The attractive nuisance can potentially cause death or serious bodily injury
- The children are too young to understand the danger of the attractive nuisance
- The cost of securing or removing the attractive nuisance is not excessive
- The property owner fails to take reasonable measures to secure or remove the nuisance
When those elements are all present, the plaintiff has satisfied all the criteria for an attractive nuisance claim.
Contact a Child Injury Attorney Today
If your child has been injured by another’s negligence, you can recover damages both for your own expenses and your child’s suffering. The Delventhal Law Office can help your family aggressively pursue a claim against a negligent party. Give us a call or contact us online for a free case evaluation.
AREAS WE PRACTICE
At the Delventhal Law office, our Fort Wayne personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of accident victims. If you or a family member was injured because of the carelessness or recklessness of another party, we can help. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers handle a wide array of legal cases, including:
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