As a parent, you never want to watch your child suffer because of the negligence or carelessness of another person. In addition to helping their child heal and move past the incident, a parent has the responsibility to contact an attorney to determine if they have grounds to file a lawsuit and how to proceed.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions you might have about filing a personal injury lawsuit on your child's behalf. What
Are Some Common Personal Injuries Children Suffer?
Not uncommonly, children will run and slip inside a grocery store or bump their knee on the playground. If the injury was caused by the negligence or mistreatment of another person or entity, this incident is not simply an accident. Instead, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. Here are a few of the most common childhood personal injuries:
- Car accident, including car seat injuries
- Daycare or school injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Defective toys
Many children also suffer sports-related accidents, such as suffering a neck or back injury because they were not given the proper protective gear or the gear’s manufacturing process had defects.
What Are the Personal Injury Laws Concerning Children in Michigan?
Each state has its own personal injury laws, including Michigan. For example, Michigan is considered a comparative fault state. This means that once a lawsuit is filed, the court will decide not only who is at fault, but how responsible each party is for the incident. For example, the court may decide that the defendant is 80 percent at fault for the accident and the victim is 20 percent at fault.
This percentage is taken into consideration when determining how much compensation the injured party is entitled to.
A child is considered a minor until their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian can file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a minor child. A parent can also negotiate a settlement on their behalf. In Michigan, the typical statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is up to three years after the date of the incident.
However, in cases involving children, the statute of limitations is different. In most personal injury cases, a minor has until one year after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. The only exceptions to this rule are lawsuits involving medical malpractice. For example, children eight years old and younger have until their tenth birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Any children who are older than eight have a two-year statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Compensation Is My Child Entitled To?
When a minor wins a personal injury lawsuit, the types and amounts of compensation they are entitled to is dependent upon several factors. For example, because a child isn't employed, they aren't always provided compensation for lost wages. However, if the injury is severe enough that it will impact the child's ability to support themselves financially after they turn 18, the child may be awarded compensation for the wages they could have earned, had they not been hurt.
Depending on the nature of the incident, the award for emotional distress or pain and suffering might be significant in children's personal injury lawsuits. For example, if the child's injury is particularly traumatic, such as a car accident or a dog attack, they may be awarded a significant amount of money for their emotional and physical pain and suffering.
If your child is injured due to the negligence of another person, you may have the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf. If you have any more questions, contact the professionals at Marienfeld Law, PLLC.