Finding out your child was injured because an adult failed to act responsibly around them can be immensely frustrating and heartbreaking. Matters become even more overwhelming if these injuries have long-lasting or permanent repercussions. To complicate matters further, several regulations and restrictions on civil cases built around injuries to children do not apply to equivalent cases filed by injured adults.
Unfortunately, pursuing legal action without a seasoned personal injury attorney’s guidance can be extremely complicated. Allow a seasoned Flowery Branch child injury lawyer to work tirelessly on your whole family’s behalf and help ensure that the right people are held responsible for the harm your child sustained. Contact Smith Hulsey Law today to discuss your unique situation with a dedicated attorney.
Because minors under 18 years old cannot legally represent themselves in civil court, any litigation pursued immediately after someone else’s negligence injures a child must be filed by the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s). In some situations, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to make decisions on the child’s behalf and represent the child’s interests during the proceedings.
If a parent or guardian sues on their child’s behalf, the standard two-year statutory filing period set by the Official Code of Georgia §9-3-33 will apply, beginning on the date of the injury. However, per O.C.G.A. §9-3-90, the start date for this filing period may be “tolled” until the injured child’s 18th birthday, at which point they would have two years maximum to file suit on their own behalf.
Additionally, if a parent or guardian wants to accept a settlement offer valued at over $25,000 on their child’s behalf, the settlement must be approved by either a county probate judge or the judge overseeing the lawsuit if one was filed. If the parent or guardian will receive more than $25,000 from that settlement before the child’s 18th birthday, they must also have a probate court formally name them as the child’s conservator—which imposes a host of legal restrictions and requirements. A Flowery Branch child injury attorney could explain these and all other applicable rules in detail during a private consultation.
Whether it is filed by a parent, guardian, or an injured child themselves, a comprehensive child injury claim can demand full restitution for all past and future repercussions of the child’s accident, including both economic and non-economic harm. Specific losses often factored into cases like this include:
As a Flowery Branch attorney could affirm, a court may impose additional punitive damages against a defendant who caused a child’s injury through egregious negligence or malicious criminal conduct, but only up to a maximum of $250,000 in most cases as per O.C.G.A. §51-12-5.1.
No parent or child should have to suffer because another person was reckless, careless, or unlawfully malicious. Unfortunately, circumstances like this lead to far too many children in Georgia sustaining life-altering trauma, and demanding civil compensation after this kind of incident can be vital to protecting a wrongfully injured child’s future prospects.
A compassionate Flowery Branch child injury lawyer could help you pursue the maximum damages for both short-term and long-term losses. Call Smith Hulsey Law today for a confidential meeting.
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