Bumps and bruises are a natural part of growing up, and most injuries sustained by children are nothing to worry about. However, if your child was seriously hurt because of an adult’s negligent conduct, it may be worthwhile to explore your options for filing suit against them for damages.
If you decide to pursue a claim for the harm your child suffered, an experienced attorney at Smith Hulsey could provide guidance and support at every stage of legal process. In addition to helping you collect evidence of the other person’s negligence, a Gainesville child injury lawyer could assess the full value of your case and pursue fair compensation for your family’s losses.
Generally, a personal injury lawsuit filed on a child’s behalf follows the same principles of legal negligence as any claim for an injury to an adult. Specifically, a defendant bears civil liability if the party filing suit can prove that they violated a duty of care owed to the child by doing something reckless or careless, and that this breach of duty directly caused the injuries.
However, what constitutes a “breach of duty” toward a young child is very different from that of a grown adult. For example, a landowner may bear liability for an injury a child suffered while trespassing on their property if the child was drawn to an unsecured “attractive nuisance,” such as construction equipment or a swimming pool. This is a departure from the duty of care landowners owe to trespassing adults, which is essentially no duty at all.
Furthermore, if a child does not have a trustworthy parent or guardian to pursue litigation on their behalf, the standard two-year statutory filing deadline for personal injury claims can be “tolled” until the child reaches the age of 18. Other exceptions to the usual statute of limitations may apply in unique situations, as a Gainesville child injury attorney could explain in further detail.
A parent or guardian may pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages on their injured child’s behalf. Alternatively, an adult who suffered an injury as a child may file suit on their own so long as it is within two years of their 18th birthday. Either way, the purpose of their claim is to compensate specific losses suffered as a result of the injury in question. A child injury lawyer in Gainesville could help pursue compensation for the following types of damages:
Additionally, parents or guardians of injured children may be able to recover for some of their own losses as well, such as lost work income while caring for their child or loss of companionship. In cases involving gross negligence or intentionally malicious behavior by a defendant, a skilled child injury lawyer could help pursue up to $250,000 in punitive damages.
The aftermath of an accident involving your child can feel like a living nightmare, especially if the incident will have long-lasting repercussions. Fortunately, you may be able to hold another party accountable for your and your child’s losses if you can prove that negligence led to your child getting hurt.
At Smith Hulsey, a qualified Gainesville child injury lawyer could walk you through your legal options and help make the right choice for your family’s well-being. Call today to schedule a meeting.
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