Minor accidents and injuries are a common part of childhood. However, if a child is harmed because of the negligent actions of another person, the parents may wish to hold them accountable. Although no amount of money can fully account for a child’s tragic injury, a claim for damages could help the family pay for medical bills and move forward with their lives.
If your child suffered a severe injury caused by someone else, call the experienced attorneys at Smith Hulsey. A Winder child injury lawyer could assess your case and help determine and effective strategy to get the compensation your family needs.
Many situations can lead to a child’s injury. Our well-practiced lawyers have handled claims involving various types of childhood injuries, such as:
If a child’s injury is caused by a person’s or company’s negligence, the family may pursue compensation from the at-fault parties. Negligence is defined as someone’s failure to exhibit reasonable care to prevent injuring another person, as per O.C.G.A. §51-1-2.
However, there are time limits for filing a civil claim on behalf of a child. The two-year statute of limitations that normally applies to personal injury claims is suspended until the child’s 18th birthday. This means that a claim for an accident involving a minor can be brought up until their 20th birthday.
For medical malpractice claims, an injury that occurs before the child’s fifth birthday must be brought by their seventh birthday. If the injury happened after the child’s fifth birthday, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. A Winder child injury lawyer can help file a claim by the relevant deadlines to preserve a family’s right to seek compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a family may have several options for pursuing compensation on behalf of the child. An experienced attorney at our Winder office could help determine what strategy may be most effective.
Under Georgia law, a child injury claim may be filed to recover for the child’s pain and suffering, and for any permanent damage that will impact their future earnings and medical expenses incurred after 18 years of age. However, since children cannot file their own lawsuits, their parents must submit claims on their behalf. This claim can also cover medical expenses paid by the parents on behalf of their child. In certain situations, the court may also appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child.
If child’s claim is awarded a settlement amount that exceeds $15,000, the child’s guardian or parents must be appointed as a legal conservator under O.C.G.A. §29-3-3. After receiving the court’s approval, they may then accept the suggested settlement offer. However, it is always best to consult a skilled attorney when negotiating settlement agreements to ensure that any offers fully account for the child’s injury and losses.
It may be difficult to navigate the complex legal proceedings of a child injury claim, especially for grieving parents. Let a Winder child injury lawyer handle your case and allow your family to focus on recovering.
At Smith Hulsey, our team is skilled at bringing these types of claims and recovering damages on behalf of injured victims and their families. If your child was harmed in a preventable accident, contact our firm today to discuss your legal rights and potential remedies.
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