Children can be accident-prone, but when a personal injury happens to a minor due to malicious intent or negligence, it’s time to consider getting legal help. However, one thing that you must keep in mind is that legal cases involving minors are far more complicated than those concerning adults. According to Stewart J Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, there are several reasons for this including the fact that minors can’t file their own cases.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven tips that can make it easier to handle personal injury cases involving minors.
1. Identify Your Relationship with the Minor
Since minors can’t file their own cases, an adult will have to do it for them. If you’re that adult, you will need to state your relationship with the minor. Most of the time this will probably be a parent, but it can also be a sibling or non-blood relationship as well. In any case, the relationship must be identified in order to help your lawyer do their job.
2. Determining Liability
If you witnessed the accident, determining who was liable may be easy. However, if you didn’t, then it can be much harder to figure out. This is especially true in cases of negligence. Either way, you need to be able to talk to the minor and other witnesses to determine who is liable for their injury.
3. Agreeing on a Settlement
Personal injury cases involving minors don’t always go to court. However, the way in which a settlement is agreed upon depends on many factors. If the one at fault was a minor, then their guardian will likely be held accountable for the settlement if they don’t have insurance. On the other hand, if a minor was the victim, then their guardian or whoever is filing the case will likely be able to accept the settlement on their behalf.
4. Obeying Settlement Rules
If you receive a settlement on behalf of a minor, you can’t just do whatever you want with it most of the time. Make sure you review the rules so that you don’t misuse or waste the funds you receive.
5. Familiarize Yourself with Local and State Laws
When it comes to personal injury cases involving minors, laws can vary from state to state. This makes it a good idea to review the laws that are applicable to your case in your area. If you’re having difficulty with this, speaking to your personal injury lawyer can help clear things up and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
6. Understanding Limitation Period Deadlines
Speaking of local laws concerning personal injury cases, there are often times deadlines concerning these types of situations. For example, there is usually a specific timeframe in which a case must be filed on behalf of a minor. Sometimes this has to do with the date of the accident itself, while other times it is related to the age of the minor. In any case, if you intend to file a personal injury case on behalf of a minor, you should do it as soon as possible.
7. Picking the Right Lawyer
While hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle a personal injury case involving minors is a given, it can also one a good idea to consult with a lawyer that specializes in guardianship, special needs trusts, and conservatorship. This is very situational of course, but due to the complex nature of personal injury cases involving minors, it can be extremely helpful.
Making Smart Legal Decisions
Handling your emotions can be difficult when a minor suffers a personal injury. This makes it important to stay calm and get legal help as soon as possible. Knowing your legal options can make getting through this difficult time much easier.