Whether a small boo-boo or an injury that requires hospitalization, a parent does not want their child to experience fear and pain. When parents have to deal with an injury to their child due to someone else’s negligence, it can be tough to balance the emotions and expenses that come along with it.
Once the parent tends to the needs of their injured child, their next step might be to take legal action. This can help a parent get compensation for missed wages, medical bills, and other hardships. This legal action typically results in the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.
Who can file child injury lawsuits?
Alabama law states married parents have equal rights to file a lawsuit for an injury on behalf of a minor child. When the child’s parents are not married, the parent with legal custody has the exclusive right to pursue the claim. A legal guardian, acting in the child’s best interest, can also file a claim if a parent is unable or unwilling.
How is a claim settlement determined for injured children?
A judge will listen to testimony from parents or legal guardians, review bills, medical records, and all relevant documents. This ensures the settlement is reasonable and in the best interest of the child. Upon approval and a judgment in favor of the child, the responsible party settles the claim for the agreed-upon amount.
Parents can only use the money received through the settlement to care for the minor. If the parent acquired medical expenses to care for the child, the claim includes their reimbursement. Any money dispersed is entirely at the judge’s discretion.
How long after the injury can I file a claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Alabama is two years from the date of injury. However, the injured child’s age creates an exception.
When a minor is injured, the statute of limitations does not start until they are 19 years old. A parent has until the child is 21 to file a claim, but not more than 20 years from the time of the injury. This provision maintains protection for the child until they can make their own decisions.
Accidents happen. If someone else’s negligence or malicious intent causes injury to your child, do not hesitate to fight for the compensation your child deserves. Contact the experienced attorneys at Siniard, Timberlake & League at (256) 536-0770. We can help with your child injury lawsuits.