Children are prone to injuries at home, school, playground, or shopping mall. But not all injuries happen due to unavoidable accidents. Your child may get hurt due to the negligence of another person. Whatever the reason, seeing your kid in pain is devastating. You will want to do everything to make the child comfortable and help with recovery. But it may not be easy in case of severe and life-changing injuries. However, you can claim compensation from the guilty party. It will help you ensure the best treatment and a secure future for your kid. Although your child must get a claim they deserve, filing it for a minor can be complicated. Here is some valuable legal advice to help.
Understand eligibility for the claim
Like any other personal injury, negligence is the key factor when claiming compensation on your child’s behalf. The little ones are prone to accidents, so ensure there was some form of negligence to make a valid claim. You have to determine the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the child
- The accident was caused due to a breach of duty
- The child sustained an injury because of the accident
For example, schools, businesses, and playground authorities have a duty to protect children. They must conduct regular risk assessments to identify risks on their premises and address them with relevant measures. These include installing safety barriers, repairing equipment and structures, and removing the danger entirely. You can seek damages if your kid sustains injuries due to the absence of these safety measures.
Gather evidence to prove injury
Gathering evidence is crucial in child injury cases, just as with any other claim. No one will take your word of mouth, rather you must have robust evidence to validate your statement and facts. It is best to engage a personal injury attorney at this stage because they can help you gather valuable pieces of evidence to prove negligence. You can even use them to claim compensation from an insurance company in a no-fault accident. Photos of the accident spot and injuries go a long way in proving the mishap. Likewise, you must collect accident reports, medical notes, and CCTV footage to add value to your case. Remember to get witness details because they can take you a step closer to a favorable verdict.
Calculate the compensation value
The estimation of compensation value is often the trickiest part of personal injury claims, and cases involving kids are not an exception. These cases can get even more complex because your kid may be affected in more than one way. The future damages are a daunting concern because a catastrophic injury can affect their academic capability, earning capacity, and career. You must hire a seasoned attorney to calculate the compensation value accurately. Typically, you can claim the following forms of damages-
- General damages that include the cost of pain and suffering and loss of amenity, such as inability to communicate with friends or use a gaming console due to broken fingers
- Special damages for the cost of private medical treatment and damage to personal property
An independent medical expert will assess the child’s injury and provide a report to quantify them. With this key information at hand, your lawyer can provide a valid compensation estimate that is likely to get through. You may also claim lost wages as a parent when you have to stay home to look after the injured child.
Understand the distribution of compensation
Your lawyer will negotiate an appropriate offer with the insurer or seek a court process to get the rightful compensation for the child. Settlement is always a better option because it is quick and simple. But the court still reviews the offer and approves it in child injury claims. Once the judge approves it, the settlement is distributed. However, the process is different when the injured victim is a minor. The settlement goes to the parents or legal guardians, but they have to place it in a trust. It has to be held until the victim reaches the age of 18. The rules may vary according to the state, so make sure you have a fair idea of what to expect. Further, you must follow the statute of limitations and file a claim within one year from the accident date.
As a parent, you can file a claim for compensation if your child gets injured in a mishap due to someone else’s negligence. You must not take a chance when it comes to seeking the rightful compensation. The best way to do it is by having an expert showing the way.