Parents go above and beyond to keep their children safe, but unfortunately, accidents can still happen. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls, motor vehicle accidents, and being struck by objects are the top reasons children require emergency medical care. In Pennsylvania, where everyday activities can lead to serious injuries for children due to negligence by others, state personal injury laws are designed to protect minors in the same way they do adults. However, it’s crucial to understand the special rules that apply when a child is injured in an accident. While your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will assist you throughout the legal process, reviewing some key aspects of cases involving minors can be beneficial.
Pennsylvania Laws on Child Accident Victims
Regardless of age, anyone injured in an accident must prove that the at-fault party caused the incident through negligent acts, which refers to a breach of the legal duty to act with reasonable care. In most cases, the victim will file an insurance claim and attempt to reach a settlement. Litigation becomes necessary only if an agreement cannot be reached.
However, there are three important points to consider when dealing with accidents involving minors:
- The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is typically two years, but it is paused while the victim is a minor. The clock begins ticking when the child turns 18, allowing them to pursue legal action until age 20 effectively.
- Instead of waiting until the child reaches adulthood, it is possible for parents to file a lawsuit on their child’s behalf to seek compensation.
- If a personal injury claim involving a minor is settled, a court must approve the agreement to ensure the child’s best interests are protected.
How an Attorney Can Help
Having legal representation is always crucial for a personal injury claim, but it becomes even more essential when dealing with the additional complexities of cases involving minor victims. Your attorney will handle the basic legal issues related to the accident, including proving negligence. They will also provide guidance during settlement negotiations with the insurance company and represent you in court if necessary.
Additionally, an attorney can assist with the specific legal complexities surrounding child victims. Even without a lawsuit, court approval is necessary for settlements involving minors. Your attorney can employ strategies to leverage the statute of limitations to your advantage, ensuring that your child’s rights are protected.
Trust a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Help
Navigating accident claims involving child victims may be more complex, but recovering full compensation for your losses is still possible. The experienced team at the Quinn Law Group is ready to assist you throughout the legal process, from filing a claim to settlement negotiations and litigation if required. Contact us at (215) 360-3666 or visit our website to schedule a free case assessment at our Philadelphia offices.