When a child suffers an injury due to another person’s negligence, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the proper manner in which to pursue a claim.
Generally, children who have suffered personal injury cannot bring a claim for damages on their own behalf because they do not have the legal capacity in New York State to bring a lawsuit.
This means that someone else must act on the child’s behalf.
In such cases, the parent or guardian stands in the place of the child and may pursue the same types of damages for which the child would be able to sue if able to sue on his or her own behalf.
This includes past and future medical expenses and pain and suffering.
In the rare cases where there is no parent or guardian – such as car accidents where the parents did not survive – pursuing a personal injury claim may have to be delayed until someone is appointed the legal guardian of the child and given the capacity to act on the child’s behalf.
Also, regardless of whether a parent or appointed legal guardian is acting on the child’s behalf, any personal injury settlement must be approved by a court.
The purpose of this is to make sure that safeguards are in place to protect the child’s money and ensure it is not used by the parent or guardian for purposes unrelated to the child’s care.
While a child does not have the same rights as an adult to directly pursue a personal injury claim on his or her own behalf, under New York law it is still possible to seek full compensation for any injury suffered by a child.
If your child has been injured and you need legal help, call us at 585-484-7432.