If you suffer injury in an accident, you may try to recover from the responsible party by opting to file a personal injury claim in court. The situation becomes more complicated, however, if your child is the one who suffered injury. Personal injury lawsuits involving minors have unique complications and considerations, and an experienced Fayette County PI lawyer can help you choose the best course of action for your child.
Minors under the age of 18 may not legally sign a valid contract or file a lawsuit. This means that minors may not agree to a settlement or may not file a PI claim in court on their own. Instead, a lawsuit must be filed through a “next friend,” which can be a parent, guardian, or even a court-appointed guardian ad litem. However, many children are not emotionally able to handle litigation, especially if the accident or their injuries were particularly traumatic. Parents should always consider the effects that a lawsuit may have on an injured child, and should carefully weigh those effects with the financial recovery a lawsuit may offer.
Another option is for parents to wait until the injured child turns 18 and then allow them to file a claim on their own. Georgia has a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury lawsuits but, for minors, that time limit does not begin to run until the child’s 18th birthday. This means a child may have until age 20 to file a lawsuit even if they were young when the accident occurred.
Contact a Fayette County personal injury attorney for a free consultation
If your child has been injured, your focus will likely be on their well-being, both regarding their health and finances. At the Law Offices of Shane Smith, our personal injury attorneys strive to make the legal process as stress-free as possible for your and your child, while still working to ensure your child receives the compensation he or she deserves. If your child has suffered injury due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to call our office at (770) 487-8999 for help.