How Minor Accident Cases Differ From Adult Cases
All personal injury cases can be potentially complicated, but the complications only grow when minors are involved. At Arash Law, we have handled all types of cases for plaintiffs that are of all ages. Cases, where minors are involved, are indeed more challenging, but we have the experience and the knowledge to handle all cases. If you want to know more about what makes cases with minors different than adults, keep reading, or you can call us at (888) 488-1391 to receive legal consultation at no charge to you.
A Difference in Statute of Limitations
In a normal personal injury case, for example, a motor vehicle accident that only involves adults, there is a two-year limit starting at the accident’s date for the statute of limitations. When there is a minor involved in an accident, this is not the same. With a minor, the statute of limitations starts after the minor turns 18. This means that if a 7-year-old were in an accident, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit would not start until the child turns 18, and then would have up-to 2 years to file.
A Guardian ad Litem is Needed
When a minor is involved in a case, a guardian ad litem is needed. A guardian ad litem is a person who represents the minor throughout the entire process of litigation. More often then not, this person is the parent. If the parent was involved, and wholly or partially to blame for the accident, then there may be a guardian ad litem appointed by the court system. The reason that a guardian ad litem is needed is to make sure that there is someone who has the best interests for the child in mind.
A Settlement at Times must be Approved By Courts in Cases with a Minor
When only adults are involved in an accident, the party that is at fault and the injured party can come to an agreement for a settlement, without any court involvement. If there is a minor involved, this is not the case more often than not. The majority of cases that involve minors have to have the court system approve of settlements. A settlement will have to be presented in front of a judge by the minor’s guardian ad litem and the minor’s attorney. The judge will then sign off on this if they agree that the settlement is fair to the minor.
The procedures involved in compensation being collected for a minor, in the majority of states differ from state to state. However, a child that is under the age of 18, has the right in the same manner and amount that an adult has for compensation for disability, pain and suffering, or permanent injury. A parent will also have a right separate to this in order to be compensated for the medical bills they are paying on behalf of the child.
A child cannot, obviously, handle a claim and negotiate on their own, so the parent or guardian of the child is allowed to negotiate for the child. There are several states that require the judge’s approval in order for the parent to get the case settled finally. The process, more often than not, is straightforward and simple and is often nothing more than filling out and filing a simple form, then waiting for the approval from the court.
The correct form can be obtained through your insurance company along with instructions for filing. It is important that the settlement is approved properly, that way the child’s lawyer doesn’t go claiming more money for the child years or months later. You can also obtain this form from your court clerk’s office.
When Minors Cause Accidents
Liability for accidents that are caused by minors is legally still based on the same care and carelessness that accidents caused by adults are based upon. The standards of care that are expected for adults are not able to be expected for minors, however.
The law has different standards that apply to the varying age groups when deciding whether or not a minor is actually liable for accidental injuries that they have caused, this can be due to the minor being too young to understand how they have been careless. However, this does not mean that the legal guardians or parents are not responsible for the negligence of failing to control their child.
When you are injured seriously due to an accident by a minor, and there is not any insurance that can cover the conduct by the minor, you may need to consider a lawsuit against the minor for damages. The minor will be required to pay the amount if a legal judgment is made by the courts that state the amount owed by the minor.
Liability of Parents or Guardians in Accidents Caused By Minors
When a teen who is still a minor is driving, they are likely covered by their parent’s insurance policy, or they may have their own. If the minor is not on a parent’s insurance or the vehicle being driven is owned by the parents, the parent is considered to be liable and that means you are able to collect from the insurance of the parent.
The parent will be responsible for the damages if the minor is the owner of the vehicle but does not have insurance, in most states, and it is limited to between 5 and 25 thousand dollars in accidents where the minor is at fault.
Call Arash Law for Expert Law Advice & Assistance
No matter what case you are facing, whether a minor is involved, or isn’t, Arash Law is here to help you every step of the way. We know that not just the legal aspects in these cases are stressful, but that it can take an emotional toll on you when a minor is injured or involved. That is why we aim to do what is best for you and your child and the party at fault to be held responsible. Let the experts at Arash Law help you achieve this in your case.