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What to Consider When Your Child is Injured

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. You are out and about when suddenly, your child is injured due to someone else’s negligence. The emotional trauma is immense, but there are also critical legal steps that you must take. Here, we will break down the key considerations if you decide to pursue a civil suit for a personal injury accident involving your child. 

The “Next Friend”

In most states, minors cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf; therefore, an adult may need to be appointed as the minor’s “next friend” in order to represent them in court. This person acts as a guardian for the child and provides consent for legal actions on the child’s behalf. In some cases, it might be necessary to appoint multiple people as a child’s next friends, depending on the complexity of the case or if different decisions need to be made throughout its duration. 

Importance of Medical Treatment

It is important that you seek medical treatment right away before filing a lawsuit, even if you think it may just be minor injuries, as this can help prove causation in court and provide documentation of any long-term care needs that may arise from their injuries. Additionally, medical records can help establish damages when filing for compensation for pain and suffering or loss of quality of life due to permanent disfigurement or disability caused by their injuries. If a lifetime care plan is needed to ensure that your child receives appropriate medical attention over time, then a lawyer can help create such a plan with specialized doctors who will review all options for treatment. 

Punitive Damages

In certain circumstances, plaintiffs can also sue for punitive damages which are intended to punish wrongdoers and deter future misconduct. Punitive damages are in addition to compensatory damages, which cover medical expenses and other losses arising from an injury. For example, if someone was driving under the influence when they caused an accident resulting in injury or death of another person, then punitive damages might be assessed against them by a jury depending on state laws regarding this type of behavior. It is important to note that punitive damages are not always available and many states limit how much can be awarded by law. With that in mind, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney before making any assumptions regarding what type of compensation you may receive from a lawsuit involving your injured child.  

Filing a lawsuit after your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence requires special consideration because minors cannot file suits on their own behalf. You should also consider there may be additional punitive damages available beyond those associated with medical costs and other losses arising from the incident itself. An experienced attorney can help you navigate through this process so that you can take action against those responsible, while also ensuring proper medical care for your child now and into the future. Ultimately, it is important that all steps are taken thoughtfully so that proper justice is served while maintaining safety & security for your family moving forward. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Brassfield & Krueger for a consultation.

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