It is common for kids to experience minor scrapes and bruises throughout their childhood. While many of these injuries have no significant impact on a child’s overall well-being, certain types of accidents could lead to severe health issues in the future.

If your child was recently injured due to someone else’s negligence, you could hold the at-fault party responsible. Consider working with a Tucson child injury lawyer who could pursue your claim and help you get the compensation you need. A diligent Tucson accident attorney could stand by your side through every step in the legal process.

Common Accidents Involving Minors

MMDAF awards_logo1From climbing on playground equipment to playing sports in the neighborhood, injuries to minor children can occur anywhere. Fortunately, a vast majority of wounds sustained in youth are mild and do not require significant medical treatment.

However, certain accidents often lead to severe damages when minors are involved. Common incidents resulting in child injury claims include:

A knowledgeable attorney with experience handling child injury cases could review a plaintiff’s and advise the filing party on how to proceed with bringing a cause of action.

Damages in Child Injury Cases

AzTLA awards_logo4When children suffer injuries due to another person’s negligence, they could be entitled to monetary damages. Damages in a child injury case could include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Mental health counseling to deal with the trauma of the accident
  • Lost income, if a parent or guardian had to miss work or leave their job to care for their child
  • A child’s lost earning opportunities if the injuries will impair their ability to be self-supporting
  • Costs of ongoing care if the child’s injuries will render them unable to live independently in the future

A parent or guardian could also seek compensation for the child’s physical pain and emotional suffering. If the injury left the child disfigured or limited their ability to participate in certain activities, damages could include payments to acknowledge these losses. A parent might also receive damages for the mental anguish of witnessing the accident that injured their child, and for loss of the child’s companionship.

In rare cases, punitive damages could be available. No matter how serious an injury, negligence is not enough to merit punitive damages. Instead, a plaintiff must show that a defendant acted with the intention of causing harm or consciously acted without regard to the likely harm their behavior might cause. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded against drunk drivers and others who engage in outrageously unsafe conduct. A skilled Tucson lawyer could determine if there is enough evidence to support seeking punitive damages in a particular case.

Filing a Claim for Injury to a Minor Child in Tucson

Tucson Metro Chamber awards_logo2A “minor child,” as defined under the Arizona Revised Statutes § 1-215(22), is any person under 18 years of age. Because minors lack the legal capacity to file a claim on their own, an injured person may have an eligible party bring a cause of action on their behalf. According to A.R.S. § 12-641, a child injury claim may be brought by either of the minor’s parents or legal guardians.

Pursuing a Child Injury Case as an Adult

Minors who wish to file a claim on their own may wait until they are 18 years of age. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a party to file a personal injury claim is typically two years from the date of injury. Although, if the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the minor reaches legal age. A person injured in a childhood accident has two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim, as specified under A.R.S. § 12-502.

If a minor sustains an injury at a very young age, waiting to file a lawsuit could be detrimental to the case. As time goes on, evidence might get lost, and witnesses may be difficult to track down. An attorney familiar with cases involving minors could provide more information about the advantages and disadvantages of waiting to file a claim.

Courts Must Approve Most Settlements

ASLA awards_logo3A judge must approve any settlement on behalf of a child with a value exceeding $10,000. Typically, the paying party petitions a court to approve a settlement and the court then schedules a hearing.

At the hearing, the judge will seek information about the cause of the child’s injury, the prognosis, and the care the child required and could require in the future. The parent or guardian who desires to enter into the settlement must attend this hearing. An experienced child injury attorney in Tucson could help a parent or guardian prepare for their presentation to the judge.

There are several ways to handle a large settlement entered on behalf of a child, and the best methods will vary depending on the circumstances. If the child requires expensive ongoing care, a structured settlement overseen by a guardian ad litem might be the most effective way to ensure that the parents receive the funds they need to give their child proper care. In most cases, a child gains control over these funds when they reach age 18.

Discuss Your Options with a Tucson Child Injury Attorney Today

Doug Zanes

Doug Zanes, Tucson Child Injury Lawyer

If your child has suffered injuries in a preventable accident, you may be experiencing a lot of emotional pain. Zanes Law understands that the safety and well-being of your children is a top priority, and our compassionate attorney could help you recover the damages you need to cover your losses. Contact us to speak with a Tucson child injury lawyer about your case.

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