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While the occasional bruise or scrape is a natural part of childhood, severe injuries caused by reckless or careless adults are anything but normal for a child to go through. If your child got hurt because someone around them failed to act responsibly, you may understandably have questions about what your legal options are and what course of action would best serve your child’s interests.
Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable Vineland child injury lawyer could be key not only to preserving your right to pursue civil compensation, but also to ensuring you can recover for more than just short-term losses. A seasoned personal injury attorney could also explain the many unique rules and restrictions that apply to cases involving minors, so that you are not caught by surprise while demanding the restitution your family deserves.
Assigning Liability for a Child’s Injury
Just as a reckless or careless individual may bear financial responsibility for injuries they cause to another adult, they may also be found civilly liable for injuries a child sustains as a direct consequence of their actions. In certain circumstances, adults may even bear liability for failing to protect a child from harm when they would not have owed such care to adults. For example, when a child suffers harm due to an unsecured “attractive nuisance” on someone’s private property, the owner of that land may bear liability that would otherwise not exist for a trespassing adult.
Some types of accidents do not require parents to prove negligence by another party in order to hold them accountable for their child’s injuries. For instance, New Jersey Revised Statutes §4:19-16 states that the owner of any dog that causes injury by attacking another adult or child is automatically liable for ensuing losses, regardless of whether they knew in advance that their dog had aggressive tendencies.
Finally, it is worth noting that the statutory filing period of two years set by N.J.R.S. §2A:14-2 does not begin for cases involving child injuries until the child in question turns 18. A Vineland attorney could offer crucial guidance about how child injury cases work and what strategies may be effective for maximizing available compensation.
Rules for Settling a Child Injury Claim in Vineland
Like the majority of civil claims with adult plaintiffs, most child injury cases end with a private settlement rather than a verdict in court. Since minor children cannot represent themselves during legal proceedings, though, there are a few additional requirements applicable to a child injury case that settles.
Before an injured child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) can accept a settlement on their behalf, they must seek approval from a Superior Court judge, who must affirm that the settlement offer in question effectively serves the child’s best interests. The filing parent(s), guardian(s), or guardian ad litem must also inform the judge of whether they believe the settlement fits the needs of the child and testify to the same conclusion in court. Finally, there must be an arrangement for how settlement funds will be maintained until the injured child in question turns 18.
Get in Touch with a Vineland Child Injury Attorney Today
Because of their sensitive nature and the numerous special rules that apply to them, child injury cases are often markedly more complex than personal injury cases with adult plaintiffs. For this reason, seeking counsel from an experienced legal representative can be especially critical to achieving a positive resolution on an injured child’s behalf, especially if their accident caused them to sustain a permanent disability or disfigurement.
A Vineland child injury lawyer could provide compassionate and custom support from start to finish of the litigation process. Call today to learn more.