When a child gets hurt, the entire family suffers. Everyone’s immediate concern is ensuring the child gets excellent treatment and recovers fully. When injuries are permanent, providing the services the child will need could be a significant concern.
Damages from a civil lawsuit could be a solution. If the injury resulted from another party’s careless or reckless act, the negligent party is legally responsible for paying damages. A local attorney could explain whether a civil negligence action is viable in a specific case.
If so, a Katy child injury lawyer could contact the responsible parties with a demand for compensation. If negotiations are not productive, they could take the matter to court. Most responsible parties prefer not to leave the fate of an injured child up to a jury. Instead, they often offer reasonable settlements that guarantee the child will have the care they need.
Timeframes for Katy Child Injury Lawsuits
The statute of limitations governs the timeframe in which someone can bring a lawsuit. These timeframes differ depending on the harm the person who files the suit alleges. Special rules govern harm done to children, and they can be complicated.
Medical Malpractice Cases
In the event of medical malpractice, Texas Civil Practice Law and Rules §74.251 allows a child who was under 12 when the malpractice occurred to bring a lawsuit before they reach age 14. However, Texas law offers medical professionals a ten-year statute of repose. This law prevents anyone from bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit more than ten years after the medical error occurred. A child who suffered an injury at birth or during infancy should have a lawsuit filed on their behalf before their tenth birthday.
Other Injury Cases
If an injury resulted from an accident unrelated to medical care, the child could file a lawsuit within two years of their 18th birthday. However, a Katy attorney might advise a parent or guardian to bring a lawsuit on the child’s behalf within two years of the injury. Claims for damages are often most successful when the injury is recent, physical evidence is available, and witnesses’ memories are fresh.
Proving Negligence in a Child Injury Case
When a child is injured in a car accident or similar event, they are entitled to damages if their injury resulted from someone else’s failure to exercise reasonable care. This is the negligence standard, and it applies to most personal injury cases.
However, if a child suffered injuries from a product designed for a child, or if the negligent party had responsibility for children, the negligence standard is heightened. Children are active, impulsive, and have little capacity to understand risk. People who work with or provide goods or services to children must be mindful of those qualities and give heightened attention to safety. If they fail to do so, they are negligent and could be responsible for damages if an injury occurs.
The required degree of heightened care depends on multiple circumstances, including the child’s age. A Katy child injury attorney could explain the standard that would apply in a specific case.
Special Procedures for Damages in Child Injury Cases in Katy
Courts want to protect the money a parent or minor receives in an injury case, so they have enacted procedures to govern settlements and awards to minors. If the matter settles before a trial, as most do, a court must review the settlement agreement to ensure it serves the child’s best interests. Courts also supervise jury awards to minors. A local child injury attorney could explain the specific measures a court might impose in a particular case.
The funds relating to the child’s experience of the injury—their pain and suffering damages—belong to the child. A court will place them in a supervised account, and the child will gain access to the funds when they turn 18.
Parents usually have access to damages compensating for the medical care the child already received. If the child requires ongoing treatment and care and received damages for it, the parents typically have access to the funds. However, a Guardian ad Litem might have to approve their access and confirm it is necessary for the child’s care and support.
A Katy Child Injury Attorney Could Help You Seek Justice
A careless moment could have a lifelong impact on your child’s future. The party whose negligence caused a child’s injury could be legally responsible for the impact of their conduct.
Discuss your situation with a Katy child injury lawyer today. With their help, you and your child could receive compensation that allows you to provide the best care available. Call today.