Can a Minor File a Personal Injury Claim?
If you have a young child or teen who suffered a personal injury, you may be wondering, “Can a minor file a personal injury claim?” After all, they will have medical bills and property damage to deal with just like an adult would. Instead of you paying for all those bills, you may be looking for some financial assistance. Fortunately, you can get it with the help of an experienced attorney.
After a wreck, can a minor file a personal injury claim?
Not on their own. If your child was in a car accident, they do have the right to file an injury claim and even to go to court. However, as long as they are under the age of 18, they are not legally allowed to enter into a contract. That means that you, as their parent or guardian, will have to hire an attorney on their behalf and sign to accept any settlement offers they receive.
Should my teen wait to file a personal injury claim?
If your teen wants to handle this independent of you, they can, so long as they are 18 or legally emancipated. In the state of New York, a person has three years to file a lawsuit after being hurt in an accident. If they will turn 18 during this time frame, they could always move to hire an attorney at that time. However, there are significant risks associated with waiting that long. First, it is difficult to remember what happened; things change, so the scene may not be preserved and any witnesses may have moved away or be difficult to track down. We recommend filing a case right away, so this is definitely something for you and them to keep in mind. As a side note, there are a few circumstances in which the statute of limitations may be extended for a minor.
What happens to any money they receive?
If a lawsuit is filed on behalf of a child who suffered a personal injury, any money they receive will go into a special account where it will remain until they turn 18. That money cannot be touched by parents or anyone else until that time. However, if you, as a parent, have accrued medical bills due to their injuries, you may be able to petition the court for money to pay those bills.
Learn More During a Consultation
After suffering a personal injury, it is critical that your child takes the time to relax and to seek medical attention. As their attorney, we can handle the legal aspects of what happened so neither of you have to. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss their injury, what happened, and what you can expect. We will be happy to answer your questions after you call 1 (800) 842-8462 or click here to schedule an appointment.