We all have a duty of care for children. And when that duty of care is violated against your child, you can sue for compensation. Our child injury attorneys in North Bergen can help you with your lawsuit so that you can pay for your child’s medical needs.
The rules for child injury lawsuits aren’t so different from ones for adults. There are a few key differences, especially if the injury was caused by another child. But parents are allowed to sue on behalf of their minor children. Morelli Law Firm can guide you through the process.
Who Can Sue on Behalf of a Child?
Under New Jersey law, parents and guardians can sue for their children’s injuries. Children under the age of 18 cannot file lawsuits on their own. Lawsuits involve legal contracts and the law states that you must be of the age of majority to make them valid.
Parents and guardians can also sue on behalf of their children over the age of 18 if they are considered too emotionally or intellectually challenged to do it on their own. The state has to declare this status first before you can sue.
Once children reach the age of 18, they are legal adults. They have to make their own legal decisions, no matter how much you may want to intervene. That said, you can encourage them to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to get advice after an injury.
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Who Gets the Money From a Child Injury Settlement?
When a settlement is awarded in a child injury case, the money may not go directly to the parents. Since the matter involves a child, the court will try to find a payment solution that works out in the child’s best interest.
The courts may decide to put it into a trust or create an annuity instead of giving a lump sum. This will allow parents to withdraw money over time to pay for care. When the child turns 18, any leftover money will go to them automatically.
Sadly, there are parents out there who would take the settlement money and spend it on things other than their child’s care. These court-appointed payment methods preserve the settlement so that it can be used for the right purpose: caring for the needs of the injured child.
A child injury lawyer in North Bergen can help you understand the possible avenues for compensation in your case once they learn more about the circumstances.
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What If the Responsible Party Was a Child?
When a child is injured by another child, the responsible parents are the defendants in the lawsuit. However, the age of the child has a role to play in the case. Children are held to different negligence standards than adults.
Children under the age of seven are often considered to have no responsibility over their actions. In this case, we would look for negligence by the parents. Older children are negligent if it can be shown they knew they were doing something dangerous and proceeded anyway, like if they attacked your child.
Once a child reaches age 14, the courts will use the same negligence standards as adults. By this point, children should have enough empathy and knowledge about the world to know better than to put other children at risk.
What If a Business Is at Fault for My Child’s Injury?
A more common source of child injuries is when they’re on someone else’s property. In these cases, it’s the owners of the property that could be held responsible. Places where children get hurt can include:
- Amusement parks
- Public playgrounds
- Day care centers
- Bus trips
Morelli Law can help you file a lawsuit against any of these, including schools. Suing schools is tricky and the statute of limitations is much shorter. If your child was injured by a governmental institution like a school, contact our North Bergen child injury attorneys as soon as possible for advice so that you don’t lose your right to sue.
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Help Your Child’s Suffering By Talking to a Lawyer Today
Feeling helpless in the face of your child’s injury is a truly painful experience. You don’t have to face the pain alone. Our compassionate child injury lawyers in North Bergen at Morelli Law Firm are ready to listen to you. To talk more in detail about your case, reach out to us by phone or by requesting a free case evaluation online today.