Personal Injury Claims for Minors in New Jersey
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Mar 20, 2019 in Personal Injury News
Children are prone to getting hurt all on their own, but sometimes a child suffers an injury through the fault of another person or entity. If your child was injured because of the negligence of another party, you may have the right to pursue compensation for damages on your child's behalf. Below, review some of the information you should know about how personal injuries to minors are handled in New Jersey.
If your child has been injured in an accident, contact our New Jersey personal injury attorneys to learn about your legal rights and how we can guide you through each step of the legal process. Request a free, no obligation consultation today.
Accidents Involving Minors
Minors may be involved in many types of accidents and situations that could cause injuries for which a parent may wish to file a personal injury claim:
- Dog bites
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and fall accidents on another's property
Minors cannot file a claim or be sued so their parents must file on their behalf. If the child does not have a parent, a petition can be filed with the court to appoint a guardian ad litem who can take responsibility for the case.
Children may also be held liable for their own negligence that causes an injury to someone else. if the child is under the age of seven, he or she probably will not be considered capable of negligence. However, some children develop faster than others. If a child is considered to be more capable than others his or her age, the other party may true to hold the child liable for an injury.. The other side will attempt to argue your child had the experience and capacity to know what he or she was doing.
A claim alleging the negligence of a child also affect the parents. For example, in the case of a car accident caused by a minor, the plaintiff could allege that the child’s parents were also negligent, even if the parent was not in the vehicle when the accident occurred. The plaintiff could claim the parent was negligent in allowing the child to drive the car.
Statute of Limitations
In New Jersey, personal injury claims involving minors do not cause the statute of limitations to begin running. The statute of limitations begins to run on the child’s 18th birthday. From this date, personal injury claims usually must be filed within two years.
When Do Minors Receive Compensation?
Many personal injury claims involving minors are resolved through a settlement agreement. For a settlement to be accepted in the case, a hearing before a Superior Court judge will take place. The judge must decide the child's best interests are being protected.
The parent or guardian ad litem must advise the judge that the settlement terms are in the minor’s best interests for the settlement to receive approval. The judge will speak to the minor and review his or her medical records before accepting the settlement. The minor’s parents or guardian must also testify to their understanding of the terms and agree to the settlement.
The parent or guardian ad litem must also approve how the settlement money will be kept until the child turns 18 – children cannot have access to a settlement from a personal injury claim until they reach the age of majority. For example, settlement funds can be kept by the state or may also be used to purchase an annuity, which is an insurance policy with payouts at varied times following the child reaching age 18.
Contact Our Qualified Attorneys for Help
If your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers will review your claim and fight to recover the maximum compensation your child deserves.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn what legal options may be available to your family. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation in your case.
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