Caring for a child with an injury could have a major, long-lasting impact on your family’s emotional and financial well-being. If your child suffered injuries in an accident, you could receive compensation to help with their medical care and other needs.
Navigating the legal nuances of liability is complicated and could leave you vulnerable to receiving less than you need to care for your child. As a result, pursuing damages requires a competent and compassionate personal injury attorney. A Houston child injury lawyer from our firm could guide you through the process of holding the negligent parties accountable for the suffering they caused and help you make a reasonable plan for your family’s future.
Who Can Sue For a Child’s Injuries?
As in every personal injury case, the injured person has the right to sue on their own behalf if they are at least 18. In most cases, an injured child has two years from their 18th birthday to bring a lawsuit. One advantage to having this longer window to file is that the permanent effects of the injury may become apparent over time, allowing these individuals to demand the proper amount of compensation.
Alternatively, there are some significant advantages to a parent suing on behalf of their child. Pursuing a case soon after an injury could be beneficial for several reasons. Witnesses and evidence are most reliable when little time has passed since the injury occurred, so the parents might have a stronger case than the child would have years later. If a child has severe injuries that require special care, the parents might also need the money they receive from a lawsuit to ensure the child gets the necessary treatment. Importantly, parents suing on behalf of their children have only two years from the date of the injury to bring their lawsuit, so it is best to retain a Houston attorney as soon as possible if the parents choose to take this route.
Settlements For the Benefit of the Child
Most lawsuits settle before trial, which typically benefits all parties. The defendants have certainty about the extent of their liability, and the plaintiffs receive their damages without waiting for a lawsuit to make its way through the court system.
Parents have the option to pursue their child’s claim as the child’s “Next Friend.” When a parent chooses this path, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 44(2) allows them to enter into a settlement on the child’s behalf. Additionally, there are some protections for both the child and the defendant built into this process. Usually, the defendant will file a Friendly Suit, which is nothing more than a petition asking a judge to approve a settlement on behalf of a minor. A judge’s approval releases the defendant from future liability and protects them from any suit the child might bring in the future. A lawyer in Houston could help a parent receive a proper settlement in a child injury claim.
Seek a Skilled Houston Child Injury Attorney Today
Every parent wants to protect their child and give them the best life possible. When a child suffers a severe injury, all those hopes may feel at risk. A Houston child injury lawyer could help parents find a solution that offers the child financial security and ensures they receive necessary treatment. Quick action usually means a stronger case, so contact a caring legal advocate today.