Denver Child Accident Lawyer
Call (855) 524-7268 to Speak with a Denver Child Accident Lawyer for Free
There is nothing scarier than when a child is injured. Children are among the most vulnerable in our society and are often more susceptible to injury due to their carefree attitudes and tendency to engage in rougher forms of play. When a child is injured, it is crucial to make sure they are fairly compensated for their injuries. However, when we think of personal injury lawsuits, we often think about accidents involving adults. The area of law surrounding personal injury claims involving children is very different from that of adult injuries and claims. This is largely due to the fact that children have different levels of judgment than adults do, and they are inherently more vulnerable to injury.
When a child is injured, it can be an extremely emotional time for the parent or guardian trying to deal with the aftermath. We all want to protect our children from harm, and when a child is injured, it is natural for an individual to feel isolated and at a loss as to what the next steps are.
At Zinda Law Group, we believe you should never have to go through something like that alone. We will fight tirelessly for your child and do our best to make sure we seek the compensation they deserve.
If a child you love has been involved in an accident, call (855) 524-7268 today for a 100% case free evaluation with a Denver child accident lawyer.
Who is at Fault?
Most of the time, children are injured due to the negligence of another individual. Thus, the party who is at fault is the one who was negligent. To prove negligence in a legal claim for compensation, the party seeking compensation will need to show that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the child and breached that duty in some way. Additionally, you will need to show the responsible party actually caused injuries to the child.
The details of the responsible party’s negligence will, of course, vary based on the situation. Different types of situations warrant a different degree of care and thus different ways in which that duty of care can be breached. For example, if your child is injured in a car accident because another party was texting and driving, the liable party owed a duty to safely operate their vehicle, but breached that duty by being distracted by their phone.
Duty of care is based off of what a reasonable person would do. However, if another child injures your child, then duty of care is determined by what a reasonable child of the same age and similar circumstances would do.
Further, some states follow the rules of contributory negligence. This means that if your child or the child you are suing on behalf of was partially at fault for their accident, it may affect your child’s ability to recover.
Making a claim on behalf of your Child
If your child or a child you know has been injured in an accident, here are a few steps you can take to make sure they are safe, healthy, and are in the best position to seek the compensation they deserve:
1. Medical Treatment
Just as if you were injured in an accident yourself, the first and most crucial thing you can do for your child or the child in your care is to make sure they receive medical treatment for their injuries. Children often have trouble communicating their injuries, or sometimes they may not even feel that they are hurt right away. Therefore, it is very important they promptly seek medical attention after an accident. Taking an injured child to a medical professional is important for their well-being, but it is also important in order to create an official record of their injuries and treatment plan going forward.
2. Call the Police or Proper Authorities
It is important to call the police in order to create an official account of what exactly happened. This will serve as important evidence later on. Further, the police can play a pivotal role in speaking with witnesses, taking photographs, and compiling other relevant information.
3. Consult an Attorney
Insurance companies and other lawyers take advantage of adults all the time when negotiating lawsuits and settlements. This can happen to an even greater degree when filing claims on behalf of a child. Therefore, the safest way to make sure your child’s interests are being cared for and both you and your child are seeking the compensation they deserve is to hire an attorney. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience necessary to protect your child's interests, and we will work with diligence and compassion to make sure they get what they are entitled to.
Next Friend Rule
Children cannot bring legal claims on their own behalf. Therefore, they need an adult to stand in and represent their interests. Individuals bringing legal claims on behalf of minors are often referred to as "next friends." The "next friend" is not directly a party to the legal claim at hand. Rather, they are there to appear in court for an otherwise incompetent individual. Minors are considered incompetent in regards to bringing and negotiating legal claims on their own behalf.
This person does not have to be a formally appointed guardian of the child. A person serving the role of “next friend” can be any legally competent person 18 years of age or over who has parallel interest to the child they are representing and are interested in protecting the child’s legal rights.
Child Injury Compensation
Just like adults, children have a right to seek legal compensation for their injuries. For the most part, a child’s right to compensation closely mirrors the rights of adults. However, while the rights to compensation are generally the same in a lot of ways, the process in which a child is compensated and the types of compensation they seek for their injuries is slightly different. One example of this is when it comes to pursuing legal compensation for medical bills. Children do not personally pay for their medical care. Their parent, guardian, or another adult does. Therefore, children do not recover for medical bills, but their parents can.
When a child is injured, they will often have the right to seek compensation in regards to damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and damages for physical impairments.
Once a minor receives a settlement or award of monetary compensation for a legal claim, the money is essentially divided amongst the child and the adult bringing the claim on their behalf. The adult receives money for the things they have paid for, such as medical bills. The remainder of the money goes to the child for their recovery and to compensate them for their suffering.
However, when a child is awarded monetary compensation for injuries sustained in an accident, that money is not accessible to them right away. Legal damages that are awarded to minors get put into a trust account until the minor turns 18. Once the child is legally an adult, the court will allow them to access the money. In rare occasions, an adult can petition the court to release the money early when it is in the child's best interest. However, this is unlikely to occur.
Common Causes of Child Injuries
Children are more reckless and more vulnerable than adults. Thus children can often be injured to a higher degree than adults, and certain types of activities are more likely to result in injuries to children than to adults. Here are a few of the common causes of injuries in children:
- Rough play that leads to head injuries and broken bones
- Sports injuries
- Playing with defective products and toys
- Swimming that can lead to bodily injury or even drowning
- Bicycle and skateboarding accidents
- Dog Bites
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Legal Time Limits
Courts have strict time limits that designate the length of time in which you are permitted to seek legal compensation for your injuries and file a legal claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of legal claim you are seeking to bring, and it especially depends on where you live. Each state has their own rules in regards to the statute of limitations for certain legal claims.
Denver law permits a parent or other guardian to bring a lawsuit on behalf of a child within two years from the date of the accident. If a child would like to represent themselves, they must wait until they are 18 and the statute of limitations begins on their 18th birthday. Failing to bring about a lawsuit on behalf of a child within the statute of limitations may permanently bar you from being able to seek legal compensation.
Talk to Zinda Law Group
At Zinda Law Group, we understand how difficult it can be to see your child in pain and believe that our clients shouldn’t have to worry about the legal process or legal fees while their child is recovering. That is why we offer a no win no fee service and FREE consultations to help you understand your legal position and the next steps involved in seeking compensation.
For more information, call us today on (855) 524-7268 for your FREE consultation with a Denver child injury lawyer.
Meeting with attorneys by appointment only.