How can a child hire a personal injury attorney?
In Texas, individuals that have not reached the age of majority, 18, are prohibited from hiring an attorney for themselves after an injury.
Instead, Texas law requires that an adult or adults represent a minor as a ‘Next Friend.’ Typically, this will be the parents of the minor, but parents do not necessarily have to be the ones to bring a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the minor.
Oftentimes when a minor sustains an injury, their parents or guardians have a claim for any medical bills incurred. However, the minor would have a claim for what’s called non-economic damages—which are damages for the pain, suffering, impairment, mental anguish, and/or disfigurement that a child may have suffered after an injury.
Because Texas law does not allow minors to make final legal decisions until they hit the age of majority, sometimes the court may appoint what’s called a guardian ad litem to look after the child’s interest if the claim is settled. The guardian ad litem owes a duty only to the child and is required to make sure that any settlement that was approved by the ‘Next Friend’ is in the best interests of the minor child.
If you know a minor that has been injured, please call the experienced injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group for a free evaluation of any potential claim.