Accidents can happen to anyone, even children. If you have a child who has been injured in an accident there are steps you can take, which will ensure the child receives proper compensation for those injuries.
The first thing you should be concerned with when considering filing a claim against an at-fault individual for injuries incurred to a minor child is the gathering of relevant information. This includes the child’s medical records from any hospital/doctor he or she was treated by for the injuries.
If the police were called, such as in the case of an automobile accident, obtaining a copy of the police report from the investigating agency is also a good idea.
Contact the Insurance Carrier
epending upon what type of accident your child was involved in, you should contact the responsible insurance carrier to inform the company of the injuries. This will help ensure that medical bills from the accident will be paid in a timely manner.
If you are unsure of who to call, you can start by contacting the child’s health insurance provider. Insurance companies have “subrogation units” that will correctly identify which company should be paying the cost of medical care and treatment. A specialist from this unit can assist you.
Contact an Attorney
Accidental injuries are governed by statutes of limitations, which vary by state. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases as soon as possible after the injuries have occurred.
Generally, an attorney will attempt to settle the matter out of court and negotiate a settlement on your child’s behalf. However, if the insurance company does not offer an acceptable amount, a lawsuit may be necessary.
Because the child is a minor, he or she does not have the legal capacity to file a lawsuit. This is the responsibility of a parent or guardian. An attorney can file the necessary legal documents to have a responsible adult appointed as “next friend” of the minor, to facilitate the filing of a lawsuit.
Once a next friend is appointed, an attorney will file a lawsuit against the at-fault person and his or her insurance company.
If you have a child who has been injured in an accident, contact a knowledgeable attorney today to be sure the child’s rights are compensation and protected.