Understanding Child Injury Claims in Texas

child injury claims

Parents work hard to protect their children, but not all accidents are preventable. Child injuries can occur in auto accidents, on someone’s property, or from the products bought with confidence they are safe for our families. Finding the best care possible and preventing further injury to a child may come with a high price to parents. Recovering compensation for child injury claims through insurance may be possible, but it requires additional steps to pursue a personal injury claim. Liggett Law Group strives to make the legal system work for victims of any age in Texas. Let our personal injury lawyers navigate a Texas child injury claim for you to provide the care and compensation to facilitate recovery.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Child

Children in Texas are not allowed to file claims for injuries. Texas law does not recognize adulthood until age 18, requiring someone to file an injury claim on their behalf. These individuals include the child’s parent, guardian, or next friend (Rule 44). Otherwise, the minor may file a claim once they turn 18.

Waiting to file a claim for months or years will likely result in the loss of critical evidence necessary to prove an individual and / or entity’s actions or inactions are negligent and thus they are responsible for the injuries a child has suffered. Child injury claims pose challenges such as:

  • Extracting information about an injury from a child
  • Working with insurance companies
  • Effectively protecting a child from the stress that may come with identifying injuries
  • Representing a child who may lack the ability to explain their injuries adequately

A personal injury attorney who advocates for the child can establish the facts of a case, negotiate a settlement with insurance companies, and even file a lawsuit if necessary. They can ensure the claim has a stronger chance of being heard in the courts.

How to File a Texas Child Injury Claim

file a texas child injury claimClaims seeking to compensate children for their injuries are referenced as friendly suits. Friendly suits are guided by an attorney representing the child, a parent or guardian, and a court-appointed guardian ad litem who ensures the child’s best interests are cared for if compensation for damages is secured.

This team will review settlement offers and make recommendations for compensation to present before a judge in a minor settlement hearing. The hearing allows the judge to establish whether a settlement offer is fair, should be revised, and / or if pursuing a court case is the best option to seek fair compensation. A minor settlement hearing seeks to:

  • Protect the child’s best interests by allowing a guardian ad litem, working on behalf of the child, to provide an unbiased evaluation of the settlement decisions.
  • Establish a formal record to remove ambiguity by all parties involved before entering into an agreement.
  • Keep the funds safe through proper investment until the minor turns 18.

The formal record of the proceedings may be used as a reference in future disputes about the injury.

What Happens to the Compensation in a Texas Child Injury Claim?

Any monetary compensation received from a child injury claim is appropriately invested to prevent a minor from misspending funds and to guard against the abuse of funds by a legal guardian. Parents can deposit money into the managed repository fund through authorized payment methods to minimize the risk of wholly funded payouts.

Compensation may be placed in:

  • A higher education savings plan
  • An annuity
  • Interest-bearing time deposits in a financial institution
  • No-load money market fund
  • The control of the clerk of court

The courts may view covering medical costs as part of the parents’ duties and remain reluctant to compensate parents for these costs from a settlement. Parents will be responsible for the medical bills their child incurs. The attorney representing a child and their family will provide thorough documentation of the costs paid by the parents, and a judge will rule on any requested compensation disbursements.

Time Limits for Filing a Child Injury Claim in Texas

time limits for child injury claimsThe parent or guardian of a child has two years from the date the injury occurred to seek compensation. Pausing a settlement until a minor turns 18 and can act on their behalf with the guidance of an attorney may offer the better option if they are about to reach 18. The statute of limitations will extend for two years after a child turns 18 or until they reach 20.

As mentioned, when a child is young, tolling or pausing the statute of limitations until a minor turns 18 will most likely result in losing funds due to the lack of critical documentation.

When a child waits until age 18 to pursue a claim, they are only allowed to seek compensation for damages legally belonging to them. Parents will not retain the right to file a claim on their child’s behalf.

Compensation in a Successful Child Injury Claim or Lawsuit

Compensation in a child injury claim addresses many of the same expenses an adult would seek to recover for their injuries. For example, both kinds of cases would likely request the following:

  • Medical costs: Existing and future medical costs, including rehabilitation, therapies, surgeries, medication, and medical devices
  • Pain and suffering: Any damages relating to physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and other noneconomic damages
  • Physical impairment: Costs related to the diminished state of a child’s quality of life or inability to live a normal life because of their injuries
  • Disability: Damages impacting a child’s ability to pursue an income as an adult
  • Disfigurement: Compensation for scarring or amputation caused by the incident
  • Loss of earning capacity: Teenagers injured in an accident may seek compensation for their inability to work or when the work an individual may have performed is now limited due to their injuries

An extensive evaluation can assess the costs of the injuries to your child. When treatment is ongoing, filing a claim can make a difference in affording healthcare without suffering medical debt. Liggett Law Group will work to gather all the supporting evidence to secure a satisfactory outcome and protect your child’s future.

The Importance of Compensation in Child Injury Claims

A child’s developmental processes can be significantly impacted by injury. Treating these injuries will require the ability to provide for future medical needs. A report by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) emphasizes how the response of the adolescent brain to stress can differ from that of adults, leading to the potential to develop stress-related mental illnesses.

In addition, an adolescent’s brain will stop growing during early adolescence but does not reach its maturity level until the mid-to-late 20s. Damage to the brain can impact peer experiences, which are vital to development. Helping a child to be resilient after injury will require the ability to seek care throughout the developmental process.

Contact Us for These and Other Child Injury Claims in Texas

Let Liggett Law Group navigate Texas child injury claims for you. Maintaining the evidence in a case provides for adequate documentation to support compensation requests in the following incidents:

  • Car wrecks
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle injuries
  • Bus accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Dog bites

Discuss any other injuries your child has suffered with us as soon as possible. Liggett Law Group is committed to fighting for the compensation your child deserves. A free case review and evaluation allows us to develop a customized plan for your needs.