Can Parents Pursue Compensation When Children Are Injured?
Many parents wonder if they can pursue personal injury compensation when their children suffer injuries in a car accident. When passenger injuries occur, they often happen to children under the age of 18. Colorado law doesn’t allow children under the age of 18 to pursue legal action on their own. However, because they are “under disability,” there are provisions that enable parents to seek compensation for the injuries they suffer in a car accident, during a sporting event, etc.
The Same Elements for Adults Apply to Children
Personal injury cases require establishing that the person/entity the claim is filed against owed a duty of care to the injured party. They must breach this duty, and plaintiffs must establish that their actions caused the injuries the child suffered. Finally, the child must experience some form of damage to be eligible for compensation. For instance, a broken bone, bruised organs, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc.
Further, the compensation a child can pursue is the same as that for adults. This includes current and anticipated future medical expenses, emotional distress, loss of earning potential, impact on the quality of life, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.
Monitoring Children for Serious Injuries
Older children can voice their injuries and explain them to parents. However, younger children may not have the vocabulary or ability to express the full range of the physical and emotional pain they feel. As such, parents should pursue prompt medical treatment for their child and closely monitor younger children for signs of injury.
Broken bones, bruises, and lacerations are usually easy to detect. Further, parents should stay alert for loss of consciousness, confusion, seizures, headaches, and persistent vomiting. These warrant immediate medical attention. These symptoms can be related to a TBI or other internal injuries that require immediate medical care.
The Role of Probate Court
Colorado requires probate court before the settlement of cases involving minor children under the age of 18. Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure, Rule 62, establishes a process for parents, conservators, and guardians, who can seek the court’s approval for a settlement for a pro se minor. This process is rigid, and it’s essential to adhere to procedures to complete it as quickly as possible.
Contact Sloat, Nicholson, and Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 for more information about liability for passenger injuries. Our attorneys can help you understand the law and the legal issues surrounding your child’s claim.
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