Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Can I Claim Personal Injury Compensation for my Child?

An injury to your child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Children are quick to bounce back from most minor tumbles, but that doesn’t prevent the panic of seeing them come close to hurting themselves. Of course, sometimes preventable injuries happen due to third party negligence. In cases such as these, you must know what to do.

The aftermath of a car accident my family experienced (including all 3 of my daughters)

A common question regarding personal injury compensation is whether children may claim. The answer is that any person under the age of majority cannot represent themselves in legal matters. Therefore, parents or legal guardians are permitted to act on their behalf. For further clarification on your rights, always speak to a lawyer (check out this personal injury lawyers website, for example). 

When you decide to act on behalf of your child, you will likely have questions. In this guide, we will cover some of the main questions commonly asked by people in your situation. 

Claim Time Limits

Some people may believe that they are unable to pursue a claim if weeks or months have passed since the accident occurred. While it is true that time limits exist (known as a ‘statute of limitations’), the truth is that different claim time limits come into play depending on the type of claim. Typically, these limits extend into margins of years. 

For example, claim time limits for personal injury may extend to two to three years in different locations, while a one-year time limit exists in some American states for claims involving an automobile accident. 

That is why you should begin your claim as soon as possible. Do not miss out on rightful compensation by accidentally missing a deadline specific to your type of case. 

Exceptions to the Claim Time Limit 

Under certain circumstances, your claim time limit may extend beyond the statute of limitations. In cases involving childhood injuries, these exceptions are perhaps more prominent than in adult cases. Let’s discuss why these reasons could be useful to you.

  • Date of Knowledge 

Your date of knowledge marks the date upon which you learned that third party negligence was a root cause of the injury. 

Why is this date important to parents?  Children can appear to recover from their injury when, in fact, their issue is ongoing. 

Further down the line, you may discover that your child’s injury requires attention, which could mean further action. Upon deeper investigation, you may find (years after the injury) that third party negligence is to blame. 

You are entitled to begin your claim with claim time limits starting from your date of knowledge. Rules can vary depending on your location.

  • Claiming for Childhood Injuries 

You are entitled to claim for a childhood injury upon reaching the age of majority. That means that where a parent or legal guardian did not claim on your behalf, you may begin your claim for a childhood injury when you become a legal adult.

All the usual claim time limits apply from your birthday marking your transition from childhood to adulthood (i.e., the statute of limitations for your claim begins from your birthday upon which you become an adult). 

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