Sometimes, despite your best efforts to keep your child safe, someone else’s carelessness could cause an accident that leaves your child with a significant injury. Nothing could be more heartbreaking for most parents than to see their child suffering from the effects of a preventable injury.
If your child was hurt in an accident and someone else’s negligence is to blame, you have legal options. The personal injury attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can help pursue a claim for damages that might provide compensation for your child and force the wrongdoer to take responsibility. Talk to a Covington child injury lawyer about the best way to proceed to ensure your child receives appropriate redress for their injuries.
Proof of Negligence Necessary
Childhood is a time when cuts, scrapes, and even broken bones frequently occur. Children push boundaries and explore their surroundings, sometimes with a rambunctiousness and fearlessness that leads to injury.
However, anyone who caters to children or assumes care for a child must take steps to protect them from the results of their immaturity. If a child is injured at school, daycare, or camp, at an amusement park, playground, or public park, or at a friend’s home or a public place, someone else’s negligence could have contributed to the accident. Negligence is almost always at the root of motor vehicle accidents.
Our motivated attorneys in Covington could investigate the circumstances of the incident to identify acts of negligence that led to the child’s injury and identify the parties responsible. The negligent parties could be liable to pay the child’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and compensate them for any lingering effects the injury might have on them.
Options for Suing Due to a Child’s Injury
A lawyer knowledgeable in child injury at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can advise a family about the best options in a particular circumstance.
In Kentucky, anyone injured during childhood has the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit at any time within one year of their 18th birthday. However, over time memories fade, witnesses could die or relocate, and evidence could erode or disappear. It is often advantageous for a parent to bring a lawsuit on behalf of their child shortly after the incident.
If the child was nearing age 18 at the time of the accident, delaying suit until the child reaches the age of majority might be the best course to take. In other cases, it could be best for an adult to bring the case on the child’s behalf.
The parent or legal guardian, or another concerned adult with an interest in the child, could file a lawsuit seeking damages for the child’s injury. Typically, if the person bringing suit is not a parent, a court would need to designate them a guardian for the purposes of the litigation.
Handling the Proceeds of Lawsuit on Behalf of a Child
Severe injuries to children could permanently impact their ability to function physically, learn to their potential, earn a living, or even live independently. Damages in a child injury case could provide restitution for all such losses.
If a child recovers damages, they could receive the award as a lump sum at age 18, in a structured settlement with periodic payments, or in an annuity. If the parties agree to a settlement, a court must approve the settlement to ensure that the money will be used for the child’s best interest. If the settlement is significant, the court might appoint a Guardian ad Litem to protect the child’s interests. Kentucky Revised Statutes §387.280 provides an exception if the funds the child receives total less than $10,000.
Any award of damages after a trial or proceeds from a negotiated settlement must be used for the child’s benefit. They cannot be used to reimburse parents for obligations they already have by virtue of being parents—for example, the child’s support, reasonable medical care, clothing, etc. However, in cases where the child has significant ongoing medical needs resulting from their injury, a parent might be able to petition a court to release funds to meet those needs. Our dedicated attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can advise you on the best way to receive your child’s injury settlement, and the legal ways to spend it.
Reach out to a Covington Child Injury Attorney Today
Knowing how to respond most effectively when your child is badly hurt in an accident could be difficult. But if the child’s injuries could have a long-lasting impact, you owe it to them to take action.
A Covington child injury lawyer could help you get satisfaction from the negligent parties who contributed to the accident. Call now to speak with a compassionate advocate at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy.