A child suffering from a serious car accident injury can be an overwhelming experience for the parents, the child, as well as the entire family. Even with significant improvements of vehicle safety, there is still the chance that a car accident can lead to a debilitating injury.
Any trauma to a child, whether physical or emotional, can take longer to manifest itself than it would for an adult. More particularly, this is true for injuries suffered in the earlier stages of childhood development and may take years to appear, depending on severity. Some common child injuries that may appear later after a car accident include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries, nerve damage, and paralysis
- Internal contusions, lacerations, and tears
- Abdominal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
These injuries can lead to chronic pain, disability, emotional distress, or other adverse conditions that may last a lifetime.
What are Pennsylvania’s Child Injury Laws?
It is always a parent’s hope to protect their child from harm. If an injury occurred in a car accident because of another party’s negligence, a parent must consider their legal options.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of injury for adults. However, because a child’s injury can reveal itself well after the date of the accident, exceptions might be made.
Depending on the circumstances, both the parents and child may file an injury claim. The parent can file a claim for themselves, and they must file a claim on their child’s behalf if they are under 18 years old. Under the Minor’s Tolling Act, the child may also file their own claim two years after they turn 18 years old.
The statute of limitations allows a child to be financially compensated because a significant injury may not develop right away. Damages might cover:
- Medical bills and hospital stays
- Treatments, medications, and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability
Should I Accept a Settlement?
Any settlement the child receives must be approved by a judge, and it will most likely require a hearing. The lawyer handling the settlement must petition the court the terms and why it is beneficial for the child. The settlement likely will include the mentioned expenses, as well as any liens. After a court representative reviews the case, a judge will determine if the settlement has the child’s best interests in mind. The judge can also deny a settlement or a verdict in a child’s injury claim if they deem it unsuitable.
It is important to understand that an insurance company will likely push for an immediate settlement. This would likely be in the best interest of the insurance company, not the parents or child. A lawyer can ensure a victim receives a fair settlement offer.
The parents should keep a file containing all facts and details of the claim, including medical and police reports, beginning with the date the accident occurred. The parents should then contact legal assistance immediately. An injury claim for a child will likely be complex.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Children Who Have Been Injured by Negligent Drivers
In an instant, a young child’s life can change forever after an accident. It is up to the parents to make sure that their child’s future is secure. If your child has been injured by a negligent driver, then contact the Media car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello right away. Call us today at (610) 892-4940 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.