No parent wants to think about their child getting hurt because of another person’s irresponsible actions. Unfortunately, accidents involving children occur every day in Tennessee, sometimes causing severe and long-lasting injuries. While your first priority in a situation like this should always be making sure your child is safe from further harm, you should also be aware of the rights you may have under state law to file suit against and demand restitution from the person who hurt your child.
Pursuing a settlement or court award following an accident involving a minor child can be a legally and emotionally complex process—which is why having an experienced personal injury attorney’s support could be crucial. A qualified Bartlett child injury lawyer at the Reaves Law Firm, PLLC with experience helping families like yours could work diligently to demand the recovery your child deserves.
In many respects, liability for causing injury to a child works the same as it does for an injury sustained by an adult. Regardless of how old a person is, anyone who causes an accident by acting carelessly or recklessly that results in injury may bear financial liability for every subsequent consequence.
Importantly, though, there are some situations where adults may be civilly liable for harming a child when they might not be liable for injuring an adult under the same circumstances. For example, landowners in Tennessee generally have no legal duty to protect trespassers on their property from suffering accidental harm, but they can sometimes be held liable for injuries to trespassing minor children, if those children were enticed onto their land by an unsecured “attractive nuisance” like construction equipment.
Additionally, if a child is hurt because of negligence by an employee at a daycare, a public or private school, or any similar place, the company or government body responsible for hiring and training that employee may bear civil liability for their misconduct. A Bartlett child injury attorney could review the circumstances leading up to a particular child’s accident and offer guidance about possible recovery options.
If a parent wants to pursue civil litigation on behalf of their injured child, they must do so within one year of when the accident first occurred, in accordance with the standard statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee. Alternatively, the start of this statutory filing period may be “tolled” until the child’s 18th birthday, at which point they would have one year from that date to file suit on their own behalf.
Additionally, a parent cannot accept a settlement on their child’s behalf without first receiving court approval, and this approval process must include an in-court appearance for settlements valued at $10,000 or more. Additional rules may apply with regard to management of settlement funds on the injured child’s behalf until they turn 18, which a child accident lawyer in Bartlett could explain further as needed.
Learning your child was seriously injured in an accident can be a traumatic experience even if you yourself were not physically injured at all. In the aftermath of such an event, taking prompt and proactive legal action against the party responsible for the harm done to your child could be crucial to protecting their best interests and those of your whole family.
A Bartlett child injury lawyer could explain your rights and options during a private initial meeting. Schedule yours by calling the Reaves Law Firm, PLLC today.