In New Jersey, when a child is injured in an accident caused by another party, their parent or legal guardian is allowed to pursue damages on the child’s behalf. These types of cases have unique factors that are different than personal injury cases that involve adults. This is one reason why parents should consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ to handle the claim for them.
Every state has its own statute of limitations that a person has to file an injury claim. This is usually two to three years from the date of injury. Once the stature has expired, so does the opportunity for a victim to file a claim against the at-fault party.
If the victim is a minor child, however, the statute clock does not begin ticking until the child’s 18th birthday. This is because the law recognizes that there are cases where parents may choose not to file a lawsuit. However, the law also recognizes that the child should not lose their right to pursue damages because their parents chose not to file. There may be different rules for lawsuits that involve the government or for medical malpractice cases. An attorney can explain those details to you.
As a Trenton, NJ personal injury lawyer can explain, in every personal injury lawsuit, there is a doctrine referred to as the “standard of reasonableness” that is applied to every case. This standard asks whether or not the decisions that the victim made were legitimate under the circumstances they were in at the time of the accident. The standard of reasonableness for a child will depend on how old the child was when they were injured.
For example, an adult fails to look both ways while they are crossing a street and they are hit by a vehicle. A jury may find that the victim was partially negligent and that could reduce the amount of compensation they receive. A 6-year-old child is in the same type of accident, but the jury does not find the child partially negligent for not looking both ways because a “reasonable” 6-year-old would likely have gotten into the same type of accident. We don’t expect children at that age to be responsible enough to look both ways each time they cross the street like we do adults.
If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Davis & Brusca, LLC to meet with a dedicated Trenton, NJ personal injury lawyer and find out what legal options you may have.