Personal Injury Claims for Children in Tennessee
January 15th, 2021 by Attorney John Colvin
Despite your best efforts to keep your child safe, accidents do happen. When they do, it is vital that you understand how to handle personal injury claims for children. Can your child receive compensation for their injuries? Do you have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the liable party? Below, we delve into the unique circumstance surrounding a child’s personal injury claim.
If a negligent party in Tennessee has injured your child, consult a professional Personal Injury Lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim of a Child
When the victim in a personal injury accident is a child, they have the same legal rights as adults. They are entitled to compensation for all the losses they sustained that relate to the injury. The only difference is, you, as the parent, will be responsible for bringing the personal injury claim.
Since the role of taking legal action falls on the parent, so does the burden of proof. Your child cannot bring or argue their case themselves. You must prove to an insurance adjuster or court that the defendant’s negligence caused the injuries suffered by your child.
If, through the production of evidence, you are able to prove your case, your child may be entitled to the following damages:
- Medical expenses not covered by health insurance or TennCare
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, if the child was working before the accident.
As the parent, you may also seek to recover related expenses such as medical bills and lost income for the time spent caring for your child.
Insurance Claim Vs. Lawsuit
Personal injury claims for children can be settled out of court should you, as the parent, prefer to do so. However, unlike cases involving adult victims, state law may require that a court approve the settlement of such negotiations before it is considered final.
It is up to the court to decide whether or not to approve an injury settlement. In Tennessee, the approval process may involve a formal representation of facts and testimonies of recovery from the parent and the child, if they are old enough.
Statute of Limitations for a Child Injury Claim
The Tennessee Statute of Limitations places a one-year deadline on personal injury claims, which is counted from the date of the accident. This timeline applies when a parent decides to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of their child but may be tolled until the child is 18 and old enough to do it themselves. This means that you must speak to a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer immediately after the accident.
What If You Don’t Pursue Compensation?
In the event a parent does not pursue compensation on behalf of their child, the statute of limitations on the case is tolled or paused until the child reaches the age of 18. They will then have 1 year or until their 19th birthday to file a personal injury claim.
Consult a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer
The laws surrounding personal injury claims for children can be complex to understand and navigate. Fortunately, John R. Colvin, an expert Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer, has over 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases in the Tennessee Valley region. Contact him toll-free today at (931) 962-1044 to discuss your case and legal options.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advise for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.