HAVING A CHILD INJURED FOR ANY REASON IS A PARENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE, AND ONE THAT MAY SEVERELY IMPACT THE FUTURE OF THE CHILD. NOT ONLY CAN AN INJURY CAUSE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA, PAIN, SUFFERING, DISFIGUREMENT, AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES, BUT IT MAY INVOLVE YEARS OF EXPENSIVE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CARE, COUNSELING, REHABILITATION, AND PHYSICAL THERAPY.
At a time like this, it is natural for parent to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to best protect their child’s interests. It makes sense to seek legal help as soon as possible after the injury, as you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your child’s medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of life’s pleasures and emotional distress.
The seasoned and compassionate Pennsylvania child injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann understands what you are going through and can evaluate your specific circumstances. We have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits for their children. We offer a free consultation, so call (570) 323-8711 today or use our online contact form.
In Pennsylvania, when a child is injured, both the child and the parents may have a claim. The law is complex in this field, but there are circumstances under which both child and parents have a right to monetary relief but it depends upon the individual situation and the facts.
Since parents are financially responsible for their children and may pay many costs associated with a child’s injuries, the parents may bring a claim on behalf of an injured child, but they must do so within two years after the injury occurs.
There are also claims that may be brought by the injured child independently upon reaching adulthood. These claims, often for pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of life’s pleasures, emotional distress or loss of earning capacity, must be brought within two (2) years after the child’s 18th birthday. This is called the Minor’s Tolling Act. In medical malpractice cases and certain other types of claims, there is also something called a Statute of Repose.
In Pennsylvania, to win a child-injury lawsuit your attorney has to prove the following:
In addition, the courts may recognize that children and adults are different when considering the fault of the child. There are different standards of duty for a child depending upon the child’s age and his special needs. Sometimes parents can even be responsible for the negligence of their children. This is sometimes called negligent entrustment. This is also a complex area of the law. At certain ages, there is a presumption of non-negligence on the part of children. Minors under the age of 7 are presumed incapable of negligence. Minors between the ages of 7 and 14 are also presumed incapable of negligence, but this presumption is rebuttable and, as the 14th year grows closer, this presumption weakens.
The law recognizes that:
If your child has been injured, do not assume that the insurance company will be looking out for the best interests of your child or your family. Insurers will attempt to minimize the payments they make by offering to settle claims quickly for far less than they are worth.
Should you accept an offer from an insurance company, it can severely limit your chances of obtaining full compensation through the legal system. Therefore, it is important to consult a child-injury attorney before accepting payment from an insurer.
Liens can be very complicated. Many times, insurance companies and benefits from the government or government programs may be recoverable in subrogation, sometimes referred to as reimbursement. The rules may be different for state as opposed to federal liens. This is a complex area of the law.
Juries, judges, and arbitration panels frequently are not as sensitive to the needs of children and senior citizens because they do not necessarily have dependents. On the other hand, the time horizon for children is longer, and part of a claim may be lost to future earnings or future earning capacity. With children there may be damages for loss of “horizon.” There are differences in how settlements are handled for minors in order to protect the best interests of the child and prevent parents or guardians from using the money for their own purposes. For this reason:
If your child has been in a serious accident, help is available from the experienced and compassionate Williamsport child injury attorney Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann. We understand the local regulations and legal standards, know how insurance policies work, and can handle all aspects of an insurance claim. If death is involved, we will seek financial restitution for the family members left behind.
Attorney Rieders has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Our deep sense of loyalty to each client drives us to pursue each claim vigorously. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.
If you have been in an accident, time is of the essence, so do not delay. We offer a free consultation, so call (570) 323-8711 or use our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.