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When It's Time to Contact a Child Accident Lawyer

When It's Time to Contact a Child Accident Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know from The Law Offices of John M. McCabe

As parents, our children's safety is always a top priority. We take every measure to ensure they're protected, from using car seats to childproofing our homes. But accidents can happen, and when they do, it's crucial to understand when it might be time to contact a child accident lawyer. Here, we'll explore the situations in which legal counsel can make a significant difference in your child's well-being.

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Understanding Child Accident Cases

Filing a child accident personal injury case and an adult personal injury case share many similarities, but there are distinct differences due to the unique legal considerations involved when a minor is the victim. Here are some key differences:

  • Statute of Limitations: One significant difference is the statute of limitations. Minors cannot file lawsuits themselves, so the clock for the statute of limitations often doesn't start until they reach the age of majority, typically 18. For adults, the statute of limitations typically starts running from the date of the accident.
  • Legal Guardians: Child accident cases require a legal guardian or parent to act as the child's "next friend." They file the lawsuit on behalf of the child. In adult cases, the injured party files the lawsuit directly.
  • Settlement Approval: Settlements in child accident cases typically require court approval. This is to ensure that the settlement is in the best interest of the child. Adult cases often don't require court approval for settlements.
  • Special Damages: Child injury cases often consider long-term consequences, like future medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity, more heavily since the child has more years ahead. In adult cases, these might not be as significant.
  • Emotional Impact: Courts may consider the emotional impact of injuries on a child more seriously in terms of non-economic damages.
  • Insurance: Child accidents often involve multiple layers of insurance, including the parents' insurance and potentially the insurance of the party at fault.

In essence, the main difference is the legal representation and how the statute of limitations is applied. In child cases, the court oversees the process to protect the minor's rights and interests. Consulting an experienced child accident lawyer who specializes in these cases is crucial to navigate these complexities effectively.

When It's Time to Contact a Child Accident Lawyer

Situations That May Call for a Child Accident Lawyer

Auto Accidents Involving Children

Auto accidents are a leading cause of child injuries. Whether it's a car crash, bicycle collision, or pedestrian accident, if your child is harmed due to someone else's negligence, it's time to consult a child accident lawyer. They can help you pursue the compensation your child deserves, which can cover medical expenses and ensure their future needs are met.

School and Playground Injuries

Schools and playgrounds should be safe environments for children. If your child gets injured at school due to unsafe conditions, inadequate supervision, or bullying, you may need legal assistance. A child accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of holding the responsible parties accountable.

Injuries from Defective Products

Children's products are supposed to meet high safety standards. When a defective toy, car seat, or any other product causes an injury, you should reach out to an attorney. They can investigate the incident, identify liable parties, and fight for your child's rights.

Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

Dog bites and animal attacks can be traumatic experiences for children. In such cases, a child accident lawyer can help you determine liability and seek compensation for medical bills, therapy, and emotional distress.

Medical Malpractice

Children can be victims of medical malpractice. If a healthcare provider's negligence leads to your child's injury, it's crucial to consult a lawyer specializing in child accidents. They will work to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for any harm done.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Drowning and near-drowning incidents at swimming pools are particularly dangerous for children. If your child is harmed due to a lack of proper safety measures, insufficient supervision, or pool maintenance issues, consult an attorney. They can help you address liability and secure the compensation needed for your child's recovery.

Playdate or Homeowner Liability

Sometimes accidents happen during playdates or while visiting someone else's property. If your child is injured due to unsafe conditions, negligence, or lack of supervision, a child accident lawyer can assist in determining liability and pursuing a claim.

In any situation where your child is injured due to someone else's negligence or recklessness, it's crucial to consult a child accident lawyer. They have the expertise and experience to help you navigate the legal process, ensuring your child's rights are protected, and they receive the compensation needed for recovery and their future well-being.

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit for a child accident case involves several steps, and it's essential to work with a qualified attorney who specializes in such cases. Here's an overview of the process:

  1. Consultation with an Attorney:
    • The process begins with the child's parent or legal guardian consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in child accident cases. Call The Law Offices of John M. McCabe today at (866) 907-1145 for a FREE consultation.
  2. Investigation:
    • Once retained, your attorney will work hard to conduct a thorough investigation to collect evidence related to the accident. This may include obtaining police reports, interviewing witnesses, collecting medical records, and any other relevant information.
  3. Notification and Pre-Lawsuit Negotiations:
    • Prior to filing a lawsuit, we may notify the at-fault party or their insurance company of the intent to file a lawsuit. This often initiates negotiations to reach a settlement before going to court.
  4. Filing the Lawsuit:
    • If pre-lawsuit negotiations don't result in a satisfactory settlement, we will draft and file a formal lawsuit on behalf of the child and their legal guardian. This legal document outlines the case's facts, allegations, and the damages being sought.
  5. Service of Process:
    • Once the lawsuit is filed, the at-fault party (the defendant) is served with a summons and complaint. This informs them of the lawsuit and provides details of the allegations against them.
  6. Discovery:
    • Both sides engage in a process called "discovery." This involves exchanging evidence, including documents, witness testimonies, and answers to written questions (interrogatories). Depositions, which are sworn statements taken out of court, may also be conducted.
  7. Settlement Negotiations:
    • Throughout the lawsuit, the parties often continue settlement negotiations. A significant portion of personal injury cases, including child accident cases, is resolved through settlements.
  8. Pretrial Motions:
    • The attorneys may file pretrial motions to address specific legal issues or to request a summary judgment. These motions can affect the outcome of the case.
  9. Trial:
    • If a settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. During the trial, both sides present their evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments to a judge or jury.
  10. Verdict and Post-Trial Motions:
    • After the trial, a verdict is reached. If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may file post-trial motions or appeals.
  11. Distribution of Settlement or Judgment:
    • If a favorable settlement or judgment is reached, your attorney will work to ensure that the child's best interests are protected, especially in cases involving minors. Settlement funds may be placed in a structured settlement or trust to provide for the child's future needs.
  12. Case Closure:
    • Once all legal matters are resolved, the case is closed.

Throughout this process, it's important to have a lawyer who understands the specific considerations in child accident cases, including consent from a court for settlements and addressing the child's unique needs and long-term interests. At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we have been North Carolina's dependable lawyers since 1994. As one of the most respected personal injury law firms in Raleigh, we pride ourselves in the compassion we offer clients.

How Can a Child Accident Lawyer Help?

Legal Expertise

Child accident lawyers specialize in cases involving minors and have an in-depth understanding of the unique legal considerations and protections for children.

Child's Best Interests

Child accident lawyers prioritize the child's best interests throughout the legal process. We work to secure compensation or remedies that address the child's immediate and long-term needs.

Protection from Tactics

Attorneys protect the child and their family from insurance adjusters or defense lawyers who may attempt to minimize the claim or exploit the child's situation.

Child Consent

In cases involving minors, lawyers understand the legal requirements for obtaining court approval for settlements and ensure that the child's consent is legally obtained.

Long-Term Planning

These attorneys consider the child's future needs, especially in cases with lasting injuries. They may establish structured settlements or trusts to provide for the child's ongoing care and education.

Stress Reduction

Dealing with a child's accident can be emotionally challenging. Child accident lawyers handle the legal aspects, reducing the family's stress and allowing them to focus on their child's well-being.

Ensuring Fair Compensation

Lawyers work to secure fair compensation that covers medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other damages that may affect the child's life.

In child accident cases, the stakes are high, and the child's well-being is of paramount importance. Hiring an experienced attorney ensures that the child receives the best possible representation and support throughout the legal process.

FREE Consultations

Call us at (866) 907-1145 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.


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