Getting into a car accident is stressful enough, but it is especially difficult when your kids are in the car. It is devastating when your children are injured. As parents, we will do our best to ensure that our children receive the medical care and advice they need to fully recover from their physical and mental injuries. Once the initial treatment plan is in place, parents may wonder how to implement auto accident policy for their children’s long term medical needs, loss of future wages and disabilities caused by the accident.
If your child has been seriously injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area who can discuss your child’s legal rights and fight for a fair solution on their behalf.
What You Need to Know About Child Car Accident Management in WA State
The role of the “closest friend” in filing child car accident claims
A child (or minor) is a person who is under the age of 18. Since a minor cannot make a claim for damages for themselves, a person known as a “closest friend” will file the claim on their behalf. In most cases, the child’s parent or legal guardian acts as the “closest friend”. No legal process is required to be assigned this role.
Limitation period for child injuries
A limitation period defines the longest period after an event within which legal proceedings can be initiated. In most Washington state accidents, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. Children who were injured in an accident are an exception. Children have three years from the age of 18 to file a lawsuit for assault.
What damages can be claimed under a car accident settlement for a child?
If your child is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, they may be eligible for damages that will compensate for:
• Hospital and other medical bills
• Physiotherapy and other rehabilitation measures
• Continuation of medical bills
• Loss of earning capacity in the future
• pain and suffering
• Loss of joie de vivre
In some cases, parents can also receive compensation for the financial losses they suffered due to their child’s new medical needs.
Child car crash settlements in Washington state are subject to court approval
To protect the interests of the injured child whose parents seek compensation on their behalf, Washington law requires that a settlement on injuries to a child be approved by the court even if no lawsuit is initiated. The way it works is that once the parties have reached an agreement, a hearing takes place so that the court can approve or reject it. A judge hears a testimony to determine whether the settlement is fair and fair. To make a decision, the judge may ask the parent, guardian, or other relevant party questions about the child’s full list of injuries, as well as their current state of health, their likely future medical and rehabilitation costs, and their current skills and abilities and disabilities caused by the accident .
If the court approves the settlement, the closest friend must sign it. The child is then tied to the settlement.
How are settlements for child injuries distributed?
The court decides how and when the money will be paid out to the injured party. In some cases it is planned that billing will be paid in full from the age of 18. In other cases, bills are set up to pay some of the damage each year for a certain number of years from the date of the child’s 18th birthday. With this type of payout structure, the court will invest the funds in a trust.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights. Let a skilled auto accident attorney fight for the full compensation you deserve. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to receive a severance payment five to ten times the amount with the help of a lawyer. Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at Tario & Associates, PS in Bellingham, WA for a FREE consultation! We have represented residents of Whatcom Counties, Skagit Counties, Island Counties, and Snohomish Counties since 1979. You pay nothing in advance and no legal fees unless we claim damages for you!