Even if you’re a diligent and loving parent, there’s only so much you can do to protect your child from the negligence of other adults. When your child is hurt in an accident caused by someone else, you may be devastated, overwhelmed, or angry. In these situations, understanding and making full use of your legal rights will be crucial to protecting your child’s best interests and seeking justice.
However, filing a lawsuit for a child’s injury can be legally complex. Guidance from a Pennsylvania child injury lawyer is essential to navigating the legal system and getting the compensation your family deserves. With a winning attorney on your side, you can improve your chances of getting a favorable case result and protecting your child’s future.
At Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers, we have helped countless families take legal action after serious accidents. In one case, we obtained a $3.5 million pre-trial settlement for a child who was riding her bike near her home when a drunk driver struck her. We are prepared to fight tirelessly for our clients.
Liability for Harming a Child
Establishing fault for a child’s injury is similar to other personal injury claims, with most cases built around the legal theory of negligence. In short, a person is “negligent” under Pennsylvania law if they meet all the following criteria:
- They had a “duty” to act responsibly under certain circumstances to minimize the risk of your child getting hurt
- They failed to live up to that duty and instead did something reckless, careless, or illegal
- Their irresponsible action—or failure to act—was the main cause of an accident that directly led to your child’s injury
- Your child suffered or will suffer losses directly because of their injury.
In some situations, an adult might be liable for a child’s injury when they wouldn’t be liable if the injured person were an adult. Our skilled child injury attorneys in Pennsylvania can explain your filing options during a free, no-obligation meeting.
Special Rules for Pennsylvania Child Injury Lawsuits
Under Pennsylvania law, minors under the age of 18 cannot represent themselves in court proceedings, so they cannot file personal injury lawsuits. If an adult’s reckless or careless conduct leads to a child suffering an injury, the child’s parents or guardians can take legal action on their behalf. This involves acting as the child’s surrogate in court and pursuing a case result that suits the child’s best interests.
If a child injury case settles out of court, a court must approve the settlement amount. Generally, any settlement money must be kept in an FDIC-insured bank account with numerous restrictions on how and when it can be spent before the child turns 18. The child accident lawyers at our firm can further explain these restrictions and legal nuances.
Contact a Pennsylvania Child Injury Attorney Today
No child deserves to get hurt because of an adult’s misconduct. Sadly, these situations happen every day across Pennsylvania. You and your family have the right to hold the wrongdoer accountable and pursue the compensation your child needs to move forward with their life.
Help from a Pennsylvania child injury lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to learn how we can support you and your family in this difficult time.