Filing A Personal Injury Claim On A Child’s Behalf
Children are small and fragile and have problems assessing risks and dangers. As a result, it is terrifying when a child is injured. Following a child's accident, the parents are likely to be drowning in worry over their child's condition while also dealing with the financial burden of the accumulating medical bills. Taking legal action is the best step toward seeking justice and alleviating the pressure of the financial burden. But when it comes to filing a personal injury claim on a child's behalf, there are some unique variables that the parents should be made aware of.
Children Typically Settle For Higher Amounts
When a child sustains an injury during an accident, Canadian law dictates that that child should be compensated for their losses if a representative chooses to file a lawsuit on their behalf. And since children still have so much life ahead of them, a severe injury with a requirement for lifelong care, is likely to lead to a much higher settlement amount than if that lawsuit were filed by an older individual.
Loss of Companionship
If a child's grandparent or parent is the one who is heavily injured, then that child may have the right to obtain damages for their loss of companionship. There are cases in which this is awarded in the form of a deductible, but the specifics are dependent on local laws and regulations. Because of this, it is vital to work with an experienced lawyer of the area.
Lawsuits Must Be Filed On Behalf of The Child
Any lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the child, even if that child has their own lawyer, since no child is legally allowed to represent themselves in court. Following the filing of the lawsuit, it is upon the court to appoint the child's litigation guardian. This is typically a close relative or parent of the child, though that is not a legal requirement. If there is someone that you know who deserves to file a claim but is a minor, it is important to refer to the personal injury lawyer in Kelowna so that they can guide you better. Not only do they understand the key aspects of the claim process but have the experience to represent the rights of the plaintiff.
Court Approval For Settlements
Since children, and especially injured children, are in absolutely no position to decided the fairness of a settlement, the courts will sometimes choose to utilize a public trustee who will assess the offered settlement on the child's behalf. However, there are also instances in which the court is the one to ultimately make the call on whether or not a settlement is appropriate and, in the child’s, best interest.