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How Long Do Parents and Guardians Have to Act When Their Child Gets Hurt?

Reach Out to A Child Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

Infants and children of all ages should always get protected from hazards. Situations or circumstances that might be considered safe for an adult can harm a child. In the U.S., the leading cause of mortality rates in children is drowning incidents, traffic, burns, and unexpected falls. According to the CDC, an average of 12,175 children aged infant to 19 die each year, and more than 9 million Americans seek emergency care for unintentional injuries.

Unfortunately, so much can happen in the blink of an eye. That is why you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer for claims involving minors if your child gets seriously hurt or passed away due to negligence. Outside of the circumstances, any parent or guardian in this disheartening situation might be worried about the economic implications. At Grey Law, we want you to have as much time as possible to establish your legal claim. Choosing to wait can hurt your chances at compensation and holding defendant(s) accountable.

Personal Injury Claim – Filing on Behalf of Your Child

When your child gets hurt, the last thing on your mind might be taking legal action within the first few days or weeks. As a parent or guardian, you might be confused about how you should go about the process. Because the accident did not happen directly to you, there are a few restrictions about how the case will play out in court. In some states, the courts will extend the statute of limitations until the child is between 18 to 20-years-old.

What Is The Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time both parties involved have to handle a dispute, further legal proceedings, and settle. Child injury attorneys in Los Angeles recommend acting without delay, as you only have two years from the date of injury. That includes time to gather evidence, details of the accident, and other factors to support your case. Depending on the nature of your accident, the judge can either permit or extend the claim.

Common Accidents That Lead To Child Injuries

Sadly, most of the accidents that children experience are unavoidable. The CDC breaks down the cause of fatal accidents per age group.

  • In the U.S., suffocations are the leading cause of death for children younger than 1.
  • The leading cause of death for children between 1 to 4 years old is due to accidental drowning.
  • For children between the ages of 5 to 19 years old motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injuries.

Different Claims

When your child gets harmed, we understand taking the time to heal is vital. However, delaying any action also prolongs how long it can take to negotiate and ease most unfortunate burdens.

The statute of limitations is different per case. Even though your child suffered an injury, the claim depends on what emergency doctors find and report. Claims involving minors require a closer look, especially if the accident involved medical malpractice, premises liability claims, or related incidents. Everything should be reviewed with an attorney for minor-related injuries in LA to differentiate it from personal injury to civil suit.

Discovery of Injury and Exceptions to The Rule

When children sustain traumatic head or brain injuries, it can impact the nature of the legal proceedings. A Los Angeles injury lawyer can request an extension or “toll” for plaintiffs who cannot recollect or don’t have an understanding that he or she is suffering from an injury. The statute of limitations begins once the victim is aware that the issue exists. Once there is a general awareness of what has taken place, the countdown begins.

With brain or head injuries, sometimes the symptoms can go unnoticed for days, weeks, or months after the accident. A few other exceptions can increase or decrease the time you have to hold the defendant accountable. If your child and an accompanying adult were both injured in an accident, it might increase the statute by a few years. It is especially likely if the judge decides to wait until the plaintiff is of age as well.

The Judges Involvement in A Child Injury Cases

At such a young age, a child is going through early brain development. According to the University of Rochester, teens don’t develop the rational portion of their brain until their mid-20s.

Minors cannot deliver the testimony required, nor do they have the power to sign contracts and give consent. It can complicate the child accident case, especially if they do not share fault. Parents and guardians must step in to consult with an accident injury attorney in Los Angeles to negotiate a proper settlement for their kids.

California has strict laws that protect children from getting taken advantage of in a lawsuit or legal negotiation. While the circumstances can feel dire and complex, the state allows families to fight aggressively for financial restitution. Additionally, the state wants to ensure that the child receives the money directly. A few examples of the damages recoverable are:

  • The child’s medical expenses after the injury
  • Future medical expenses after 18 years old
  • The child’s pain and suffering
  • The child’s loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of future earnings (if applicable)
  • Loss of services

After reaching an agreement, an injury attorney for minors will discuss what to expect next. If your child was offered more than $5,000 in compensation, you might have to participate in a Minor’s Compromise Hearing. This trial allows a judge to review the settlement offer. As a precautionary measure, the judge will assess and determine if the settlement is sufficient to cover all the damages, past, present, and future expenses. When approved, the case will move forward.

Reach Out to Our Los Angeles Children’s Injury Attorney

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one gets injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Premises Accidents
  • Personal Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Nursing Home Abuse

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be hard to choose legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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