Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Your Child: A Guide for Indiana Parents and Guardians

When a child suffers an injury, it can be a heart-wrenching experience for any parent or guardian. Besides the immediate concern for your child’s well-being, there are often significant medical expenses and long-term implications to consider. This is where filing a personal injury claim becomes crucial.

Understanding how to file a claim can help ensure that your child receives the necessary care and compensation for their injuries. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from identifying common injuries to consulting with a personal injury attorney.

Call 317-881-2700 to Get in Touch With Our Skilled Child Injury Lawyers Near Indianapolis
Call 317-881-2700 to Get in Touch With Our Skilled Child Injury Lawyers Near Indianapolis

Types of Personal Injuries Common in Children

Children are naturally curious and energetic, which sometimes leads to accidents and injuries if there is not proper supervision. Knowing the types of personal injuries that are common among children can better prepare you for potential situations.

Playground Injuries

Playgrounds are a common spot for children to get injured. Falls from playground equipment can result in broken bones or concussions. It’s essential to keep an eye on the child and ensure they are playing in a safe environment.

Car Accidents

Children are often passengers in vehicles, making them vulnerable in car accidents. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe spinal injuries. Always make sure your child is securely fastened in a car seat or seatbelt appropriate for their age and size.

Sports-Related Injuries

Participating in sports is great for a child’s development but can also lead to injuries like sprains, fractures, and concussions. Proper training, equipment, and supervision can help minimize these risks.

Pedestrian Accidents

Children are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents, whether due to their small size, lack of proper driving by the at-fault party, etc… Whether on bike or foot, these high-impact accidents can result in severe injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, or even death.

Defective Products

Children’s toys, equipment, and other products may sometimes have defects that can cause injuries. It’s crucial to carefully inspect these items and follow age recommendations before letting any child use them.

Steps to Take After Your Child’s Injury

If your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: The first step after any injury is to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the injury seems minor, it’s essential to get a professional assessment to ensure there are no underlying issues.
  2. Document Everything: Keep a record of all medical bills, doctor’s notes, and any other relevant documents related to your child’s injury. This information will be crucial when filing a personal injury claim.
  3. Consult with an Attorney: It’s always best to consult with a child injury attorney before proceeding with a claim. They can guide you through the process and ensure that your child receives fair compensation for his or her injuries.
  4. File a Claim: With the help of your attorney, file a claim against the responsible party or their insurance company. This will involve providing evidence and negotiating for a settlement.
  5. Consider Settlement Offers Carefully: If the responsible party or their insurance company offers a settlement, make sure to carefully consider it with your child injury lawyer. It’s important to ensure that the settlement covers all current and future medical expenses related to your child’s injuries.

Child Injury Claim Filing Process

Filing a personal injury claim for a child involves several legal steps. Understanding this process can make it less daunting.

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

The first step in filing a claim is gathering all necessary evidence and documentation. This can include medical records, witness statements, contact data for involved parties and photographs of the injury and accident scene. Proper documentation strengthens your case and increases the chances of a favorable outcome.

Statute of Limitations for Child Injury Claims in Indiana

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, for injuries involving minors, the statute can potentially extend until the child turns 20. Knowing this timeline is crucial for ensuring that your claim is filed on time.

The Role of the Parent or Legal Guardian

As a parent or legal guardian, you play a pivotal role in the process. You’ll need to act on behalf of your child, gather evidence, and consult with legal professionals to ensure your child’s rights are protected.

Determining Liability in a Child’s Injury Case

Determining who is at fault is a key aspect of any personal injury claim. Understanding liability can help you document a stronger case.

Comparative Negligence in Child Cases

Indiana follows a comparative negligence system, meaning that fault can be shared among multiple parties. If your child is found to be partially at fault, it could reduce the compensation you receive. However, due to their age, children are often seen as less responsible for their actions so whether or not they can be partially at fault depends on the age of the child.

Potential Defendants in Child Injury Claims

Potential defendants in a child injury claim can vary. They might include negligent drivers, property owners, daycare operators or even manufacturers of faulty products. Identifying the right defendant is crucial for a successful claim.

Compensation in Child Injury Cases

Understanding the types of compensation available can help you seek the full amount your child deserves.

Medical Expenses and Future Care

Medical expenses form a portion of compensation in personal injury claims. This includes immediate treatment costs and future care needs, especially if the injury has long-term implications.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to cover the emotional and physical distress caused by the injury. This is often a significant part of the claim, as it accounts for the impact on your child’s quality of life, both past and future.

Special Considerations for Minors

When dealing with minors, courts often take special considerations into account. This includes opening an estate to hold the compensation until the child reaches adulthood, ensuring the money is used for their benefit.

The Importance of Consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the complexities of a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can provide valuable guidance.

Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Child’s Case

Choosing the right lawyer is crucial. Look for someone with experience in handling child injury cases and a proven track record. A good attorney will guide you through each step, ensuring you understand the legalities involved.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Child Injury Claims

Avoiding common mistakes can increase the chances of a successful claim. These include failing to gather sufficient evidence, missing the statute of limitations, and not consulting with a legal professional. Being aware of these pitfalls can help you navigate the process more effectively.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Understanding how to file a personal injury claim for your child empowers you to protect their rights and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. By knowing the types of common injuries, understanding the legal process, and consulting with a personal injury attorney, you can make informed decisions to support your child’s recovery and future well-being.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in child injury cases is paramount. Their expertise can provide the support you need to successfully navigate this challenging process.

Was your child seriously injured in an accident that was at the fault of another person or place? Contact Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-fee consultation with a seasoned child injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our services come at no expense and zero risk to you since we operate on a contingency-fee basis. This means that we only receive payment if we succeed in securing a settlement or winning an award for you.

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