The love for children is one of the most natural and universal human emotions. They are our most vital source of happiness and worry. A severe injury to a child, who could not have the opportunity to experience life fully and fulfill their potential, appears more poignant than an adult’s comparable injury. Having an expert who understands the law is essential for personal injury cases in Georgia.
Specific injuries are more likely to occur in children than in adults. Newborns may sustain birth injuries if forceps or vacuums are misused. Delaying a cesarean section can also result in the newborn losing oxygen. Harmful products consumed during pregnancy can cause severe injuries to the infant, such as neurological damage and certain medical conditions with long-term consequences.
When equipment and furniture are not securely tethered in place, children are at risk of getting head injuries. When they are hit with an object, they can also sustain such injuries. Most children are attracted to open bodies of water, and swimming pool accidents can result in serious injuries
Statistical data shows that children are more likely than other demographics to be attacked or mauled by a dog. Those very injuries can lead to severe cuts and the need for immediate medical attention. Such happenings can also be highly traumatic for child victims.
Helpful Pointers for Lawyers Handling Personal Injury Cases in Georgia involving Children:
Representing a Child in Court:
A child under the age of 18 is not allowed to file personal injury cases in Georgia independently. A parent or guardian has the authority to file a lawsuit on behalf of the child victim. If they recover, the funds received may be safeguarded, such as being placed in a trust for the child’s benefit. Healthcare bills for the intervention of the injuries, decline of future income if the accident affects the child’s ability to make a living as an adult. Mental distress, pain, and suffering are all possible damages in this type of case.
If the child dies in the accident, the parent or legal guardian should file a wrongful death claim. Damages that include in a death lawsuit are similar to those of other personal injury cases, and Healthcare costs, funeral expenses, loss of income, pain, suffering, and emotional distress are included. Furthermore, the loss of society, the love, and support that the child could have given to the family if alive may be compensable.
Issue of Negligence:
The legal theory of negligence is used in most personal injury claims involving children. This requires demonstrating that the defendant had a duty toward the victim but breached it, which caused harm to the child. The duty owed is determined by the facts of the case. It may require the defendant to exercise the simple care that a prudent person would exercise in the same situation. Assume that the accident involved an automobile, the duty of care would be to drive with care and skill that other sensible drivers would exhibit in the same circumstances. When it comes to health care misconduct, the question is usually whether the healthcare professional acted with the same care and skill that another doctor with the same area of expertise and experience would have worked in a similar geographical region.
When filing personal injury cases in Georgia, stringent time limits must be followed. The statute of limitations differs depending on the state and the cause of the child’s injury. The law of limitations for wrongful death claims could be different than other kinds of personal injury claims. In many states, the child’s parents or legal guardians will have to submit a lawsuit about two years after the date of the accident.
Difference Between A Child’s and Parent’s Claims:
According to Georgia law, a victim child has a claim for pain and suffering as well as loss of future income only after the age of 18. Whereas, the child’s parent has a separate claim for medical expenses, loss of services, and loss of child’s income before the age of 18. Examine how each of these will be affected by medical lien claims. If one parent is accused of sharing fault for a mishap, the other parent or any relative could be the child’s “next friend” or guardian ad litem in court to reduce the risk of confusion of issues.
In personal injury cases in Georgia, families frequently need to hire a lawyer who understands the case thoroughly. At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, P.C. consults with the parents or legal guardians and evaluates the case at that time. Contact us through our website for a free consultation and evaluation.