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Key facts in personal injury cases for minors

Parents hate to see their children hurt, but sometimes it is out of their control. When a child suffers an injury due to someone else's negligence, a parent's first thought may be helping the child to recover physically. The injury can take a toll on the family's financial health, as well, though.

In many cases, it may be possible to seek compensation for the expenses related to the injury, as well as restitution for the pain and suffering caused to the child. 

Possible injuries

There are a number of different injuries that may lead to a personal injury claim for a child. Some of the more common injuries include:

  • Birth injuries
  • Defective toys or equipment
  • Car accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Dog bites

Elements of the case

Negligence is the key determinant of whether or not a claim may stand. If the plaintiff can show that the child's injury is due to an individual or entity not acting in the way a prudent party would in the same situation, the child could have a strong case.

Time limit

The statute of limitations may vary depending upon the circumstances and who chooses to file. Parents or guardians have up to two years after they discover the injury to file a claim, while the child has until his or her 20th birthday. It is important that parties understand this regulation and abide by it; otherwise, the courts may dismiss the case.

Conservatorship

A minor who receives a settlement may need someone to manage the funds until he or she is old enough. Georgia law includes a section about the obligations of the conservator. For example, this person must:

  • Provide the child with the care and support he or she needs
  • Respect the child's rights and dignity
  • Appoint a guardian, if needed
  • Officially end the conservatorship when the child is no longer a minor

Someone who is thinking of filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor may want to speak to an attorney to learn more about the factors involved in this type of case.

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