Accidents Involving Children

Accidents Involving Children

Louisiana Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Children: What You Should Know?

There is nothing more valuable to parents than the well-being of their children. Motor vehicle accidents in the country are the second leading cause of death in children aged five to eighteen. 

Louisiana motor vehicle crashes involving children can be devastating. Car accidents affect children differently than adults. 

A car crash involving a child can be incredibly traumatizing, and it could also form the root of psychological issues.

Children who survive a car crash can suffer severe injuries, such as fractures, traumatic brain injuries, seat belt injuries, airbag injuries, car seat injuries, neck and spinal cord injuries, cuts and lacerations, PTSD, and more.

Safety restraints like car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are necessary for children. 

Louisiana laws allow children to seek monetary damages against parties whose negligent or reckless actions cause injuries. These damages can be significant and cover the child’s current and future medical expenses, their mental and emotional injuries, and their future loss of livelihood. Depending on the nature of the injury, healthcare costs can span a lifetime. 

Many motor vehicle accidents involving children occur not on public roads but in parking lots and driveways. These types of non-traffic crashes can be just as deadly and emotionally scarring as more typical car accidents.

Who Can Bring A Car Accident Lawsuit On Behalf Of A Child In Louisiana?

In Louisiana, minors lack the procedural capacity to sue. 

Children, as they are minors, cannot bring legal claims in Louisiana themselves, and it is up to the child’s custodial parent or guardian to bring a claim for them. In Louisiana, this is generally called “tutorship by nature,” where the tutor or tutrix is the minor’s father or mother, respectively. 

A tutor/tutrix may compromise an action or right of action, that is, to settle a claim, with court approval. Tutorship by nature, will, law, and judicial appointment are the types of tutorships in Louisiana. A tutor serves the same functions as a guardian in other states. 

An injured parent with legal custody can file a claim through an attorney on the child’s behalf.

If the parents are married, either one may file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. For unmarried parents, the custodial parent has standing in Louisiana courts to file a lawsuit on behalf of the child.

The mother can settle the claim if the child is born outside of marriage and the father does not acknowledge the child. 

Louisiana Statute Of Limitations For Car Accident Claims

In Louisiana, you have one year from your injury to file a lawsuit in personal injury claims involving car accidents. 

There are a few special rules that apply to minor children. In Louisiana, there are some exceptions to the one-year deadline. When a child suffers injuries in an accident, the statute of limitations doesn’t start until they turn eighteen. This means they have until one year after their eighteenth birthday to file a claim, regardless of their age at the time of the accident. 

Waiting to file a personal injury claim until a child reaches the age of eighteen is not practical since the need for compensation is now.

The experienced car accident lawyers at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers do not recommend waiting until your child turns eighteen to file a lawsuit. Gathering evidence and collecting appropriate medical records may present challenges in the future. Witnesses may not remember the accident, and the minor’s memory of the incident may fade.

To speed up the process, the minor’s parents can file a lawsuit on behalf of their child sooner.

Compromise Of Minor’s Claim In Louisiana 

There are many legal issues unique to motor vehicle accident cases involving children. 

Louisiana personal injury laws confer the tutor the right to enter into an out-of-court settlement on behalf of minor children in individual injury cases. This is known as the compromise of a minor’s claim.

Compromise of a minor’s claim refers to the settlement of a claim for money by or on behalf of a minor under eighteen.

A compromise of a minor’s claim in Louisiana is legally binding once and when a court in the Parish where the minor resides approves it.

A written petition has to be made to the court seeking approval. Along with the petition, it is necessary to submit all relevant medical and healthcare records to the court at or before the compromise hearing.

If the settlement amount is less than $10,000, court approval is unnecessary.

If the court decides to approve the compromise of the minor’s claim, the court must then direct the money to be paid to the tutor of the minor, with or without a bond.

Louisiana courts will consider the minor’s current age and life expectancy, present and future financial needs, tax implications, and eligibility for government benefits when determining the payment schedule for a minor.

Louisiana personal injury laws allow parents to recover for the costs and inconvenience they suffer for having to provide more excellent care to their child. Parents may need to miss work and travel considerable distances to get a child to a medical appointment. Parents may also incur additional out-of-pocket expenses due to a child’s injuries.

Contact A Louisiana Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Immediately 

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we provide caring and compassionate legal representation for Louisiana parents whose children suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Our experienced attorneys handle all legal matters – including insurance paperwork and communications – so our clients can focus on tending to their child’s injuries and well-being.

Auto accident injuries can have long-term implications on a child’s development. Our Louisiana personal injury law firm will seek opinions from medical experts before settling a child injury claim.

Contact us today to request an initial consultation with our firm’s experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer. This consultation will provide you and your family the opportunity to discuss your situation, allow us to explain your legal options, and answer any questions you may have. You pay nothing unless we help you recover compensation.

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