As parents or legal guardians, we are entrusted with ensuring the welfare of the young ones in our care. However, since we do not have sovereign control over their everyday affairs, they might end up getting involved in unfortunate incidents.
Accidents involving children are not uncommon, and just like adults, children can be both the victim and the culprit. The situation is the same in Austin, otherwise known as the live music capital of the world. The city witnessed over 31,000 people involved in 12,974 crashes in 2020.
In any case, the personal injury lawyers in Austin, TX, are always ready to defend the minor in question and fight for their best interests.
When the child is the victim
When a child has been harmed due to the negligence of someone else (be it an adult or another child), the first course of action should be to get them medical help.
While receiving care, be sure to document all of their medical records, including treatment plans, diagnoses, and prognosis. All of these will come in handy in convincing the judge or jury that the child deserves their due compensation.
Work with the attorney to gather evidence related to the incident. Be sure to report the incident to the police so it can be officially documented. Also, while the police go about their investigation, you could present the photographs, witness statements, and any relevant documentation that you’ve gathered as evidence.
As a given, you have to hire an attorney who has solid expertise in cases involving minors. They should also be well-versed in Texas laws and regulations. In some situations, the statute of limitations might come into play; if such is the case, be sure to turn to your attorney for legal advice and guidance.
Some offenders prefer to settle outside of court, especially in cases involving minors. If the defence team contacts you for a settlement, discuss their terms with your attorney. If you’re not satisfied with their offer, you have the right to draft and present a counter-settlement proposal. In this counteroffer, be sure to extensively discuss all of the trauma that your child has gone through. The evidence you have gathered should be proof enough. This could help your lawyer prove the elements of personal injury law.
Furthermore, while you fight for your child’s rights, do not overlook the emotional impact of the accident on them. Provide them access to counselling services so that they can regain their mental sanity in no time.
When the child is the wrongdoer
The law does state that children cannot understand risks and repercussions as adults do. Regardless, they can still be punished for deliberately causing harm to another child or even an adult, so long as they are old enough to know right from wrong.
In some cases, the parents of the minor are held responsible for the damages. They will be required to pay compensation, especially if their children are listed on their insurance policy.
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a minor, the first course of action would be to work with your attorney to establish responsibility. There must be no reasonable doubt that the minor in question was solely responsible for the harm you encountered.
In some situations, the minor’s actions are not covered by their parent’s insurance. You could obtain a legal document that mandates them to pay as soon as they become legal adults.
When it comes to personal injury cases involving children, there are special rules for compensation and liability.
The law stipulates that children do not have sufficient mental or physical responsibility. For this reason, the adults have to take up their defence on their behalf.
Hiring a professional personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure the child’s rights are protected.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.