Children and Personal Injury: What Parents Need to Know

Children and Personal Injury: What Parents Need to Know

The emotional and physical wellbeing of our children is a paramount concern for every parent. An accident involving a minor not only amplifies the emotional distress but also brings forth a unique set of challenges in the realm of personal injury claims. This article aims to shed light on the intricacies surrounding children and personal injuries, offering guidance to parents navigating these traumatic events.

Personal Injury

1. Immediate Medical Attention is Crucial

When children are involved in accidents, even if they seem minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately [1]. Children might not be able to articulate their pain or discomfort as effectively as adults.

Do: Visit a pediatrician or emergency room immediately post-accident. A thorough checkup can detect latent injuries that might manifest symptoms later.

2. Emotional Trauma is as Real as Physical Injuries

While physical injuries are evident, the emotional and psychological impact of an accident on a child can be profound.

Do: Monitor your child’s behavior post-accident. If they exhibit signs of distress, nightmares[2], or changes in behavior, consider counseling or therapy to help them process the trauma.

3. Legal Representation: Minors Cannot File Claims

In the realm of law, minors (usually those under 18) lack the legal capacity to initiate personal injury claims.

Do: As a parent or guardian, you’ll need to step in and represent the child’s interests, ensuring their rights are protected.

4. Settlements for Minors Require Court Approval

To protect the child’s best interests, many jurisdictions require court approval for any settlement related to a child’s personal injury claim [5].

Do: Always consult with an attorney when finalizing settlements for minors. They can guide you through the court approval process, ensuring the settlement truly aligns with the child’s best interests.

5. Structured Settlements for Long-Term Benefits

Instead of a lump sum, settlements for minors might be structured to benefit them in the long run.

Do: Consider options where the compensation is deposited into a trust or annuity, providing financial support[2] as the child grows, covering future medical expenses or educational needs.

6. Statute of Limitations May Differ for Minors

In personal injury law, there’s a timeframe within which a victim must file a lawsuit. However, for minors, this ‘clock’ often doesn’t start ticking until they reach the age of majority.

Do: Familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction. It offers a window of opportunity to pursue legal action, even if time has elapsed since the accident.

7. Children and Comparative Negligence

In some cases, the defense might argue that the child’s actions contributed to the accident. This concept, known as comparative or contributory negligence, can impact the compensation amount.

Do: Be prepared for such arguments, especially in cases like dog bites or playground injuries[1]. An attorney can help counteract these claims, emphasizing the responsibility of the adult or entity involved.


Accidents involving children are heart-wrenching, and the legal aftermath can be equally challenging. However, armed with the right knowledge and legal support, parents can ensure their children receive the rightful compensation they deserve, paving the way for both physical and emotional recovery.

If your child has been involved in an accident and you’re seeking guidance on the next steps, it’s vital to be well-informed and equipped. Get a free case evaluation to discern the best course of action, ensuring your child’s rights and interests remain at the forefront.


  1. – Child Personal Injury Claims | Accidents Involving Children
  2. – Child safety and injury prevention
  3. – Parental Legal Responsibility for Injuries Caused by Children
  4. – Car Accidents In Las Vegas Involving Children
  5. – Personal Injury Claims for Injured Children Explained
  6. – A California Parent’s Guide to Child Car Accident Injuries