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When your child suffers an injury, as a parent or guardian, you are within your right to take legal action if the person who caused the accident acted recklessly or carelessly. Parents of the injured child could file an injury claim for compensation against the at-fault party, but should wait to take action until after speaking with someone who has experience in dealing with these types of cases.

A Rocky Mount child injury lawyer could help to protect the legal rights of children following an injury. This includes pursuing the case in chief as well as ensuring compliance with all state laws concerning guardianships and settlements. To learn more about what legal options are available to you and your child, be sure to get in touch with a dedicated injury attorney today.

How Might an Injury Affect a Child?

Children are subject to many of the same hazards that can affect adults. Children ride in cars, visit businesses, use consumer products, and seek out medical care. The fact that the victim of an injury does nothing to change the fact that negligent defendants are liable to provide compensation to the victims of their actions. In fact, the concept that the injured party was a child may help a plaintiff’s case to avoid accusations of contributory negligence.

The goal of the case is to collect the compensation necessary to place the child in the position that they would have been in had the incident never occurred. This can include reimbursement for medical bills, payments for lost enjoyment of life, or even payments for lost wages if the child is old enough to have a job outside of school. A Rocky Mount child injury attorney could help to investigate the cause of the injury and to demand that an at-fault defendant provide all appropriate compensation.

The Role of the Guardian in Child Injury Claims

Children who suffer injuries are in a difficult legal position. There is no doubt that a child has the right to demand compensation for their losses. However, children have no standing under the law as people under the age of 18 cannot serve as plaintiffs in lawsuits. These people are “disabled” under the law, meaning that they cannot bring a suit on their own behalf, according to North Carolina Statute §1-17(a). Interestingly, this also extends the statute of limitations three years beyond the child reaching 18 years of age if a guardian has not already filed a lawsuit.

The solution to this dilemma is to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. This is a person who acts only in the interests of the child and who pursues the claim on their behalf. A guardian ad litem can be any competent adult, but that adult must be disinterested from the case. This simply means that the guardian cannot be a co-plaintiff in the case. Candidates for appointment as a guardian ad litem can include parents, other relatives, or even attorneys.

The guardian acts to pursue the case on behalf of the child. This can include coming to settlement terms with a defendant or their insurance company. To ensure that the guardian has performed their duties in accordance with the law, a civil court must approve any settlement that names a child as a plaintiff. A Rocky Mount child injury lawyer could help to discuss the concept of guardianship and to help parents understand how this could affect their child’s claim for damages.

Reach Out to a Rocky Mount Child Injury Attorney Today

Every parent’s top priority is protecting their children from harm. However, because of the negligence or abusive acts of others, it is often impossible to prevent injuries. When this happens, the affected child has the right to seek compensation for their losses.

A Rocky Mount child injury lawyer could help children and their parents to navigate this complex legal landscape. An attorney can work to demonstrate defendant fault as well as comply with the special laws that control the timing of lawsuits, the appointment of guardians ad litem, and the approval of settlements. To begin discussing the details of your child’s case, schedule a consultation today.