No parent wants to imagine a scenario where their child suffers lasting harm because another adult failed to act responsibly around them. Unfortunately, that scenario is a reality for many parents across Mississippi, and the losses that come with these types of accidents can have life-altering impacts on both the injured child and their family as a whole.
Filing suit over a child’s accident can be an emotionally exhausting ordeal, so you should consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled cases like yours successfully in the past. David E. Gordon, a Board-certified Olive Branch child injury lawyer who is a civil practice advocate and civil trial specialist, can be the steadfast ally and source of legal knowledge that you may need to achieve a positive case outcome on your child’s behalf.
The most common legal basis for child injury lawsuits is the same one that usually applies to personal injury lawsuits with adults: that someone recklessly or carelessly breached the duty of care they owed to another. There are some circumstances in which adults owe duties of care to children that they would not owe to adults in the same situation.
For example, property owners owe a duty to protect minor children from getting hurt by “attractive nuisances” like swimming pools, even if the child in question was trespassing at the time of their injury. That same property owner would not have a responsibility to protect adult trespassers from the same hazard. During a free, private consultation, a local child injury attorney can review the circumstances leading up to a child’s injury and identify whether litigation may be a valid option.
Mississippi state law classifies individuals under the age of 21 who have not been emancipated from their parents as “legally incompetent,” meaning that their parent(s) or guardian(s) may pursue a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf if someone else’s negligence leads to them getting hurt. If applicable, Mississippi Code § 93-19-13 does allow minors over the age of 18 to enter contracts, which in turn means they may settle a claim and sign a release on their own behalf. If a lawsuit must be filed, however, the parent must file on behalf of the child up until the child turns 21.
If a parent or guardian wants to accept a settlement for compensation on behalf of their child, they must first seek approval from the chancery court to ensure that the settlement serves the child’s best interests.
The three-year statutory filing period for claims established under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49 usually does not begin for child injury cases until the child turns 18, allowing them more time than usual to file suit. It is best to retain an Olive Branch child accident lawyer and start the filing process as soon as possible after a serious accident.
Injuries in childhood can often have repercussions long into adulthood, so you should not delay in taking legal action on your child’s behalf against any negligent individual who caused them harm. At the same time, you should not proceed with litigation before retaining qualified legal counsel from the Law Office of David E. Gordon, as the consequences of an unsuccessful lawsuit or settlement demand could be significant.
An Olive Branch child injury lawyer can provide compassionate guidance and support through the litigation process. Call today to set up a meeting.