Injuries Know No Age: A Guide to Personal Injury Claims for Minors with Basch & Keegan

child injury

Established over three decades ago, Basch & Keegan, LLP has been a steadfast advocate for personal injury victims in Ulster County, New York. With a legacy of commitment to justice, our firm has encountered various complexities in personal injury law, particularly when children are involved. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of handling personal injury claims concerning minors in New York State, offering insights and guidance garnered from our extensive experience.

Understanding Personal Injury Claims Involving Children

When a minor sustains injuries due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, pursuing a personal injury claim requires careful navigation of legal procedures. In New York State, minors —individuals under the age of 18 — have the right to seek compensation for damages resulting from accidents or injuries. However, these claims entail unique considerations and protocols compared to claims involving adults.

Legal Guardianship and Representation

One critical aspect of handling personal injury claims for minors is the issue of legal guardianship and representation. Minors lack the legal capacity to initiate legal actions on their own behalf. Therefore, a parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed representative must act as their advocate throughout the legal process. At Basch & Keegan, LLP, we work closely with parents and guardians to ensure the child's best interests are upheld while pursuing the claim.

Statute of Limitations

In New York State, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving minors is different from those involving adults. While adults typically have three years from the date of the injury to file a claim, minors have a longer window of opportunity. The statute of limitations for minors does not start until they reach the age of 18, which means that they generally have until their 21st birthday to commence legal proceedings. Additionally, there is a 10 year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, which cannot be extended beyond the time that the child is 20 years and 6 months old. However, it is crucial not to delay action, as evidence may degrade over time, potentially weakening the case.

Structured Settlements and Court Approval

Another unique aspect of personal injury claims involving minors is the requirement for court approval of settlements. Since minors cannot legally enter into contracts, any settlement reached on their behalf must undergo judicial scrutiny to ensure it is fair and in the minor's best interests. Courts assess various factors, including the extent of the injuries, the proposed settlement amount, and future medical needs. Basch & Keegan, LLP has extensive experience in presenting compelling arguments to secure court approval for settlements that adequately provide for the minor's current and future needs.

Special Considerations for Minors

Personal injury claims involving minors often entail additional complexities. For instance, compensation for minors may include damages for future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Calculating these damages requires a thorough understanding of the long-term implications of the injuries and the projected costs of medical care and rehabilitation. Our firm works diligently to ensure that minors receive comprehensive compensation that addresses both immediate and future needs.

Basch & Keegan, Here to Help

At Basch & Keegan, LLP, we recognize the unique challenges involved in personal injury claims concerning minors in New York State. With over 35 years of experience advocating for our clients, including children, we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation. If your child has been injured due to negligence or misconduct, we are Here to Help navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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