All serious injuries are tragic and painful, disrupting the lives of the injury victim as well as their family for years to come. When a child is the victim of a sudden, catastrophic injury caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, however, it can be an especially shattering experience for all involved. For parents, seeing a child suffer, his or her bright and hopeful future suddenly put at risk, and worries about their physical, mental, and emotional development and recovery can be overwhelming.
Many parents who find themselves coping with the trauma and challenges of a severely injured child, or worse, one who has been tragically killed, may have questions about their child’s rights, and their rights, to seek justice and compensation for the harm done to their child. In Connecticut, as in most states, minors are not allowed to file lawsuits. As such, the parents of an injured child can sue a potentially liable party both on behalf of their child and on behalf of themselves.
Damages for Children and Their Parents
On behalf of the child, the parents can seek to recover damages for the child’s pain and suffering, permanent disability, increased risk of future injury, loss of earning capacity as an adult, and other damages, while the parents can recover damages on their own behalf for past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses.
If a child is killed by the wrongful act of another, the parents can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in which they may recover damages for loss of the child’s love and companionship, funeral and medical expenses, as well as any expenses incurred in administering the child’s estate.
It’s the Child’s Money
It is important to note that the proceeds of any settlement or judgment recovered on behalf of the minor child are in fact the property of the child, imposing certain obligations, limitations and duties on the parents or guardians as to when and how those proceeds may be accessed and used prior to the child turning 18. Additionally, for any case where the damages sought are $10,000 or more, a guardian of the child’s estate will be appointed who will have the authority to negotiate a settlement on behalf of the child, and often the guardian will seek the approval of the Probate Court before any final settlement is agreed upon.
James “Jim” Nugent: Helping Connecticut Families Deal With Injuries to Children
If your child has been seriously injured or killed in a tragic incident, whether it be a car accident, a sexual assault, dog attack, or an incident at a day care center, it is important that you speak with a Connecticut personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with the unique issues and challenges involved in handling child injury and death cases. There are time limits as to when such claims must be filed, so reach out to an attorney as soon after the incident as you can. Call us today at (203) 795-1111 for a free consultation.