For a parent, nothing is more terrifying than the thought of their child being put in harm’s way. When a child suffers a severe injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, it can take a devastating toll on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the victim and their family.
If your child was severely injured due to another person’s actions, a compassionate attorney could explain your legal options and help you seek justice for the harm done. For more information on filing a civil claim on behalf of a minor, consult a Roswell child injury lawyer today.
Who May Bring a Civil Injury Claim on Behalf of a Juvenile?
In personal injury claims, a child injury is when a minor (i.e., any person 17 years of age or younger) is suffers serious physical harm in an accident caused by someone else. In these cases, the negligent party could be liable for financial damages related to the victim’s injuries. However, because minor children lack the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts, they may not file lawsuits on their own, even if they have a legitimate civil action.
Under § 9-11-17(c) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), the injured child’s representative (i.e., guardian, conservator, committee, etc.) may bring the civil action on their behalf. If a minor seeks to file an injury claim but does not have a duly appointed representative, the minor could have their “next friend” or a court-appointed guardian ad litem bring their civil action.
What is the Next Friend vs. Guardian ad Litem in Child Injury Cases?
The “next friend” of a minor child, typically their parent or relative, is selected to appear in court on their behalf. The guardian ad litem is selected by the court to watch over the minor throughout their case. Both titles play very similar roles and must act in the child’s best interests. However, a “next friend” solely acts as the claimant in a child injury action. A guardian ad litem is assigned to several types of cases, most commonly in family law disputes involving minor children.
Leading Causes of Injuries to Minors in Roswell
Sadly, many accidental injuries sustained by juveniles are likely to have long-lasting effects. Minor children commonly suffer severe injuries in the following types of accidents:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Slip and falls
- Schoolyard accidents
- Swimming pool accident
Regardless of the type of dangerous incident, children are at a higher risk of sustaining severe bodily damage due to their still-developing bodies. However, if an accident is caused by another party’s reckless or careless behavior, the child’s family or guardian may seek to recover monetary damages from the wrongdoer. A skilled local attorney with experience handling juvenile accident claims could review the facts of a case and help determine an effective legal strategy.
Contact a Qualified Roswell Child Injury Lawyer
Minor injuries and accidents are an unavoidable part of childhood. However, when an accident is caused by a negligent adult, it can severely damage a child both physically and emotionally. In these cases, a third party may bring a claim for damages on behalf of the injured minor.
If your child was recently injured in a severe accident, you could seek to recover compensation and hold the at-fault party accountable by bringing a civil action against them. Call now to speak with a Roswell child injury lawyer and go over your legal options in an initial consultation.