Factors to Consider When Settling a Florida Child Accident Claim

It is horrific to think about your child being injured in an accident, but the statistics indicate that these incidents are common among infants, toddlers, and older kids. The National Safety Council (NSC) lists multiple risks, including traffic crashes that are the leading cause of death for children 17 years old and under. Plus, every three minutes, a child suffers a sports-related concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI). Kids are not even completely safe at school and while playing, as 80% of playground injuries are caused by falls.

For parents, the first priority is getting their child the necessary medical treatment and working on recovery from accident injuries. However, you may soon realize that it is also important to pursue your legal remedies against the at-fault party. A Miami child injuries lawyer will assist with the legal process, but there are some factors you need to consider.

Liability for Accidents

In Florida, the legal theory of negligence applies to accidents that cause injuries to victims of all ages. You need evidence showing that the at-fault party acted in an unreasonably unsafe manner and breached the legal duty of care. It is also necessary to prove that this breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident in which your child was injured.

Comparative Fault in Florida

Under the state law on comparative fault, a victim’s conduct is reviewed. If that person was negligent, their compensation could be reduced by a designated percentage of liability. This statute could impact your claim as a parent, but the age and maturity level of your child are important factors. For instance, very young children cannot be viewed as negligent because they lack responsibility in decision-making. However, an accident involving your teenager could raise the issue of comparative fault if they were speeding in the crash.

Timing and Deadlines

In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years, which means you must file a lawsuit in court before the deadline. The clock starts to run on the date of the accident. However, the laws are different for child victims because they are minors without legal capacity to sue. A different deadline applies, so the statute of limitations for a child accident could be up to seven years after the incident.

Guardianships and Settlement

When negotiating a settlement, there are restrictions on parental authority in Florida. If the claim is worth $15,000 or less, you can settle the case on behalf of your child without court approval. If the amount is higheror if you need to go to court, a guardianship will usually be required.

Trust a Miami Child Injuries Attorney for Guidance  

You can see that there are numerous factors that you need to consider when settling a claim after an accident causes injuries to your child. For more information about your legal options, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting us online. We are happy to set up a free consultation with an experienced child injury lawyer.

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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