Do you need legal representation on behalf of a child? Have you just turned 18 and want to file? Here’s what to do.
When you are involved in a personal injury, life can be turned upside down. While it’s hard enough for an adult to deal with the trouble, stress, and strife caused by the actions of another, imagine if that trouble was placed on the shoulders of a child.
Depending on where you live in the world, the rules on what you can and should do to represent and protect a child may differ. Let’s talk about how you can claim compensation on your child’s behalf, should the worst occur.
Special Rules for Personal Injury Claims for Children
For the majority of cases, children can file for personal injury claims only if there is a legal guardian able to represent their interests. If not, the statute of limitations – that’s the legal time limit you have to claim a compensation case after the accident – will begin when the child turns 18 years old and is classed as a legal adult. In most states, this would mean that the child would be able to claim for two years after they turn 18. In Oregon, however, a newly turned adult must claim compensation before their nineteenth birthday, since the statute of limitations here is only a single year.
It’s not just as straightforward as this, either. The child personal injury compensation laws in Oregon vary depending on whether the accident is the result of a car accident or safety failure, or whether the child was the victim of medical malpractice. If your child has been a victim of medical malpractice, you should see a specific lawyer for help. If your child has met an accident involving a car or pedestrian path, Johnston Law Firm is the best in the area to help you.
Oregon Law: Who Can Claim Compensation for Children
Oregon law sees children as ‘disabled’ in its eyes. This means they cannot represent themselves or handle their own legal proceedings. They must have a conservator appointed. This is usually the parents’ legal guardian. The conservator has various legal responsibilities, one of which is to conserve any compensation by spending it in the best interests of the child. A famous case of conservatorship is that of Brittany Spears and her father, who recently had a court battle of their own to end it.
In most cases, a successful compensation claim made by the Guardian Ad Litem will result in a structured settlement. This usually involves payments being made to the child intermittently, rather than all at once. It would usually allow for a payment when the child is of legal age, and small payments until then. Conservators are under all manner of legal obligations of their own, so it’s important to hire a good children’s injury claim lawyer to keep you abreast of the situation.
With time and effort, a conservatorship can protect your child against personal injuries. However, it’s not your only option. If you would rather avoid the stress, waiting for your child to turn 18 and letting them decide for themselves may be best.