Sometimes children are the victims of personal injury accidents
and when they are, it is up to their parents or guardians to protect their rights. Under the law, children cannot consent to any type of legal or binding agreement until they reach the age of 18. Therefore, a child who is injured in a personal injury accident cannot agree to a settlement; the parents must do that for him or her.
However, there are other considerations when children are injured in personal injury accidents, as well. For example, if the parents accept a settlement on behalf of the child, the parents must be prepared to deal with the resulting money in a fair and equitable way. Sometimes the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child if there is a question of the proceeds from a settlement being used for something other than the child’s benefit. It is important when parents receive a settlement on behalf of a child that they keep good records and are aboveboard with the distributions of that money so that they can account for its spending.
Common Child Personal Injury Accidents
Children are injured in all sorts of ways. A child could suffer a personal injury accident that involves almost anything that can happen to an adult. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
- About 12,000 children between 0 and 19 die each year in the United States from injuries.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death for all children when age is not a factor.
- For children under a year of age, two-third of accidental deaths were due to suffocation.
- For children one to four years of age, drowning was the leading cause of accidental death.
- For children five years and older, car accidents were the leading cause of accidental death.
- About 9.2 million children suffer non-fatal injuries each year that require a visit to the doctor or hospital emergency room.
- Falls are the leading cause of injury for all children under age 15.
- Children under the age of 9 received the most injuries from being struck by an object or from a dog bite or insect sting.
- Children 10 to 14 years of age were most likely to be struck by an object or be the victim of overexertion.
- Children 15 and older were most likely to be injured in a car accident.
- Younger children had high rates of falls, burns, poisonings and drowning while older children had higher rates of injuries due to motor vehicles.
As these statistics show, there are many ways children can be injured. If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Barber and Associates, LLC in Anchorage today for more information on protecting the child’s rights and recovering compensation.