Personal injury accidents can happen to anyone and anywhere. As much as we want to keep our children safe from harm, unfortunately, in some situations, the victim of a personal injury accident is a child.
Some types of personal injury accidents pose a greater risk for children and teens, as well, including:
- Birth injuries
- Car accidents
- Traumatic head injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Dangerous and defective toys and other children’s products
When a child is injured or killed as a result of negligence, several legal complexities come into play. For instance, a person under the age of 18 is generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit on his or her own behalf. A personal injury lawsuit must, instead, be filed by a parent or legal guardian. Any money damages obtained through settlement or verdict will be held in trust for the benefit of the child.
If a child is killed in a personal injury accident, the parents or legal guardian may have a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. In these cases, a family member is often appointed as a representative to act on behalf of the deceased child’s estate and will seek money damages for the benefit of siblings, parents, and other family members. Money damages may be available for the following:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Loss of “society” (i.e. loss of love and support that the child would have contributed to the family)
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death
- Punitive damages (if defendant’s actions were intentional)
Like any personal injury claim, there are strict time limitations – or statutes of limitation – on when a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The statute of limitation varies depending on the underlying cause of the child’s death and applicable state law. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for most wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of death.
The Chicago child injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are dedicated to helping families obtain full and fair financial recovery following the injury or death of a child. We will take the time to listen to your concerns, assess any possible causes of action, and advocate on your child’s behalf to obtain maximum compensation.
If your child was injured or killed as a result of negligence, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate Chicago child injury lawyers.