One of a parent’s greatest fears is their child suffering a severe injury. If someone else caused an accident through their careless or irresponsible actions, you may feel justifiable anger in addition to your worries about your child’s wellbeing.
Parents have legal options for holding negligent parties accountable for harming their children. With help from a compassionate Kenosha child injury lawyer, you could pursue reimbursement for medical costs and lost wages, as well as compensation for your child’s pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could help your family explore all available options and decide how to proceed.
Special Rules for Personal Injury Cases Involving Minors
When an adult suffers an injury and seeks damages, their own conduct becomes relevant. A plaintiff can only collect damages if they are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. Additionally, any damages a partially negligent plaintiff collects will be reduced by a percentage equal to their degree of fault.
However, the law does not hold minors responsible for their injuries to the same degree. According to Wisconsin Statute §891.44, children under the age of seven cannot be held responsible for the consequences of their behavior. The behavior of those between the ages of 7-18 is judged according to what might be reasonable for a child of the same age.
Not all children develop emotional maturity and impulse control at the same rate. If a child’s conduct is an issue in a negligence case, an experienced attorney at our firm could introduce evidence demonstrating that their behavior was reasonable for their age and circumstances.
Damages for Injuries to Children in Kenosha
Damages compensate an injured person for losses they suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Because parents are legally responsible for providing care for their kid, some of their expenses could be included in the damages award for a child injury case. A damages award made on behalf of a child might include:
- Actual cost of medical care related to the injury
- Reimbursement for the parents’ lost wages while they were taking care of their child
- Cost of future medical care required because of the injury
- Expenses related to supportive care if the injury will render the child unable to live independently as an adult
- Restitution for the child’s diminished earnings opportunities, if the injury will limit their employment prospects
- Compensation for the child’s physical pain, emotional anguish, loss of ability to enjoy life, disfigurement, or permanent disability
Courts will assign a guardian ad litem to oversee any damages award a child receives and ensure that the parents use the money only for the child’s benefit. Typically, children can gain unrestricted access to the funds when they reach age 18. Our knowledgeable local attorneys could further explain the nuances of damage awards in child injury cases.
Do Not Delay when Pursuing a Child Injury Claim
The law in Wisconsin allows injured people three years from the date of their injury to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. When an injured victim is under the age of 18, they have until two years after their eighteenth birthday to bring a lawsuit.
However, parents of injured minors might want to consider pursuing a claim on their child’s behalf rather than waiting for them to come of age. Delays often benefit the negligent party more than the injured victim, as evidence becomes more difficult to gather over time. If parents begin working with a lawyer soon after their child’s accident, they will likely have a stronger case.
To obtain damages, a child’s legal representative must prove that the other party was negligent. Evidence of negligence is easier to obtain immediately after an incident when witness’ memories are fresh, physical evidence is available, and all relevant parties are within the jurisdiction.
Seek Help from a Compassionate Kenosha Child Injury Attorney
Pursuing a claim on behalf of an injured child can be legally and emotionally challenging for parents. You need a supportive advocate to represent your child’s best interests and fight for the compensation that your family deserves.
At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our Kenosha child injury lawyers could guide you through your options for seeking justice. Call us today for a free case review.