It is an extremely stressful and traumatic experience if a child suffers severe harm. However, if their injury stems from another party’s reckless or careless actions, you could have grounds to file suit against them and seek compensation for both short-term and long-term losses associated with your child’s injuries.

Whether your child was hurt in a car wreck, by a hazard on someone else’s property, or through another means, a Chesterfield child injury lawyer could walk you through your legal options and help you decide on a course of action. If you choose to file suit against the party responsible for harming your child, a seasoned personal injury attorney could work tirelessly on your family’s behalf to pursue a positive outcome.

Who Could Bear Liability for Injury to a Minor?

In some respects, child injury cases work the same as any other personal injury lawsuit. If a person violates the duty of care they owe to another person of any age, they could be held financially liable for any damages they cause that person to suffer as a result. Unlike civil suits involving adults, harm to a child can potentially be easier to pursue litigation for, since certain parties owe particularly strict duties of care to minors.

For example, owners of private property in Chesterfield typically do not owe any duty of care to adult trespassers other than an obligation to not intentionally harm them. However, under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, property owners could still bear liability to any harm an underage trespasser suffers due to a hazard they did not fully understand the risks of, such as a swimming pool.

Other circumstances under which third parties can be held liable for injuries suffered by a minor include defects in products like cribs and toys, car wrecks, accidents at amusement parks, and household chemical poisoning. A local injury attorney could offer further clarification about the duty a particular party may have had to protect a minor from harm.

Different Filing Deadlines When Claimants are Children

Child injury cases in Chesterfield also differ from other types of personal injury claims in the amount of time plaintiffs and their attorney have to file suit. Normally, Revised Statutes of Missouri §516.120 sets a filing deadline of five years on civil claims, meaning that an injured party who waits longer than five years after their accident to file suit typically cannot recover any compensation.

However, if the person injured is under the age of 21 at the time of that accident, R.S.M. §516.170 allows them five years after their “disability is removed”— five years after they turn 21—to file suit. Cases based on negligence by a medical professional stand out as an important exception to this rule, as underage claimants in medical malpractice cases have only two years after they turn 18 to file suit, as per R.S.M. §516.105.

Learn More by Speaking to a Local Child Injury Attorney

Injuries to minors can have life-altering and tragic consequences. However, a person seeking to file suit either on their child’s behalf or on their own behalf for an accident that occurred during their childhood still must be able to prove someone else’s fault to recover compensation.

A Chesterfield child injury lawyer could provide critical guidance and support throughout every step of your case, whether it ends with a private settlement or with a civil court verdict. Call today to see what a trustworthy legal professional could do to help you.