The injuries a driver or passenger can sustain in a car crash can have lifelong, devastating consequences. Nobody enjoys dealing with injuries from a car accident, but the situation seems worse when the accident injures children. Not only may the children suffer, but the parents might also experience adverse effects from their child’s injuries.
Can you get a car accident settlement for a child in Florida? The Pensacola auto accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers explain.
Does Florida Allow Car Accident Settlements for a Child?
Infants and children can receive compensation for injuries they sustain in Florida car crashes, although there are a few differences from how the process works for adults. Determining the likely settlement amount is difficult because the compensation amount reflects the circumstances of each individual case.
A child who sustains minor wounds in a car accident won’t have the same medical bills as one who needs multiple surgeries and lifelong care. Many children experience severe psychological or emotional trauma after auto accidents, possibly requiring extensive therapy and medications. The factors to consider when calculating settlement amounts include:
- Injury severity and required treatments
- Temporary or permanent damage
- How significantly the injury impacts the child’s life
- Whether the child died due to their injuries
An experienced car accident attorney from Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers will assess your child’s case and seek all available compensation from liable parties.
Like adults, children can obtain reimbursement for the economic costs of their injuries. The parent is responsible for paying these costs, so this reimbursement calculation uses your expenditures and liabilities. Covered medical expenses in car accident settlements for a child include:
- Emergency services
- Hospital treatments (including surgery) and stays
- Tests and medications
- Rehabilitation and therapy (physical and mental health)
- Follow-up care
The compensation for a child in a car accident also includes future medical expenses resulting from the initial injury. Children may need ongoing care if the injuries cause a permanent disability, for instance.
The amount a child receives for economic damages varies because each child’s bills are different. Reimbursement matches the total of the expenses exactly. Older children who have jobs may also receive reimbursement for lost wages if they miss time from work.
Unfortunately, car accident injuries can permanently alter a child’s life. The child may sustain lifelong disabilities or conditions, which in turn can create many other problems. Non-economic damages in car accident settlements for a child compensate for these intangible yet very real consequences:
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
Each case may consider different factors to calculate the pain and suffering of a child in a car accident and other non-economic damages. Generally speaking, the more impact the injury has on the child’s life, the higher the resulting compensation.
Most cases aren’t eligible for punitive damages. The guilty party must have exhibited intentional misconduct or gross negligence to qualify.
Do Parents Receive Settlements?
Minors in Florida can’t file personal injury claims alone, but the courts have a system in place to handle suits that parents or legal guardians file:
- The claim must benefit the child, not the parents.
- Courts must approve the terms and settlement amounts of any settlement over $5,000.00.
- The court must appoint a guardian to execute settlements over $15,000.
Can Parents Obtain Compensation in Car Accident Settlements for a Child?
Even if you do not face injuries yourself, as a parent or legal guardian, you may incur expenses if your child sustains injuries in a car accident. You may seek compensation for:
- Lost wages: You may need to take time off work to care for your injured child. You might also have to stay home indefinitely if your child needs 24/7 care because of permanent injuries.
- Replacement services: You may need to hire nurses or other caretakers to help you take care of your child.
- Filial consortium: If your child sustains a significant permanent injury, you may miss multiple things that a parent naturally expects, such as companionship and comfort.
Florida laws don’t allow parents to benefit unfairly from their child’s injuries in a car crash, but parents and legal guardians can seek justifiable compensation.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Car Accident Claims Involving Children?
Claims for a car accident involving a child are sometimes complex. The parents of injured children in need to be able to focus on their children instead of worrying about legalities. Hiring a competent car accident lawyer from Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers can give you peace of mind. We will:
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence to support the claims
- Handle all administrative tasks
- Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiate a favorable settlement or take the case to trial
Our firm proactively seeks justice for every client, often obtaining more compensation than in cases without legal representation.
Do Florida’s New Laws Affect Car Accident Settlements for a Child?
Florida recently passed new laws that affect personal injury claims:
- The statute of limitations for bringing this type of claim is now two years.
- Florida’s modified comparative negligence law affects compensation if you are partially responsible for causing the car accident that injured your child.
- If your actions contributed to worsening your child’s injuries, the court may appoint someone else to bring a claim.
- The types of admissible medical bills presented for reimbursement changed.
To ensure that you and your child receive maximum compensation, contact Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.
Hire Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers in Florida To Handle Car Accidents Involving a Child
At the award-winning Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers in Pensacola, we have years of experience successfully resolving a variety of personal injury cases. We treat every client with respect and compassion while fighting to protect their interests.
Contact Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers 24/7 to request your free, confidential case evaluation. We will assess your claim and tell you how we can help with your car accident settlement for a child. Call us at 850-444-0000 or submit our online case consultation request form to begin.