The unfortunate reality is that children in Georgia, just like adults, are frequently injured due to the negligence and recklessness of others.
When an adult suffers such an injury he or she has the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc.
Children (i.e. minors who are less than 18 years old) in Georgia are also able to recover personal injury damages in court, but because of the victims’ young age, child injury cases are unique in several respects.
This article illustrates how personal injury claims involving minors in Georgia operate and explains how they are unique.
If you are interested in filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor in Georgia, be sure to consult with our local personal injury attorneys for case specific information.
Personal Injury Claims Involving Minors in Georgia
Minors in Georgia are not legally allowed to file lawsuits.
However, in most instances the court will allow a parent (or legal guardian) to file a personal injury lawsuit on their injured child’s behalf.
When this happens, the parent often files two separate claims; one to compensate the parent and the other to compensate the child.
Under the first claim, the parent can seek reimbursement for the child’s medical expense (as the parent is legally responsible for paying these medical bills), any wages that the parent lost while caring for their child, and any other financial deficits that the parent is faced with due to their child’s injury.
On the other hand, the second claim is filed on behalf of the injured child and is aimed at recovering compensation for the injuries suffered by the child, as well as any future expenses and lost wages that the child is expected to endure because of the injuries.
Settlements and Awards
When a personal injury claim in Georgia is filed on behalf of a minor, money recovered in connection with the claim (be it via a settlement or a court issued award) is often subject to a variety of state regulations in order to help ensure that the child’s recovery is fair and is handled properly on their behalf.
For example, Georgia Code section 29-3-3 requires that where a minor’s proposed gross settlement exceeds $15,000 (after attorney’s fees and litigation expenses are deducted) the child’s parent or guardian must be appointed as a legal conservator by the Probate Court and obtain the court’s approval before accepting the proposed settlement on their child’s behalf.
Additionally, Georgia also imposes a variety of limitations on how and when a minor’s personal injury proceeds can be accessed before the child turns 18.
Need Legal Advice?
Mr. Angell is committed to standing up for the rights of injured children throughout Georgia and would be happy to discuss your child’s legal rights with you.
Call our Atlanta office at (770) 217-4954 to schedule a free initial consultation.