How Much Is a Car Accident Settlement for a Child?

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Three Children in Car SeatsEvery case is different, so we cannot estimate the value of any child’s car accident settlement without evaluating the evidence.

Several factors determine how much compensation your child should receive for injuries. Some of those factors are discussed below. If you would like to discuss your child’s car accident case, call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000.

Damages for Car Crashes Involving Children

The damages can vary based on the age of the child. For example, a five-year-old is unlikely to have lost wages because of a wreck. If a teenager misses time from work because of a car accident, however, he can recover for lost income.

A child of any age can, however, incur bills for treating his injuries. You can get compensation for any reasonable medical treatment your child needs for his injuries, as well as long-term medical treatment and life care.

Children can also recover for their pain and suffering.

Here is a longer list of possible recoverable damages for child car accident cases:

  • Medical bills (current and future)
  • Lost wages, depending on the child’s age
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

This is not a complete list of recoverable damages in child car accident settlements. Other damages may be recoverable depending on the circumstances of the accident. We recommend working with a car accident lawyer for a more detailed evaluation of recoverable damages for your case.

Set up a consultation with Max Meyers Law by calling 425-399-7000.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases Involving Children

There are time limits for filing lawsuits for damages in personal injury cases. However, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations if the injured person is a child. Under RCW 14.16.190, the statute of limitations tolls until the child turns 18, meaning the clock does not start to run until the child turns 18.

But parents may bring a case of their own separate from the child’s case. Parents may bring their case before the child’s 18th birthday and seek compensation for their damages, which often include medical bills and other financial losses.

What Happens When More Than One Person Is at Fault for a Child’s Injuries?

Sometimes more than one person’s negligence contributes to the wreck.

Let’s say that your child was riding in the car with a family friend. The family friend took his attention away from the road for a moment, just as an inattentive driver ran a red light and t-boned your friend’s vehicle, injuring your child.

If the family friend was 10 percent at fault for the wreck, he would be responsible for 10 percent of your child’s damages, with the other driver responsible for 90 percent. The total should cover your child’s damages.

Establishing Liability for a Car Accident Case

In any personal injury case, whether the plaintiff is an adult or a child, the plaintiff must establish the defendant is liable for damages.

Proving liability for personal injury requires proving these four things:

  • Duty of care. All drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, including children who are passengers in other vehicles or who are walking or bicycling on or near the roadway.
  • Breach of duty (negligence). Drivers who fail to meet their duty of care are negligent. Examples of negligence include speeding, aggressive driving, or failing to check for pedestrians and bicyclists (such as children) at intersections.
  • Causation. A personal injury case must also establish that the defendant’s negligence caused your child’s injuries. For example, if the defendant failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the vehicle in which your child was a passenger, then the defendant’s negligence caused your child’s injuries.
  • Damages. Your case must prove your child suffered damages because of the wreck. These may include the damages listed above such as medical bills, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, and more.

Your child’s case will need evidence to establish these four elements. Evidence might include not only proof of who caused the accident but proof of your child’s damages, such as:

  • Wage records (if applicable)
  • Medical bills
  • Medical evaluation of future disability
  • Medical assessment of future medical needs
  • And more

Getting Legal Help for Your Child’s Injury Claim

We know how traumatic it can be when your child gets hurt in a car crash. At Max Meyers Law, we can help.

When we handle your case, you can focus on helping your child recover from injuries while we handle the personal injury case. Your initial consultation is free. In fact, we will not charge any attorney fees unless you recover compensation.

Call us today at 425-399-7000 to get your free consultation.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.