When a child is involved in a personal injury case, the NY State legislated “statute of limitations” does not end until the child’s 20th birthday. As NY laws consider a minor constrained by an age disability, the normal statute of limitations of two and a half years is put on hold until the child turns 18. Thereafter, the statute of limitations goes into effect on the child’s 21st. birthday.
Eligibility for filing juvenile personal injury claims in New York
The minimum eligibility for filing personal injury claims in NY is adulthood, or 18 years of age, so all children, no matter at what age they are injured by a specific incident, must wait till they are 18 to file injury claims. However, there is a clause called “next friend,” through whom the child can file juvenile compensation claims even when he or she is a minor. The person designated as “next friend” must be an adult, who is usually the child’s parent or a legal guardian.
The separation of medical claims and other claims in juvenile cases
In personal injury cases involving juveniles, the parents or legal guardians must file separately for medical expenses incurred due to the juvenile’s injuries. As parents are always responsible for a child’s healthcare, a child cannot directly claim medical bills as damages. In other words, two separate lawsuits have to be filed; one by the parents for claiming medical damages, and another one by the child through “next friend” for claiming other types of damages like pain and emotional damage.
In many cases, the two separate lawsuits can be fused and tried together if that request is made at least a week before trial in NY. However, even when the two cases are tried together, the jury delivers two separate verdicts.
The only difference between the case filed by the parents and the one filed by the child is that while the child can wait until his 18th birthday to file a lawsuit, the parents have five years from the date of injury incident to file for medical damages related to juvenile compensation claims.
Contributory negligence in juvenile compensation claims
When a defendant is deemed to be negligent is any juvenile personal injury case, he or she can try to counter the allegation by establishing that the juvenile was also negligent, which led to the injuries. Thus, this establishes that the juvenile is guilty of contributory negligence. When an injured party, whether an adult or a juvenile, is found to be partially negligent, then he or she cannot claim financial damages for the injuries.
Involvement of court in juvenile compensation claims
As children are considered “disabled” for legal purposes, most claims settlements for juvenile injuries will require the court’s approval. This process involves a court hearing to determine if the settlement is sufficient for the welfare of the child. The court-approved settlement is usually held by a Clerk of the Court until the child becomes 18 years.
A law firm that wants to win
In a personal injury case involving juvenile compensation claims, you must seek the best legal advice from a personal injury attorney in New York, like Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. Get a completely free case evaluation with just a phone call. We know what a winning case looks like!
We at RMFW Law value our clients that is why we have won millions of dollars for them in the past many years. We talk the talk a little but we mainly walk the walk. Our record speaks for itself.