Our firm has significant experience representing the minor and parents of a child injured due to someone’s negligence. For example, we recently represented the minor and parents of a child injured in a pit bull attack. We resolved the case on behalf of the child and his parents for $110,000.00. We also recently represented the minor and parents of a child injured in a car accident. The child was run off the road while riding his bicycle and sustained serious injuries. We resolved the case for $50,000.00, which was the maximum amount available under the driver’s insurance coverage.
When a child is injured in an automobile accident or otherwise hurt due to someone else’s negligence, two separate claims arise under North Carolina law. The first claim is for recovery of medical expenses related to treatment of the minor’s injuries. This claim belongs to the party responsible for taking care of the child, typically the minor’s parents. If necessary, these expenses can be recovered through a lawsuit filed in the parent’s name.
The second claim belongs to the child and may be brought in court through the appointment of a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is appointed for the purpose of protecting the interests of the child and ensuring that any settlement is fair to the child. The guardian ad litem can be any disinterested third party approved by the court but the guardian is most commonly an attorney or family member.
The damages recoverable for the child include compensation for the minor’s physical pain, emotional trauma, and mental distress. The child may also be entitled to claim compensation for any scarring or disability. If additional, ongoing medical expenses may be incurred after the age of 18, the minor may also recover the expected reasonable cost.
Importantly, unless the matter is settled out of court without a judge’s approval, the court will require that the minor’s settlement or verdict be held in trust. In most cases, this means that the funds, after disbursement for costs and attorneys’ fees, will be deposited into an account with the clerk of court until the child reaches the age of 18. This is not always the case, though. It is sometimes possible to utilize a structured settlement with guaranteed payments. If the minor is receiving Medicaid assistance, the creation of a special needs trust may be advisable.
The law firm of Maginnis Howard practices exclusively in the area of civil litigation. We do not represent insurance companies. We represent injured North Carolinians in their claims against corporate defendants and insurance companies. Our firm can assist with your recovery of medical expenses and/or pursuing a claim on behalf of your child. There sometimes may be conflicts in which you and your child may need separate representation and, in those cases, we will help you or your child find a qualified and knowledgeable attorney for the separate claim
Maginnis Howard offers free consultations to the parents of a child injured in an accident and we handle all personal injury matters on a contingency fee basis. For representation of children, we regularly reduce our standard fee to 25% (1/4) of any recovery. To discuss your potential case with our intake team, call us at (919) 526-0450. Alternatively, you may send an email inquiry using the Maginnis Howard contact page.