Minors are just as exposed as adults when it comes to road accidents. Unfortunately, since cars are very often used as family vehicles, minors do get injured in crashes and even lose their life. Since minors don’t have the possibility to enter a contract or negotiate a settlement, the personal injury claim must be done by someone else.
If your child was hurt in a car accident, it’s important to know that claims made in their name will be handed a bit differently than a personal injury claim made for an adult.
Missouri Law in Car Accident Claims for Minors
First of all, Missouri and other states have laws that require any personal injury settlement for a minor to be approved by the court. This is done in order to make sure that the child’s best interests are protected and that they are not compromised by an unwise or ill-intentioned parent or guardian.
There is also a difference when it comes to the statute of limitations or the period of time that you can use to make your claim. In a civil case of personal injury for an adult, the statute of limitations is up to two years from the discovery of the injury. When a minor is the injured one, the statute of limitation extends until the victim is 21 years of age.
What Is a Friendly Suit?
Since a minor doesn’t have the assumed necessary judgment to evaluate their settlement, their case must be brought to court. In most cases involving a minor with injuries, the matter is solved through a “Friendly Suit”, a court suit where all the involved parties have similar interests and cooperate to ensure the minor’s protection.
At this point, the parents or guardians of the minor cannot represent the victim by themselves, and a lawyer will be appointed. There is also added flexibility when it comes to the county where the lawsuit must be filed. If it’s too difficult for the plaintiff to file the lawsuit in the county where the injury occurred, the suit may be moved somewhere more convenient.
During a friendly suit for a child’s personal injury claim, the terms of the settlement and circumstances of the accident are discussed in front of the court, and expenses are being laid down in detail. The court not only supervises that the amount is just, but also that it will be spent in the minor’s best interests.
Since personal injury suits involving minors have to be handled by attorneys, the minor’s parents or guardians have the best chance of getting a fair settlement by speaking with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. They will have the expertise and qualifications to help you file a claim on behalf of your minor child.
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