Bakersfield Child Injury Lawyer

Donald Colvin, Esq

Child injuries can potentially have a long-term physical and psychological impact on a person’s life. If your child was injured due to another party’s negligence, let us give you the personal attention that you and your case deserve.

A Bakersfield child injury lawyer could advise you on filing a negligence lawsuit to recover damages for expenses such as medical costs, diminished future earning potential, and a loss of enjoyment of life. The state has several laws that specifically impact personal injury lawsuits involving minors under the age of 18 so working with a dedicated personal injury attorney is vital to ensuring your family’s rights are understood and protected. Call Colvin Accident Lawyers today to learn more.

Minors Are Prohibited From Filing Lawsuits Under State Law

An individual must have the legal capacity to file a lawsuit in the state. California Civil Code of Procedure § 372 provides that minors lack the legal capacity to bring a lawsuit.

However, the statute allows a guardian ad litem to bring the action on behalf of the injured child. The guardian ad litem is typically a parent or other adult legal guardian. The parties must file an application for the appointment of a guardian ad litem and the court must approve the selection.

If a minor is under 14 years of age or older, the court will appoint the guardian ad litem upon the application of the child, according to Cal. Civ. Pro. Code § 373. If under the age of 14, a relative or friend of the minor must file the application for the appointment of the guardian ad litem. The court can also appoint a guardian ad litem upon its own motion.

Statute of Limitations

A Bakersfield attorney could advise on special rules impacting the statute of limitations for minors in child injury lawsuits. Ordinarily, a personal injury victim has two years from the date of the incident to file their lawsuit. For minors, this two-year time period does not begin to toll until they reach the age of 18.

Medical malpractice cases involving children under six years old also have a special statute of limitations. The statute of limitations ends three years from the date of injury or on the child’s eighth birthday, whichever period is longer.

Types of Childhood Injury Claims We Handle

Children can sustain injuries in many of the same ways adults can. In many instances, children are even more susceptible to sustaining harm due to their lack of coordination and innocent nature. Common types of child injury claims our Bakersfield attorneys handle include:

Children can also sustain harm from negligent care providers such as babysitters, daycare centers, school teachers, and coaches.

Pure Comparative Negligence Can Impact Damages Sought

The pure comparative negligence doctrine is a defense that can limit an injured person’s recovery of damages when they were also negligent and played a role in their own accident and injuries. The court will reduce the injured person’s damages in accordance with their percentage of responsibility.

For example, an injured person who is found 25 percent responsible for the negligent incident can recover up to 75 percent of the damages sought in their lawsuit. A Bakersfield child injury attorney could explain how the state’s doctrine of pure comparative negligence can impact the injured person’s ability to recover damages and what damages could be available in a specific circumstance.

A Court Must Approve the Settlement of Claims Involving Minors

A Bakersfield lawyer could advise a client on state laws specifically governing settlements involving child injuries. For example, the court must approve settlements for injuries involving minors under Cal. Prob. Code § 2504.

The guardian ad litem or parent must file a minor’s compromise petition with the court, which will set a hearing to approve the settlement. The petition must include information such as a doctor’s injury report and the proposed attorney’s fees.

The court must set the hearing within 30 days from the filing date. Cal. Rules of Court, rule 7.950.5 allows for an expedited hearing if certain conditions are met, such as settlements involving $50,000 or less.

Connect With a Bakersfield Child Injury Attorney

You should contact a Bakersfield child injury lawyer immediately if your child was hurt in an accident that was caused by negligence. Devastating child injuries can impact a person’s long-term quality of life.

Our team could discuss the viability of your claim and specific state laws addressing child injury claims. We care about you. We care about your case. Call Colvin Accident Lawyers today.