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FAQs about Childhood Personal Injury Lawsuits

ChildInjury

When an adult is injured by someone else’s negligent or wrongful act the injured adult can often pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured them in order to recover compensation for the losses they sustained in connection with their injury. The same general principle applies when a child is injured, however personal injury cases involving a child are often much more complicated from a legal standpoint. In order to address some of the key differences between adult and childhood personal injury lawsuits some frequently asked questions have been answered below according to Mississippi law.

Q: If my child was injured due to someone else’s negligence, as a parent can I file a personal injury claim on my child’s behalf?

A: In Mississippi a parent or custodial guardian who is responsible for the care, maintenance, and education of an injured minor can file a personal injury claim on behalf of their minor child. According to the Mississippi Code section 1-3-27 the age of majority in our state is 21, which means that anyone under this age, who has not been legally emancipated, is classified as a minor and is considered to to legally incompetent in many regards. However, the code also states in section 11-21-3 (Are we sure this is the correct code section?  This is for partition of property) (it should be 93-19-13) that individuals in Mississippi who are 18 years old or older are legally able to settle personal injury claims on their own. 

Q: As a parent, can I accept a personal injury settlement offer on my child’s behalf?

A: As almost all personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court this is a very important question. A parent in Mississippi is allowed to accept a personal injury settlement offer on their child’s behalf, however state law requires that all settlements involving a minor be approved by the chancery court in order to ensure that accepting the proposed settlement agreement is in the best interest of the injured minor. 

Q: If an injured child receives funds in connection with a personal injury claim in Mississippi who controls how the funds are spent?

A: The answer to this questions differs on a case-by-case basis, however compensation that a Mississippi minor recovers in connection with a personal injury claim that has been approved by the chancery court is often required to be held in a guardianship account for the child and be monitored in order to ensure that the funds are being spent on the injured child’s needs. 

Q: Does my child still have a case if his own negligence partially contributed to the accident in which he was injured?

A: In personal injury cases children are often not held to the same standards of behavior that adults are if the child’s brain has not yet finished developing due to his young age. Instead, courts often determine whether or not a child acted negligently by evaluating how a child of the same age could have reasonably been expected to act under comparable circumstances. Therefore, in order to adequately answer this question we would need to know more about the facts of your child’s case. 

Need Legal Advice? 

If your child has been injured in Mississippi and you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf contact Derek L. Hall, PLLC today. We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients during which one of our experienced personal injury lawyers will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options with you. To schedule your consultation call our Jackson office today at (601) 202-2222.

Resources:

goodfinancialcents.com/rules-for-opening-guardianship-account/

law.jrank.org/pages/11848/Legal-Ages.html

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