It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Despite all the reminders about safety and tips while walking, your child was hit by a car in the roadway. Though your first priority will be to get proper medical care and comfort your child, you’re probably wondering what to do next. The good news is that you do have rights as a parent, and children are also protected by Texas law. An Austin pedestrian accident attorney can provide specific details, but some answers to frequently asked questions may be helpful.
Can I seek compensation from the negligent driver?
Yes, it’s possible to recover monetary damages if you can prove the essential elements of a negligence case. You must show that the responsible driver caused the accident by breaching the legal duty of care. In general, all motorists are obligated to drive safely. They may fail in this duty by speeding, texting while driving, or other negligent conduct.
What types of monetary damages are available in a child pedestrian accident claim?
There are two categories of compensation in a personal injury matter, including incidents involving children.
- You can recover monetary damages for your economic losses, such as the costs of medical care and treatment; and,
- Non-economic damages may be available for pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and related losses.
How does compensation work for a parent and child?
Because anyone under 18 years doesn’t have legal capacity, you would seek monetary damages on behalf of your child as a parent. Your official title is the “Next Friend” of your child, which means you essentially step into his or her shoes to enforce legal rights. You can pursue both kinds of compensation mentioned above as follows:
- As a parent, you’re the one in a position to seek economic losses. These are typically out of your own pocket, so you’re entitled to reimbursement.
- The non-economic damages go to your child, because he or she is the victim who suffers such harm from the accident.
Still, Texas law protects the funds children receives as non-economic damages because they’re not legal adults. Instead of releasing the proceeds, the money is placed in an interest-bearing account until he or she turns 18 years old. In some situations, you may be able to access the account. The process is somewhat complicated, so you should rely on an Austin pedestrian accident attorney for assistance.
Are there any time limitations on a child pedestrian accident claim?
The default Texas statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in court. However, the statute is “tolled” while the victim is under a legal disability – such as being under 18 years old. This means the clock starts ticking upon adulthood, so your child can still seek compensation until age 20.
Get Answers from an Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Though this information on your rights as a parent may be useful, you may have additional questions. Robert Littlefield Buford III can explain how these cases work, so please call 512-456-9126 or go online to schedule a consultation regarding your options.