What To Know If Your Child Was Injured In A Miami Car Crash
Important Information From Miami Auto Accident Injury Lawyers That Can Help You Protect Your Child’s Future After A Negligent Driver Hurt Them!
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every single day, 150 children require emergency treatment for crash-related injuries. More children between 5-19 years old die in car accidents than from any other cause. As a parent, nothing is more devastating than something bad happening to your child that you were unable to protect them from. If you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, and your child was in the car with you when the accident occurred and was injured, you can’t change what happened, but you can change what happens next! You have a legal right to file a legal claim for monetary compensation on their behalf. Our Miami child auto accident injury lawyers have helped hundreds of families navigate this difficult life experience and fight the insurance companies to hold the responsible party accountable and secure the money their child needs to get quality medical care. When your child was injured in a Miami car crash, The Florida Law Group can help you!
Whether or not you choose to discuss your case with our award-winning attorneys, here are a few important things that every parent needs to know about recovering damages for their injured child:
You can only reach a settlement with the insurance company without court approval if the amount is less than $15,000.
Parents can work to settle a claim with the insurance company on behalf of their child so long as the settlement amount will not exceed $15,000, according to Florida statute 744.387. If the amount being sought in compensation is greater than that, court approval will be needed (and insurance companies may require court intervention for cases involving minors anyway). Working with the courts and insurance companies can be complicated, especially while you are caring for your child, which is why having a lawyer on your side can take some of the heavy legal burden off of you.
In general, the same kind of damages can be recovered when a child was injured in a Miami car crash as can be recovered in an adult lawsuit, but they may be awarded differently.
When an adult is injured in a Miami car crash, they can be awarded monetary damages for all of the costs associated with their injuries, including damages for medical bills, damages for pain and suffering, damages for lost wages and lost future wages, punitive damages, and more – essentially, any economic or non-economic cost that they incurred as a result of the accident that they would not have otherwise. When minors are injured, they can be awarded damages in the same categories. It is important to note that under Florida law, if the net amount awarded for any of these/all of these categories is over $15,000, the money may need to be handled according to the terms of a legal guardianship managed by the court for the child, which means that you as the parent may not be directly compensated.
Medical bills:Things like ambulatory transport, emergency room care, hospitalization, surgeries, imaging tests, bloodwork, medications, medical devices, doctor visits, chiropractic care, physical therapy, copays, deductibles, and all other types of medical expenses that you were charged with paying for your child can be sought in a settlement. For example, if your child broke their leg in a car accident, and required surgery, you should and could seek damages for those costs and any related costs. Pediatric treatment can add up to be thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Pain and suffering: If your child was injured in a Miami car crash, they may be in pain for a while; they could have trouble sleeping, need constant comforting, and be unable to enjoy the benefits of play or social activity until they heal. As a parent, it can be difficult to see them suffer so much. Pain and suffering can be a category of monetary damages you seek. This is a type of “non-economic” damages, meaning that it’s not a tangible bill you receive, but it can still be quantified legally and sought in a settlement.
Lost wages/future lost wages: If your child worked a part-time job in restaurant, retail, or another industry, and had to quit their job or take time off work to recover, they can potentially be compensated for those costs. Because most kids younger than 16 do not have a job, the “lost wages” category will not apply for the majority of families. However, future loss wages – which can also be understood or referred to as “earning potential” – can apply. If your child was so seriously injured that they become permanently disabled and will not be able to work or will have their career choices limited, they could recover damages that reflect that financial loss. For example, if a particularly catastrophic car accident left your child paralyzed, future lost wages will definitely be part of what you should and could seek in a settlement. This is another type of non-economic award.
Punitive damages are those awarded by a court to punish the defendant and set an example. Their purpose is to prevent others from making the same reckless errors, and are commonly awarded in DUI cases, excessive speeding cases, and the like; they do not always apply. If your child was injured by a drunk driver, the court may decide to award you punitive damages, and the amount will vary based on the specifics of the case. You can’t do anything to control how much this amount will be.
Even if you were partially at fault, you still may be able to secure compensation.
Accidents happen, and sometimes both drivers share the blame for causing the accident. However, when a child was involved and was injured, the parent – even if they shared fault – can still seek damages on behalf of their child, either from the other driver’s insurance party or from their own. For example, say you were speeding, but another car ran a red light and T-boned your car at an intersection, leaving both you and your child who was in the backseat with serious injuries. Even though the other driver technically caused the accident, the amount of compensation you could win may be reduced, but because the child was not the one at fault at all, you still may be able to win significant compensation on their behalf. It is important to never assume anything about how much your child’s injuries are worth until speaking with an experienced attorney!
Having an experienced Miami child auto injury lawyer on your side will make a difference in the amount of compensation you are able to win for your child, and it costs nothing to discuss your case!
Most child auto accident injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are paid out of the settlement and not by their clients! If your child was injured in a Miami car crash, it is likely that you will not have to pay anything upfront or until your child’s case settles to work with a local attorney. At The Florida Law Group, we use this same fee model and offer free consultations where we can help parents understand their options, know their rights, get answers to their questions, and get peace of mind. To date, we’ve recovered over $1 billion in damages for our clients. We treat you like we would want our own family members to be treated if they were experiencing the same thing. Call today to schedule your free consultation and learn what we can do to help your child get the compensation they deserve!