Minors in Arizona Car Accident Injury Claims
The only thing worse than being in a car accident is being in a car accident with a child in the car. If you bring a claim after being injured in a car accident, there are special considerations to keep in mind for victims under the age of 18.
Who Can Bring the Claim When a Minor is in an Accident in Arizona?
If a minor is injured in a car accident, their parent or legal guardian may pursue a personal injury case on their behalf. Otherwise, the child will need to wait and bring a claim after they have celebrated their 18th birthday.
The Statute of Limitations of an Accident with a Minor in Arizona
A statute of limitations is the time limit that a plaintiff has to bring a claim. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of the accident. However, there is an exception for minors: the statute of limitations doesn’t begin running until the child turns 18.
The Types of Expenses a Minor Can Be Compensated for an Accident in Arizona
Because children are still growing, injuries can affect them far more severely than adults in some cases. Some treatments are too risky or simply impossible to perform on a child’s body. That’s why a child can be compensated for damage to their development and be awarded future medical costs to address this. An accident can be a very traumatic incident, and a child can be compensated for emotional distress and the costs of mental health treatment after an accident. A child may also be compensated for physical pain and suffering, along with the medical costs of treating that. If the child is permanently injured, they can be compensated for the impact of the injury and loss of future income. If the child requires full time care, either while recovering or permanently, the caregiver’s costs can be compensated as well.
Settlement Agreements for Minors in Accidents in Arizona
Most accident victims choose to settle their personal injury claims with the insurance company instead of letting it proceed to trial. Settlement agreements are often a much faster and less stressful way for accident victims to collect compensation for their injuries, but prevent them from bringing future additional claims stemming from the accident. Since the child’s parent or guardian may settle the child’s claim with no input from the child, settlement agreements for minors may require special review by the court. The judge will pay extra close attention if the injuries were particularly severe and the settlement is for a large amount. The judge may even appoint a separate attorney to review the agreement on behalf of the child. Any settlement awards may need to be kept in separate bank accounts or trusts so that the funds can’t be accessed until the child reaches the age of 18, or any other age agreed upon in the settlement.
Contingency Fee Rates for Minor Accident Victims in Arizona
If you are pursuing a personal injury claim for a minor child, you have a lot of pressure on you to get as large of an award as possible to provide for that child’s future. You may already know that most personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingent basis, meaning they take a portion of a successfully negotiated settlement or if they win at trial. The amount an attorney charges can vary based on the attorney’s experience and success rate, the complexity and projected length of the case, the standard rate other attorneys in the area charge, and more. When the child has extremely severe injuries that will result in a large award, every last percent counts.
Some personal injury attorneys may charge a contingency rate of up to 33% or more. However, our Injury Lawyers Mesa firm charges a more reasonable 25% fees on injury cases. Plus, we only get paid if we win. You are in good hands with our Arizona Accident Attorneys at Injury Lawyers Mesa.
Our 25% Fee on Accidents, Plus, we don’t Charge if we don’t Win!
We only charge 25% because accident victims need those funds as compensation for their pain and suffering, and potentially for future care. When the accident award for a minor gets up to the thousands, or even the hundreds of thousands, that 8% (or more) in contingency fees will really start to make a difference. Therefore, your child will be grateful in the future when they have potentially tens of thousands more in their trust account than they would have if you hired a more expensive attorney.
If you or your child has been injured in an accident, you need expert legal advice as soon as possible- call and schedule your free consultation with one of our Arizona personal injury attorneys today.