Few things are more stressful to a parent than an injured child, but things can get complicated if that child needs to file a personal injury lawsuit. Parental responsibility is one of the areas that all states have covered with comprehensive laws that outline when a parent is responsible for a child’s actions. In the case of a slip and fall accident, the laws are very clear on what parents can do and what role the child plays in the entire process. We have consulted with attorney Laurence Banville, Esq. of Banville Law in order to know more…
Understanding Parental Responsibility As It Applies To The Law
Before we can discuss how a parent would handle a slip and fall lawsuit on behalf of their child, we need to get a basic understanding of how the law views the relationship between a parent and a child. In 1846, Hawaii enacted the first set of parental responsibility laws in the country. Not long after Hawaii passed those laws, the rest of the states in the union followed suit. As new states were brought into the country, they all went through the process of enacting parental responsibility laws.
As with any other laws determined by the state’s, parental responsibility laws vary from state to state. But there are some general characteristics they all share that make them easier to understand. The basic core of these laws states that parents are responsible for most of the actions of their minor children. In many states the minor age is 18, in some, it is 21.
The level to which a parent is responsible for their child’s action changes for each phase of the child’s life. As children get older, the law attributes more and more responsibility to a child for their own actions.
Children Injured In A Slip And Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents involving minors can happen at places like a daycare center, shopping malls, and other places and just like an adult slip and fall accident, it is a premises liability case. BanvilleLaw.com states that in such instances it is a commercial or residential property’s pre-existing physical condition that possibly caused the accident to take place.
Parents are entitled to recover financial compensation for medical bills relating to a child’s slip and fall accident. In most states, children are entitled to settlements that include pain and suffering as a result of a slip and fall accident. Many states also allow parents to sue for recovering any medical costs that were not covered by insurance.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies act a little differently when it comes to a child involved in a slip and fall accident as opposed to an adult. Where insurance companies generally try to get the lowest settlement possible out of an adult, they generally try to offer a fair settlement to children. The reason is that slip and fall settlements to children can be revisited years later and courts often do award more money to a child, even though that child got a settlement when the accident first happened.
Parents are obviously allowed to negotiate with insurance companies on their child’s behalf. However, some states make it mandatory for parents to get court approval to negotiate before the settlement will be acknowledged. The entire process is done with a series of forms supplied by the courts, and insurance companies have even been known to be very helpful in filling out these forms just to make sure they are done right.
While parents can negotiate for an injured child in a slip and fall lawsuit, it is still a good idea to hire a lawyer to handle the situation for you. It is best to assume that the insurance company will hire a lawyer, which means that you do not want to come into the situation without a legal professional of your own.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.