Phoenix Child Injury Lawyer

Many parents feel helpless when their child gets hurt. Watching your child experience pain and being unable to resolve the problem can be incredibly difficult.

When someone else’s conduct contributes to the incident that causes your child harm, you might not be as powerless as you think. You can work with a local personal injury attorney to seek justice and claim damages on your child’s behalf. Our Phoenix child injury lawyers could hold the liable parties accountable and secure a financial settlement that compensates you for all that your family endures.

Many Circumstances Could Lead to a Child Injury Claim

Children often hurt themselves, and injuries are normal as a child grows into their body and learns how to assess risk. However, when a child’s injury results from an adult’s negligence, the responsible party might be liable for the child’s damages.

A personal injury claim could be appropriate when a child sustains injuries because of:

  • A building fire
  • A sporting incident
  • A drowning or near drowning
  • A pedestrian or bicycle accident
  • A fall in a location open to the public
  • A dog bite or other domestic animal attack
  • A car, truck, or other type of motor vehicle accident
  • An incident at school, preschool, daycare, or when they were under the care of a babysitter

This list is not comprehensive; injuries experienced in many situations might provide the basis for a child injury lawsuit.

Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

While property owners do not typically owe trespassers a duty of care in most circumstances, this is not always the case when it comes to children. Arizona recognizes the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which means a property owner could be responsible for injuries a trespassing child suffers while on their property. Our trusted Phoenix attorneys can explain whether the doctrine might apply to your specific situation.

Statute of Limitations for Child Injury Claims

In most circumstances, an adult pursuing a personal injury claim has two years to file a lawsuit. In the case of an injured child, the clock on the two-year statute of limitations does not begin ticking until the child turns 18. With this in mind, a case is typically stronger if a parent or guardian brings a lawsuit on the child’s behalf soon after the injury occurs.

The two-year statute of limitations also applies to medical malpractice claims, including claims for birth injuries. Some injuries to children are not apparent until the child grows or they miss developmental milestones. In such cases, a Phoenix attorney could file a lawsuit within two years of the parents’ discovery of the injury.

Sometimes, a unit of government bears responsibility for a child’s injury. This situation might occur if an accident involves a city-owned or operated vehicle such as a bus or garbage truck or if an incident happens on government-owned property or at school. Someone asserting a claim against a government agency must file a notice with the appropriate office within six months of the injury or lose their right to pursue damages.

Managing a Child’s Damages

When a child injury case settles, or a trial produces a verdict, a conservator must oversee any money the child receives and preserve it until they turn 18. Arizona Revised Statutes § 14-5410 describes who may be a child’s conservator.

In most instances, the probate judge names a parent or other relative to manage the child’s money. If the child is at least 14 and the judge believes they are mature enough and have the capacity to make an intelligent selection, the child could nominate someone to be their conservator.

Because a minor cannot enter into contracts until they are 18, the probate court must approve any settlement agreement. If the settlement includes funds to pay for medical treatment, the judge will approve a portion of the funds for the specific expenses described in the claim. The money belongs to the child, and even if a parent is the child’s conservator, they can only access the money to meet specific court-approved needs.

Any proceeds from a child injury lawsuit must be deposited in a restricted account, and withdrawals must have court approval. Courts typically approve withdrawals that are solely for the child’s benefit, and parents cannot use the child’s award to pay for basic expenses like food, shelter, clothing, or transportation. A Phoenix attorney can better explain how a court might analyze a request to withdraw a child’s funds and whether it might approve such a request.

Trust a Phoenix Attorney To Pursue a Child Injury Claim

When your child is injured, and someone else’s recklessness or carelessness is a contributing factor, you could potentially hold them accountable by bringing a civil claim. A Phoenix child injury lawyer from our firm can provide diligent, compassionate representation through every phase of the process and make sure your rights are protected and advocated for.

Child injury lawsuits can be complex, and there is little time to act. Speak with a dedicated attorney from Phillips Law Group today to learn more. With over 30 years of providing local service through outstanding legal representation, our team is prepared to advocate tirelessly on your behalf in and out of the courtroom.