From injury to justice: Legal rights of minors in catastrophic cases in Oakland

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Firm News |

Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries that result in long-term, if not permanent, disability or disfigurement. These injuries can profoundly impact the victim’s life, affecting their ability to work, engage in daily activities, and enjoy a quality life. For minors and their families, the effects can be even more devastating as they may face a lifetime of challenges and medical needs.

Common types of injuries

The injury may have been caused by a car crash, medical malpractice incident or a slip and fall. Common catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord: Damage to the bones or nerves surrounding the spine can result in paralysis, permanent limited mobility or other lifelong injuries.
  • Brain injury: These can have a wide range of physical, mental or sensory effects.
  • Amputation: Loss of a body part can require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy with an incomplete recovery.

The legal rights of minors

In California, minors who suffer catastrophic injuries have specific legal rights. These rights protect the injury victim and ensure they receive the necessary care and compensation. Minors can pursue a personal injury claim through a parent or legal guardian. This claim can seek compensation for medical expenses, future care needs, pain and suffering, and more.

The role of a Guardian Ad Litem

Sometimes, a court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the minor’s interests in the legal proceedings. This individual is responsible for making decisions that are in the child’s best interest, including decisions related to the personal injury claim.

The Statute of Limitations for minors is different

It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving minors is different than for adults. The statute of limitations in California begins when the minor turns 18, which means they have until their 20th birthday to file a claim.

Seeking legal help is crucial

If your child has suffered a catastrophic injury, it’s crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible – these injuries often involve mounting expenses even when there is health insurance. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney can guide families through the complex legal process, protect your child’s rights, and help secure the compensation your child needs for their recovery and future needs.

We believe every child deserves justice and the opportunity to live the best life possible, regardless of their challenges.

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