Grand Junction Child Injury Lawyers
No parent ever wants to see their child harmed, so when your child is injured in a serious accident, you may be looking for someone to blame. In Colorado, when a negligent party injures a child, the child’s parent can seek full compensation in a personal injury claim, which can help pay for the medical bills, long-term care, and other damages the family has suffered. But to get the most out of your claim, you will need to work with a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers.
At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our Grand Junction child injury attorneys are strong advocates for injured children and their families. We know how complex these cases can be, especially if the at-fault party denies liability or blames your child, and we can use all of our knowledge and experience to fight for your child’s best interests. Call us today at (970) 243-4357 to set up a free consultation.
We like to believe that children can bounce back from any scrape or fall, but the truth is that they can suffer serious injuries in a variety of accidents. Throughout Grand Junction, children are often injured in:
- Car accidents, including as teen drivers and as passengers
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents, such as while jogging, running, or training for cross country
- School bus accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Attractive nuisances
- Defective playground equipment
With each of these cases, it is important to contact a skilled lawyer to review your options. Your child’s injuries may come with a hefty price tag, long rehabilitation period, and lasting disabilities. To get full compensation for your child’s trauma, you may need to file a claim against the party who wronged them, which may include a negligent driver, property owner, or manufacturer.
The process for filing a child injury claim is similar to filing one for an adult, but with some unique elements.
First, let’s consider a standard personal injury claim. After an accident, the victim can recover compensation in a personal injury claim if the person who injured them:
- Had a duty of care toward the victim;
- Broke that duty of care through an act of negligence;
- Caused the victim’s injuries; and
- The victim suffered damages due to that injury.
If the victim can prove all of these elements in a personal injury claim, he can recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
With children, the process is generally the same; yet a child cannot file a claim on their own in Colorado. Instead, a legal representative must file the claim for the child. This can be a parent, guardian, adult sibling, or another responsible party. This person must be approved by a Grand Junction judge, and, in most cases, a judge will approve one of the child’s parents.
Second, a child injury claim has a longer statute of limitations. In Colorado, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury for general personal injury claims and three years for car accident claims. However, when the plaintiff is a child, the statute of limitations does not start until the child turns 18. This means that the child has until he is 20 or 21 years old to file a personal injury or car accident claim, respectively.
While this may seem like a lot of time, it is important to talk to an attorney as early as possible to begin collecting evidence. Without a strong case, you may have a difficult time recovering full compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance.
After an accident, a victim in Colorado is eligible to receive compensation for several types of damages. In most cases, this includes economic damages (financial losses like medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and non-economic damages (non-financial losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc.). With children, the main focus will be to get their medical bills paid and recover pain and suffering damages. Except with older teenagers, most child injury claims do not typically include lost wages unless a parent had to take time off work to care for the child.
Paying out compensation for a child injury claim is also different than it would be for an adult. In most cases, an adult will receive the full value of their claim in a settlement or jury verdict, minus any medical liens or compensation owed to other parties. With children, the settlement or jury verdict must first be approved by a judge. The judge will review the child’s injuries, the nature of the accident, the attorney’s legal fees, and policy limits before approving the award.
Once a settlement is approved, compensation is divided up between several parties. First, if a parent is owed lost wages or out-of-pocket medical expenses, then the parent will receive his portion of the award. Second, if there is a medical lien on the child’s claim, then the hospital or doctor will be paid for their services. Lastly, the remainder of funds for the child will be placed in a trust. This account will accrue interest and be available once the child turns 18.
If your child has been injured by a negligent party, you are likely feeling angry, and worried about the future. You may have a stack of medical bills waiting at home and a child in great need of tender care. You may even be tempted to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, even if it only covers your child’s emergency room bill, to help you move forward.
But this would be a major mistake. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our Grand Junction personal injury attorneys have seen firsthand how difficult it is for families to get full compensation from an insurance company. Insurance companies often lowball families and hardly care about the injuries their children have suffered.
Our team at Peters & Nolan, LLC, knows times are tough and that you need to get your child’s medical bills paid. Instead of accepting an insurance company’s weak offer, let us go to work getting you and your child full compensation. We can investigate the party who injured your child, collect evidence of negligence, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent your child in court in a personal injury trial. To discuss your case today in a free consultation, call us at (970) 243-4357.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.