What Happens If A Minor Is Injured?
If a minor is injured the parent or legal guardian is able to file a lawsuit against the party that caused the injury according to a personal injury lawyer with our friends at the Brandy Austin Law Firm. The severity of the charges will depend on whether the action to cause injury was intentional and how severe the damages were. Intentional injury to a child is a felony charge in Texas and accidental injury to a child can be severe as well when it comes to punishment and bringing charges. For example, if a minor is injured from something intentional such as physical contact, this can be considered a second-degree felony and can go even higher if the damages to the child are more severe.
What If A Minor Injures Another Minor?
In the state of Texas, a minor is not able to file a lawsuit individually so in the case of a minor injuring another minor, the injured minor cannot bring charges on their own and is required to have a representative file a lawsuit on their behalf. This representative is called the “next friend” in common law and is just an adult who is willing to take the spot of a minor to file a lawsuit for them. A next friend could also be used in other cases where the person wanting to bring charges is unable to because they have been deemed incompetent. This next friend could be a parent, guardian, relative, or other adult and they will be the person to make legal decisions on behalf of the injured minor. That adult can bring charges against the parent or legal guardian of the minor that caused injury but in most cases cannot file suit against a minor.
What If A Minor Injures Me?
There are a few things to consider that will determine the next steps you should take and if you are able to sue the minor themself rather than their parents. If the action that caused the injury
was unintentional and the minor is a young child you normally cannot hold them liable but you could sue the parents or guardians of the minor. However, if the action that caused the injury was intentional or if the damages done were more severe you have a much higher chance of suing the minor in their own personal capacity. The older the minor is and the more mature they are, the more likely you are going to have success with your lawsuit against them whereas the younger a child is the lower your chances of success are. For example, if a child who lives next door to you accidentally hits you with a baseball while you are in your backyard then you have a possibility of suing for negligence but if you suspect the action is intentional and you are injured from it you could possibly sue for assault or battery because of the intention behind the action. Who is held liable for injuries inflicted by a minor?
Typically in the eyes of the law, a minor cannot be held liable for injuries that they inflict, and in most cases, the parents or legal guardians would be held liable. Similar to bringing charges, an adult is required when a minor is being charged with something. The legal guardian or parents of that minor will need to deal with the legal matters since the defendant is still a minor. In some situations, a minor can be held liable such as situations where a minor is driving a car and crashes into you or your property, the minor can be held liable but their parents or guardians will likely still be named as co-defendants since the defendant is under the age of 18 What should I do if my child is injured?
If your child is injured and you want to file a lawsuit you will need to contact a personal injury attorney and they will help walk you through the legal process. Since your child is a minor you will be considered the next friend and you will be the one in control of the legal issues and dealing with everything regarding the case.
Personal injury can be a tricky area to navigate especially when the situation involves children. It’s important to learn about what to do in case any of these unfortunate situations were to happen so that you can be properly equipped with information on what to do and have somewhat of an understanding of the situation.