When a child is hurt, it can cause worry and stress. An accident or other injury can dramatically alter a child’s life in an instant. A lawyer can help explain your options and help you advocate for your child. When a personal injury case involves children, there are some special things that you should know:
Children can recover large amounts
Canadian law allows for children who are hurt in personal injury accidents to recover for their losses. In some cases, a hurt child can require significant medical care for the rest of their lives. Canadian law allows recovery for all of these damages.
In Sandhu v Wellington Place Apartments, a two-year-old child recovered in excess of fourteen million CAD for injuries suffered when he fell out of a damaged apartment window. Experts testified that the child would need ongoing care for the rest of his life and that he would likely function at a child’s level forever.
Canadian law doesn’t prevent an injured child from recovering. In fact, sometimes children can recover the most. They often need medical care for the rest of their lives, and they suffer loss for a longer period of time.
A child can recover for loss of companionship
When a parent or grandparent suffers the personal injury, a child can bring a lawsuit to recover for their loss of companionship. In some cases, there’s a deductible. The exact allowances for this kind of case depend on the location so it’s important to work with a lawyer to determine the possibilities in your case.
The parent or guardian must bring the case
Technically, a child can’t bring their own case in court. Even if they have a lawyer, the child’s parent or guardian has to act on their behalf to start the lawsuit. After the initial filing, the court can appoint a litigation guardian to act on behalf of the child. Usually, the litigation guardian is a parent or relative, but that’s not always the case.
Some settlements need court approval
An injured child isn’t in a position to make a decision about whether to accept a settlement. In some cases, the courts use a public trustee to determine if a settlement is in the child’s interest. Sometimes, the court makes the final decision.
Who is a minor under Canadian law?
The age of majority is eighteen or nineteen in Canada. It depends on your province or territory.
A public trustee might control a child’s compensation
When a minor receives compensation, a public guardian or trustee often keeps the money. They’re able to make distributions for a child’s care. There is a review process if a parent disagrees with the trustee’s decision.