Can a Minor Pursue a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

November 23, 2020

Age is an important factor in any personal injury lawsuit. It is a major consideration in determining the amount of compensation that is awarded to a plaintiff. A person who is a minor or younger than 18 years old when they are injured is entitled to damages just like anyone else. In the state of Pennsylvania, the rights of minors are extended.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations is the time limit given to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, the limit is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, there is an exception made for victims who are minors. Under Pennsylvania law, the statute of limitations does not begin until the child reaches the age of 18 years old.

A child who has been seriously injured may require extensive medical care, leaving the parents little time to consider how and when to file a personal injury lawsuit. Parents naturally will spend all of their energy concentrating on their child’s care and hoping for their recovery. The extended statute of limitations can be a great help in recovering compensation for massive medical debt, reduction in income, and the pain and suffering of the ordeal. In other cases, injuries are not immediately apparent, or a child cannot express that something is wrong. The extended statute of limitations makes it possible for these families to pursue justice.

How Does Age Affect a Personal Injury Case?

Going to trial is expensive, and an insurance company will likely offer the plaintiff a settlement. In deciding the amount of the settlement offer, many factors are taken into account, including the age of the plaintiff. An insurance company will use actuarial tables to calculate how many years of earning power a person has left, look at how many dependents they have, how close they are to retirement, and other age-related aspects. A younger person has many years of life ahead of them, and a serious injury could significantly impact their choice of career path, quality of life, and ability to live independently.

In the case of a minor, age is an advantage, and a child can expect to be compensated for the potentially many years of pain and suffering that may lie ahead. Despite the extended statute of limitations for minors, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. This is because gathering all the evidence needed to build a case for compensation becomes more difficult the longer one waits.

Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Advocate for Victims of Negligence

If you have an injury because of another party’s negligent actions, one of our Delaware County personal injury lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. We have the experience and proven record of success that you need for your case. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.