Can I Sue A Child?
If you have been injured in an accident by a child, contact our car accident attorneys today to see how you can hold them accountable.
Personal injury lawsuits are those where a party has been injured by another party’s negligence. If you have been injured by the negligence or intentional actions of a child (who is under the age of 18), there are specific steps that you must take when filing a lawsuit against them.
Accidents can be very stressful, especially when dealing with the severe injuries that follow. After an accident that involves a child, you may be asking yourself several different questions, including: how could I file a lawsuit against a child? Could I file a lawsuit against a child? How can I hold a child accountable for their actions? What type of damages could I receive from a child?
Can I sue a child in california?
In California, a party that is injured by another negligent party has the right to file a lawsuit against them for compensation. This means that even if a child were to cause your accident, you could still file a lawsuit against them to recover monetary damages. There are two steps when filing a lawsuit against a party, this includes filing the lawsuit and winning, and the other step includes collecting compensation from them. Seeking compensation from the at fault party may be more difficult than actually filing a lawsuit. That’s why it is very important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to hold those parties accountable for their actions, and successfully collect compensation you deserve.
What is negligence?
Negligence is a type of action where a victim was hurt or injured unintentionally. This means that the person who caused the accident did not purposefully act in that way to cause those damages, it’s simply just happened because they were not safe. In order to prove negligence, you must show:
- The other party had a duty to act in a reasonably safe manner
- The other party failed to follow that duty
- The party caused the accident
- Now the victim is suffering injuries
This type of negligence goes towards any accidents, including car accidents, bus accidents, pedestrian accidents, Uber accidents, etc. Some elements may be specific depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if you are trying to prove negligence against another party in a car accident, you must show that the other party had a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner, yet failed to.
Some examples where children could be negligent are:
- Texting while driving
- Eating while driving
- Drunk driving
What are intentional acts?
Intentional acts are those where a party seeks to bring about a certain harm. When a party wants to purposefully cause another party injuries, they have most likely acted intentionally. Examples of intentional acts include:
- Throwing objects at other people
- Punching other people
- Tripping other people
All these accidents include some type of intentional motive to cause injury.
Is a parent responsible for injuries caused by their child?
In California, parents can be held responsible for their child’s actions when a party files a lawsuit against their child in certain circumstances. These are:
- When the child engages in extreme intentional behavior. This is referred to as willful misconduct, such as throwing large rocks down a freeway overpass. Even if the parent did not know of the child’s behavior, they could still be held responsible for the damages they owe the victim.
- When a parent knows of their child’s dangerous actions, yet fails to stop it.
- When a child injures another with a gun or firearm.
- When a child causes a car accident pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 17707.
What is vicarious liability?
Vicarious liability is a legal theory used to describe the theory that a party is held liable for another party’s actions in a lawsuit. For example, the child’s parents are vicariously liable for the child’s actions if they engage in certain behavior.
How much could I recover from the child's parents?
In California, there is a limit as to how much a victim could recover from the child’s parent in a car accident lawsuit. A victim will only be able to recover up to $25,000 for their medical expenses caused by the car accident.
What are some defenses that are raised?
One of the most important things that your personal injury attorney must do is prepare any defenses that the other party may raise. For example, if you were to file a lawsuit against the child’s parents, you need to be prepared for the arguments that the child’s parents may raise in response to the lawsuit. For example, some defenses that we have see him during our decades of experience are:
- The parent was not aware of their child’s dangerous behavior
- The child did not use a firearm
- The child’s actions did not cause the victim to suffer any injuries
- The child did not engage in any negligent actions
- The parents are not responsible for the child and another third-party is (this could be the case with divorced parents or adoptive parents)
Filing a lawsuit against a minor, or even the minor’s parents could get very tricky and complicated. Having a trusted car accident attorney on your side will better help ease the process of filing a lawsuit. We recommend that you contact our experienced car accident attorneys immediately after being involved in an accident caused by a minor.
Could a child file a lawsuit in California?
In California, minors who are under the age of 18 cannot file a lawsuit on their own. A personal injury claim needs to be filed by an adult on behalf of their children. It could get very tricky when filing a lawsuit for a minor, especially because there are statute of limitations in place for minors. Usually, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for the majority of personal injury accidents are 2 years from the date of the accident. But, if the victim was under the age of eighteen at the time of the accident, the deadline is told until the child actually turns 18. This means that the statute of limitations is stopped and the clock begins to run the minute the minor turns 18 years old. Once the minor turns 18 years old, they then have two years after the age of 18 to file their personal injury lawsuit.
After a child has turned 18 years old, they can file a lawsuit on their own behalf. There are several different types of rules that must be met, that is why we recommend you speak to our experienced car accident attorneys immediately after you have been involved in an accident.
Have you been injured by a minor in California?
Call us today for a free consultation. Our car accident attorneys offer free consultations for anybody who thinks they may have a claim. During this consultation, we will review all the details regarding the accident to determine what the best course of action may be for you. It is important to note that when you are to miss the deadline, you could risk having your entire lawsuit getting thrown out by the court. Call us today for more information.