Unfortunately, bad things happen to children. Our reality is cruel sometimes. Children suffer injuries, disease, and even face death from the negligence or intentional acts of others. If your child suffered injuries or died from the negligence or intentional act of another in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Central Texas, or anywhere else in the state of Texas we are here to help.
Under Texas family law, a minor is a person who is 17 or younger. At 18, Texas law confers all of the rights and responsibilities an adult enjoys to the person having attained age 18. Unless emancipated, a minor’s parents or legal guardians must bring a lawsuit on their behalf. If there is no legal guardian appointed by a court in Texas or recognized under Texas law as a guardian, then a relative can file a lawsuit on the minor’s behalf as a “next friend.” The next friend who files suit in Texas can be the same person as the guardian appointed by another the court in another state or country. Also, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interest if the next friend has an adverse claim.
Children can suffer injuries from a variety of accidents and misdeeds. The child’s parents or legal representative can file a claim for the child’s pain and suffering, future loss of earnings after turning 18, future medical bills, and the like. Medical bills are the responsibility of the parents until the child attains age 18. The child can still recover for those damages after 18, however. Children can recover for permanent injuries as well. They are entitled to recover for loss of limbs, disfigurement, scarring, and other permanent injuries.
Under Texas law, children cannot enter into contracts. Consequently, children cannot approve of the settlement of a claim. In Texas, therefore, the child’s guardian or next friend must file a motion with the appropriate court seeking judicial approval of the settlement. The motion will spell out in great detail the settlement arrangement. The motion must specifically inform the court the total settlement amount, the attorney’s fees are involved, medical reimbursements if any, and any other costs involved. The judge will inquire of the attorney and the guardian to make sure that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and understood by everyone involved. The settlement could be a lump sum deposited in the court’s registry. The agreement could take the form of an annuity, or the settlement could be what is known as a structured settlement. The structured settlement permits the child to receive payments in equal amounts over time. If the court appointed a guardian ad litem, then the guardian would act as the parent of the child making certain the child received fair and just treatment.
An experienced child injury lawyer understands the complications that arise when a child is injured. Many times, the parents are grief-stricken and helpless. They need a trusted advocate to whom they can turn in their time of dire need. The skilled child injury attorney will work closely with the minor’s parents, guardians, next friends, and a guardian ad litem to reach the best result for the injured child. The child injury attorney must work closely with those who have the child’s best interests at heart to determine the best course of action. The attorney must engender a close relationship with those folks to adequately and thoroughly investigate the incident that caused the injury, collect the child’s medical records, and seek expert opinions relating to the future costs the child might suffer from the accident or intentional conduct.
Where To Turn For Help
If you child was injured or killed in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Central Texas, or elsewhere in Texas, call Hermes E. Flores. Our legal professionals have years of experience advocating for injured children and their parents. Call our office in Austin / Lake Travis today at 512-947-9103 to set up your free consultation. We are available 24/7 to help you in your time of need.