Personal Injury Law For Children
Doesn’t it seem like we are always in ours car, shuttling our kids from one activity to another? Or is that just our imagination?
Our kids are involved in a lot of activities when they are growing up. They go to school. They are in Scouts or clubs. They play organized sports. They go to the YMCA or Boys and Girls Clubs. They go to churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. You know the drill.
As you might expect, sometimes kids get hurt doing these activities. Because of their age, their vulnerabilities and their inability to appreciate the risks involved in life, our courts treat personal injuries to kids differently than injuries to adults.
Kadish Twersky Law Firm represents children and their families when they get injured. We understand these special issues, and we work to see that your children are treated properly, that their personal injury settlements are fair, and that their money is protected for their futures.
Special Relationship: Most organizations that run activities have a special relationship with children, which means that they have to protect our children from dangers or harms that they should know of. For instance, the law in Washington imposes an “enhanced and solemn duty” on our schools to protect our kids from dangers when the school and its employees should be aware of the danger. Most schools protect our children like they are supposed to. When they don’t, when they know that something is dangerous, or should know that it is dangerous, and don’t protect their students, they are not living up to their responsibility.
Releases: If you have taken your child to a skating rink, a ski area, the YMCA, or any place like those, you have probably signed a Release of Liability that says that the facility is not liable for any personal injury to your child, even if it is negligent. A release that a parent signs for their child, before the child takes part in activities, is not legally enforceable in Washington state. You know, like we know, that you have to sign releases to allow your children to participate. But you should also know, as those places know, that their releases are not worth the paper they are written on when a parent signs for their child. Has any place where you have signed a release for you child ever told you that? We would bet not.
Settlement of Cases: Settlements for anyone under 18 years old, whether for physical, emotional or financial injuries, must be approved by a court. While a child’s parent can approve a settlement with an insurance company or the people who are legally at fault, they are not allowed to sign a release to settle the case and receive the funds. The court appoints a settlement guardian ad litem, who is usually an attorney, to investigate the facts, look at what happened, review the medical records, medical bills, attorneys fees and costs and anything else involved in the case. The settlement guardian ad litem reports to the court, which assists the court in deciding whether to approve the settlement, and decide where the money should be held for the child until the child turns 18, at the earliest.
Jeff Twersky and Glenn Kadish are personal injury lawyers in Everett, WA. They represent children and adults against powerful insurance companies, corporations, government agencies, and responsible individuals. If you or your child needs personal injury representation in Everett, Seattle, Snohomish, King or Skagit Counties, contact Kadish Twersky at (425) 259-1841 today.
This website includes general information about legal issues to be used for educational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances or to create an attorney-client relationship.