Can a Parent Sue on Behalf of their Child for an Injury in Pennsylvania?
Every parent strives to protect their child from harm. Unfortunately, there are instances where children are injured because of another person’s negligence or carelessness. Children have the same rights to compensation an adult would have in these circumstances. However, a child does not have the ability to file a personal injury claim on their own.
Under Pennsylvania law, a parent may sue on behalf of their child for an injury. Unfortunately, the process of suing on behalf of your child can be lengthy and complex. There are laws in Pennsylvania that authorize a parent to file on behalf of their child, and there are a number of common types of injury cases that parents file for their children.
If your child was hurt in an accident, please contact our experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.
When Parents Can Sue for a Child’s Injuries in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, a parent can sue on behalf of their child for an injury. Furthermore, minors lack the ability to represent themselves. 231 Pa. Code § 2027 states that a parent or guardian can represent their child in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the child. The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania establishes that parents have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit as their child’s representative.
However, Pennsylvania delays the statute of limitations for minors to bring an action on their own behalf. For unemancipated minors, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to toll until that individual reaches the age of 18. Therefore, your child has until the age of 20 to bring an action on their own behalf for injuries they suffered while they were under 18.
Common Injuries to Children that Parents Can Sue for in Pennsylvania
There are unfortunately many situations that can result in an injury to a child. Regardless of how an injury occurred, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for compensation on your child’s behalf. However, an injured child’s case will involve a specific set of rules and guidelines depending on the type of accident. Accordingly, it is necessary to review any such case with a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer.
Bicycle accidents are a common cause of injury to children. Stanford Children’s Health states that about 254,000 children are injured each year as a result of bicycle-related accidents. Furthermore, a 2014 study from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation determined that about 1,400 bicycle crashes occur each year in Pennsylvania. Parents can usually bring personal injury claims on behalf of their children when the child is injured in a bike accident.
The rule in 75 Pa. C.S. § 3303 that drivers in Pennsylvania must provide at least four feet of clearance when passing and is the most generous bike-passing act in the nation. It is also illegal in Pennsylvania for the driver of a motor vehicle to force a cyclist off the road. Still, cyclists must ride carefully and follow traffic laws. If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to speak with a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer today.
Pedestrian accidents are also a common cause of injury to children that a parent can sue for. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has found that approximately 626 child pedestrian accidents occur each year. Furthermore, young children are at a higher risk of pedestrian accidents because they do not fully understand the risks of traffic. In fact, nearly 50% of pedestrian accident deaths occur between 3pm and 4pm when children are returning home from school.
Pedestrians are at risk wherever there are public roadways. However, many pedestrian accidents occur in urban centers where large vehicles, like buses, drive near pedestrians. Our Reading, PA personal injury lawyers can help you hold the drivers of those vehicles responsible for your child’s injuries.
When a parent buys their child a toy, they are right to assume the product has been safely made and will not harm their child. Unfortunately, there are frequent reports of defective children’s toys which have caused harm. The most common injuries to children from defective toys include lead poisoning from lead-based paint, choking and suffocation from small parts, strangulation from strings or ropes, and lacerations. If your child has suffered an injury from a defective toy, our Allentown personal injury lawyers can investigate the injury, determine what manufacturers to hold responsible, and help parents file claims for their children’s injuries.
There are times when healthcare professionals may commit malpractice by failing to provide appropriate care. Under Pennsylvania law, patients can recover for injuries suffered as a result of sub-standard medical treatment. In the case of child patients, parents can file lawsuits on the child’s behalf.
Common examples of malpractice include misdiagnosis, medication errors, mismanagement of treatment, and insufficient aftercare. Unfortunately, many common instances of malpractice involve children suffering from diseases. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one in four pediatricians will be sued over the course of their career for medical malpractice.
Furthermore, medical malpractice cases can be very complex. If your child has suffered an injury as a result of improper medical treatment, it will be difficult to proceed with your claim without a Bethlehem personal injury lawyer on your side.
Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If your child has been injured in an accident, please contact our West Chester personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.