In a personal injury case, there are time limits involved. These are called statutes of limitations and they vary from state to state. A statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
In Washington, personal injury actions are typically limited to three years. This means you have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for damages you have suffered due to another person’s negligence. However, this law applies to adults only. If your child was injured, the statute of limitations for them is different.
How Do Child Injuries Differ?
For children under the age of eighteen, the statute of limitation tolls. What this means is that the clock does not start ticking until the child turns eighteen. A child who is injured technically has three years from the time they turn 18, or when they reach age 21, to file a lawsuit. If a child were injured at age 11, they would have 10 years to file a claim. If they were injured when they were 6 years old, they would have 15 years to file a claim for compensation.
However, this does not mean you have to wait that long. Once your child is injured, you should work with a lawyer right away. It’s possible that there may be special rules that apply to your child’s case. You don’t want to wait too long and find out that the statute of limitations has expired. Once it expires, you cannot file a claim, no matter how severe your child’s injuries may be. You will receive absolutely nothing, so don’t let this happen to you.
How to Proceed
Typically, you can file a claim based on one of three grounds:
- Negligence. This is when someone’s reckless or negligent behavior caused your child to suffer injuries. Some examples include car accidents and school or daycare injuries.
- Strict liability. Strict liability applies to dog bite claims. If your child was bitten by a dog in Washington, you can file a claim against the dog’s owner, and they will be held strictly liable for your child’s damages.
- Intentional harm. This is when someone purposely harms your child. You can sue someone for financial recovery for intentional torts such as abuse and battery.
Filing a lawsuit is a complex process. Seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable of child injury liability laws, legal processes, and your rights and responsibilities under the law.
Contact Us Today
After a personal injury, such as a car accident, slip and fall, defective product, or other issue, you need to act quickly. While the statute of limitations is often longer for children, you should seek legal help right away to protect your legal rights.
Each personal injury case is different. The personal injury lawyers at Alliance Law Group can help you understand all the aspects of your case. Get started by scheduling a consultation. Fill out the online form or call 253-300-2055.