Serving injury victims in the Tri-cities, Columbia Basin, Eastern Washington and Oregon.

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Filing lawsuits for minors with brain injuries in Washington

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2020 | Injury

Children are more susceptible to traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, than adults. Accidental falls and automobile accidents are leading causes of brain injury, with many minors that end up in the hospital from being in a wreck sustaining one.

When underage children suffer TBIs from motor accidents, their families may find themselves inundated with medical bills they cannot afford. Maybe their insurance is blocking them or refusing to cover necessary treatments and medications. One solution is to file a lawsuit. There are some important things to know about filing a lawsuit on behalf of your minor kid in Washington.

Washington’s statute of limitations

For those under 18, Washington suspends the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit until they reach adulthood, after which they receive three years (until they are 21) to obtain a settlement or file. Before then, a guardian appointed by a court (usually, but not always, the parent) may file for them. Legally, they cannot file themselves as long as they are minors.

Washington’s fault policy

The state adheres to a comparative negligence/comparative fault stance. This means anyone involved in the disaster may receive some sort of compensation, depending on the degree of fault.

Washington’s settlement for minors stand

For minors, the court must grant approval of settlements. This is true even if nobody filed a lawsuit. Any money awarded does not go to the parents. Instead, the court places it in either an annuity or blocked account. Upon reaching maturity, the child may access these funds.

Minors do not have the right to file for compensation for themselves after a car accident in Washington. They must rely on trusted adults to do so for them until they themselves reach adulthood.