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Personal Injury Claims for Injured Children

Personal injury claims are based on negligence. In a negligence claim in Alabama, if the injured person is found to have contributed to their injuries, then they cannot recover from the Defendant. For this reason, when a child is injured, it can create a dilemma because they may or may not have the capacity to have contributed to their own injuries.[1] This makes it crucial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney when filing a personal injury claim for an injured child.

What is the Rule of Sevens?

Alabama follows the Rule of Sevens.[2]

  • Children under the age of 7 do not have the mental capacity to be negligent.[3]

  • Children between the ages of 7 and 14 are presumed to be incapable of contributory negligence while minors over 14 are presumed to be capable of contributory negligence.[4]

  • However, these presumptions may also be invalidated if evidence can be shown that the minor possesses more or less than the capacity of an average child of their age.[5]

What is the Statute of Limitations in Alabama?

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims (how long after the injury a claim can be made) is two years.[6]

What is a Pro Ami Lawsuit?

Alabama law provides that married parents have an equal right to file a claim on behalf of their child.[7] However, if the parents are not married, then the parent with legal custody has the exclusive right to file a lawsuit.[8] A pro ami proceeding can be handled by the injured child, a parent or relative acting on the child’s behalf, an attorney, a guardian ad litem, or the judge.

Settlement of a Claim

The judge will listen to the testimony from the parents or legal guardian and review evidence such as bills, medical records, and other relevant documents. The judge will then decide if the settlement is reasonable and in the best interest of the child. The settlement amount can only be used by the parents to care for the child.

Attorney Derek Chen regularly works with other lawyers throughout the state whose skills and experience match the unique needs of each client. Don’t choose a personal injury lawyer based on their advertisements. Let Derek Chen use his knowledge and relationships to see that your child gets the best representation possible. And he’ll be right there with you every step of the way to ensure that you maximize your recovery in the personal injury claim.

[1] Savage Industries, Inc. v. Duke By and Through Duke, 598 So. 2d 856, 858 (Ala. 1992) [2] Id. [3] Id. [4] Id. [5] Id. [6] Ala. Code § 6-2-38 [7] Ala. Code § 6-5-390 [8] Nix v. McElrath, 952 So. 2d 1007, 1113 (Ala. 2006)

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