As a parent, there are many ways you’ll need to keep your child safe. You will doubtless want to do all you can to protect them from the world’s many dangers. Try as you might, though. Things sometimes happen that can harm or even kill your child.
No parent wants to consider these possibilities, but you owe it to the child to fight for them in court if they ever happen. If something or someone hurt them, you can hire an attorney and go after that individual or entity through the legal system. If something or someone killed them, you can do the same thing, though that would be a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a particular kind of civil lawsuit you can bring.
Knowing When to Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Your Child’s Behalf
Let’s talk about when you should bring a lawsuit on your child’s behalf. It’s up to you to determine whether to do this since the child cannot do it independently while they are still underage.
Do You Think Someone or Something Caused Your Child Harm?
Probably the first and most vital question to ask if someone or something harmed your child is exactly what happened. Maybe your child is old enough that they can communicate to you what occurred.
If they are too young to articulate it, you may have to rely on witnesses there when it happens. Perhaps there will be some physical evidence that reveals the truth as well.
If you feel like you’re pretty sure someone or something harmed your child, you can reach out to a personal injury lawyer and ask them about your chances of winning your case. These lawyers might want 30-40% of your winnings, but the first thing they’ll want to know is all the details concerning the case. Based on what you tell them, they will decide to take you on as a client.
How Much Evidence Exists?
Before you get very far along in the process of determining whether you should try to bring a personal injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf, one of the first things you would consider is how much evidence you can gather. Let’s say, as an example, that a car struck your child when they were playing in the street. The vehicle drove away without stopping.
You might determine who a likely suspect is from collecting traffic cameras or storing camera footage from a few blocks away. However, even if you get a license plate number and the police track the driver down, they might swear it wasn’t them who did it. At that point, only solid physical evidence will be able to convict the guilty party.
If there were no material witnesses, that would hurt your case. If there is no smartphone footage showing what happened from that exact moment, that will likewise make winning the lawsuit difficult.
Essentially, you might have to figure out whether to bring a civil lawsuit against the person or entity you believe is the guilty party based on how much evidence you do or don’t have. It sounds heartbreaking to think that the person or entity might get away with harming your child because there is not enough evidence of what they did. However, a jury will never convict someone based only on what you suspect.
What Will the Trial Do to Your Family?
Maybe your child survived what happened with major or minor injuries. Perhaps what happened killed them. Whatever the case might be, when the time comes to decide whether to go forward and bring that lawsuit, you will need to think about what this path will do to you and your other family members.
Maybe you’re not sure based on the evidence that you can win. You feel terrible for your child who suffered harm, but you also have to be realistic about what will happen during this trial. Trials of this nature are never easy, and they can take up a considerable amount of your time and energy.
You might have to dedicate yourself to this trial for months or even years. During that period, you may have to take some time off from your job.
Your boss will probably not be all that happy that you’re no longer available to do your work. If you can’t be there for days on end, you might have to quit your position entirely.
The trial might also drag on for a long time, during which you and your family may hardly be able to think about anything else. You might have to talk about it constantly and change your routines. You may not be capable of spending as much time with your spouse, children, or other family members because you’ve thrown yourself headlong into winning this lawsuit.
Is It All Worth It?
A time will probably come when you decide whether you can let what happened to go or whether you will never feel satisfied until you get justice for your child. The child might be too young to weigh in on whether you should go through with the lawsuit.
Even assuming they survived what happened, you are the adult in this situation. Ultimately, you and the other adults in the family must decide what is the best path forward. Can all of you forgive what happened and try to move on, or will you not be able to rest until you attempt to hold the individual or entity responsible for who committed this act?
This kind of civil trial can be an ordeal, unlike anything your family has faced before. It is probably not going to be easy, and it might come with a lot of heartache along the way. Maybe you can feel satisfied in the end if you win and get justice, not to mention money, but remember that you could lose as well.
You should weigh the cons and pros very carefully before deciding whether to move forward.