Are Parents Allowed To File a Lawsuit on Behalf of Their Child?

parents filing a lawsuit for their injured childWhen a child suffers a serious injury due to the negligence of another, his or her parents may have the right to take legal action to pursue compensation for their child’s medical care and pain and suffering.

While seeking a financial recovery on behalf of your child is possible, it is important to know that personal injury cases for minors are handled differently than for adults. Greg Monforton & Partners discuss the unique issues that come with filing a lawsuit for a child injury.

Reach out to our firm anytime, day or night, to schedule a free legal consultation to learn if you have a viable case. There is no obligation and no upfront fees after this initial meeting to retain our services.

How Ontario Defines Minor Children

In Ontario, a minor child is considered anyone under the age of 18 who cannot bring a lawsuit on their own. It is someone who is not yet an adult. Under the law, when a person has reached the age of majority, which is 18, he or she is no longer considered a child, but an adult.

Pursuing Legal Action on Your Child’s Behalf

Suing on behalf of a child has certain procedural requirements. An adult, typically a parent or close family member, must act as his or her litigation guardian. A litigation guardian’s duty is looking out for the child’s best interests and doing everything necessary to protect those interests. This is in accordance with Rule 7.05(2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

A litigation guardian is authorized and responsible to make all decisions when it comes to pursuing legal action for a child. This includes consulting with the lawyer in charge of representing the child. If the child turns 18 during the litigation process, he or she can choose to continue without a litigation guardian.

Limitation Period for Child Injury Cases

The limitation period to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the accident. However, when not pursuing a child injury case, the two-year limitation period does not start until the child turns 18.

While it may seem like enough time, it is important to take legal action sooner rather than later. If you miss the filing deadline, the case will likely be barred from court, leaving you unable to pursue compensation.

A licensed Windsor personal injury lawyer from our firm is prepared to guide you every step of the way. We know what it takes to seek maximum compensation.

Settlement Offers and Recovering Compensation

When a lawsuit is filed on behalf of a child, any settlement offer is not considered legally binding until it has received court approval. Ontario courts must confirm that the settlement is fair and in the best interests of the child.

Once a case is won, the settlement funds are held by the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice and not distributed until the child turns 18. An exception to this rule is when a child becomes disabled and requires compensation to help cover ongoing rehabilitation or assistive medical devices.

If the settlement funds are not held by the court, it must be invested into a high-yield savings account, such as a Guaranteed Income Certificate (GIC). A GIC is a safe and secure investment with very little risk.

A child’s parent or legal guardian can also ask for a portion of the funds to be released for special or unexpected expenses prior to the child turning 18. This may happen in cases where the child requires regular medical treatment. The parent or legal guardian must receive approval from the court.

The remaining funds will then be distributed once the child turns 18.

Our Lawyers Are Ready to Offer Assistance

If your child has been injured as the result of another’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners. Our firm has helped protect the rights of many injured accident victims and their families over the years. We are prepared to fight for the compensation you need.

Contact our firm today to request an initial consultation at no cost to you. This consultation will provide you an opportunity to discuss your situation, allow us to explain your legal options and answer any questions you may have. You pay nothing unless we help you obtain a recovery.

Free Case Evaluations. No Upfront Fees. Ph: (866) 320-4770.