Can Children Make Personal Injury Claims in Canada?

Can Children Make Personal Injury Claims in Canada

Can Children Make Personal Injury Claims in Canada?

Did you know that injuries are an “invisible epidemic” among children and young adults? In fact, injuries are the leading cause of death in children in Canada. When someone else causes your child to get hurt, you should not hesitate to consider making a personal injury claim on behalf of your child.

While accidents may not always be intentional, they can result in trauma, long-term complications, and even death. Injuries that happen when there is a child involved are particularly devastating as they deeply affect their family and friends around them.

In this post, we will be looking at how minors and children are affected by personal injuries and how they can successfully make a claim with the help from their parent/guardian and personal injury lawyer.

Instances You Need to File a Child Injury Claim

Accidents are accidents, but this does not mean that the one who was negligent should not be financially responsible for your child’s injuries. Parents should be firm in pursuing legal action and making a personal injury claim for their child.

Starting a child’s personal injury claim can be confusing. Some parents are uncertain which events are considered eligible for making a child injury claim. There are a number of instances when a parent should act, including on injuries that involve:

  • Product failures or malfunction (e.g. car seats/defective toys)
  • Car accident (e.g. drunk or distracted drivers)
  • Accidents surrounding improper safeguards or supervision (e.g. swimming pools)
  • A gap in maintaining a public area (slip and fall)
  • Childcare negligence or babysitting
  • Playing certain activities (trampoline) and sports
  • An event occurring on a school trip

These are just a few examples of why a child is eligible for a personal injury claim, but any activity where your child is hurt will warrant taking legal action. Parents should take every incident seriously no matter how big or small this may appear, especially as some seemingly minor injuries can later have life-long consequences.

If you are unsure about whether your child’s injury warrants a claim, do not be afraid to consult your personal injury lawyer.

Can Children Claim a Personal Injury Alone?

The age a person is considered an adult in Canada is 18 years old. Therefore, for those under this age, it is expected that a parent or guardian will act on the claim on behalf of their child, preferably with the support of a personal injury lawyer.

Many provinces have a statute of limitation for injuries, this is especially true when it comes to personal injury claims for adults. This statute varies by province, but some may be as little as a year or two after an injury from an accident is noticeable. Fortunately, there are some exceptions for minors. In Ontario for example, the Limitations Act of 2002 noted that this limitation does not begin until a child becomes an adult or in some instances where a litigation guardian was previously appointed.

Although there is some flexibility in when you can make a claim, it’s still vital to act as soon as possible. A parent can claim for a child, but there may be constraints to how the judge awards that compensation.

Parents should be aware that following a settlement in Ontario, the money meant for the child is held by the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice. Once the child turns 18 years of age, this will then be distributed to them. Other Canadian provinces operate on a similar system of distribution.

There are also exceptions to this rule. Money may be released to the parent for reasons such as paying for costs on:

  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Car accident (e.g. drunk or distracted drivers)
  • Accidents surrounding improper safeguards or supervision (e.g. swimming pools)

If the court decides to release the settlement funds to the parent, this money must be stored in a safe and secure manner, for example in a GIC account (guaranteed income certificate).

Determining the Right Compensation

People often say that children are more resilient to injuries than adults. While there is some truth to this, it does not change the fact that children must overcome mental and physical changes.

Being able to foresee these challenges is not always easy and often requires the support of a child injury lawyer. These personal injury lawyers factor in and have the experience to understand anything a parent or guardian might innocently overlook, especially regarding medical evidence or how their prognosis will impact their future as an adult.

While it is hard to put a number on an injury, child injury claim lawyers will do their best to ensure your child gets the money they need to cover medical expenses not covered by provincial health care. Compensation will also factor in emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss in quality of life, and damaged earning capacity in cases of long-term disability for the child too.

It is best to file an injury claim within two months of the injury. Experienced lawyers will work with you to ensure your child’s legal rights are maintained during and after the process. They will take away the stress, confusion, and intimidation that comes with filing on your own which can be overwhelming.

Filing Personal Injury Claims With Child Injury Lawyers

Fewer children would need hospitalization and trips to the emergency rooms if not for accidents others cause. Injuries are a terrible experience, and when children are involved, it’s more devastating for them and their loved ones. Personal injury claims exist to help children and families recover from incidents that may affect their lives and help provide them with the support to move forward as an adult.

The process to start up a claim is not always easy, more so if you want to make sure your child gets the proper compensation they deserve. However, by contacting a personal injury lawyer like Ristich Law, you can give your child the quality support they need. Contact us today and tell us more about your child’s incident, we are here to help you and your child navigate through an injury case.

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