Are you trying to sue a child for the injuries they caused you? Well, the laws concerning minors are a little different to the laws that govern the rest of us mortals. The age of “majority” in many states is 18, so most teenagers are classed as minors. Now, this does mean that a child can’t sue an adult without a parent’s consent. Does it mean that you can’t sue a child for their actions too? Personal injury lawyers with experience in this industry say maybe!
Their Age and Situation is a Huge Factor
The truth is, everyone can be held responsible for their actions, regardless of whether they are a minor or not. Children are completely capable of being sued for the injuries they have caused if they are of an age where it is reasonable for them to have done so through negligence or malicious intent. Further to this, it is usually very dependent on factors like their age and what they were doing at the time of the accident or injury.
Age, in this case, is a very large factor – if they were young enough that you would classify them as children and not teenagers, they usually can’t be held liable for what they have done. For example, you can’t sue a six-year-old for throwing a rattle at your face and stabbing you in the eye. However, you can sue an older child for an injury. Just understand that they will not be held to the same laws as normal people are. They are usually dealt with very leniently. Jail time is unheard of, and the usual punishment is a slap on the wrist and a grounding by the parents.
This isn’t always the case, though. The activity they were engaged in can change this. For example, if a twelve-year-old were to commit willful murder, robbery, or cause serious harm to someone, they will be held to the same legal standards as any adult. In situations like this, it is completely normal for jail time and other standard legal repercussions to be assigned. In other words, they can’t always get out of something because they’re “only a kid.”
You Can Sue the Parents Too
Most times, a parent is responsible for the actions of their child, especially when they are supposed to be under supervision. Sometimes, the injury isn’t the child’s fault, but the parents’ for letting them out of sight for even a little while. If their negligence is what caused the injury, you can sue them for this instead of taking it out on the child. A good example is if you were crossing the street and got hit by a car with a child behind the wheel, because the parent stepped out to go to the store and left the child in the car. In this case, negligence will result in the parent being liable. To better understand how the legal system works with regards to children, talk to your attorney. There is no saying just how well a case may go.