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Legal Considerations for a Child Suffering a Burn Injury

Posted By Aguirre Law | September 28 2023 | Personal Injury

Children are prone to burn injuries, especially scalding from hot water and other liquids. More than 250,000 children seek medical attention each year as a result of burn injuries and over 1,000 children die each year due to burns. 

If your child suffered burn injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation on behalf of your child. The following discusses legal considerations for a child suffering a burn injury in Texas.

If you would like detailed information and legal advice regarding your circumstances, contact an experienced San Antonio burn injury attorney.

Pursuing Personal Injury Damages on Behalf of a Child

A parent or legal guardian may pursue a personal injury claim on behalf of a child in Texas. Another adult, called a “next friend” may also be able to bring legal action on behalf of a child.

Settlement proceeds or damages awarded to a child are not the property of the adult bringing the lawsuit. They belong to the child and must be used solely for the child’s benefit.  

What is an Ad Litem?

When a child’s injury claim is settled, the court will appoint an attorney, in addition to the attorney who handled the injury case, to represent the child’s best interest at a settlement hearing. This attorney is called an “ad litem.”

The ad litem is vital at the signing of the settlement because a minor cannot legally bind themselves to a settlement agreement. At the hearing, the judge will approve the settlement and determine where the funds will be placed.

What Happens to Claim Monies?

The compensation from a personal injury claim is typically placed in the court registry or an annuity insurance policy. Money in the court registry is paid to a child when they turn eighteen. 

An annuity may have a payout schedule rather than a single fund disbursement. A large annuity may have a structured lifetime payout.

What Types of Damages are Available to a Child Burn Victim?

The amount and types of damages available to a childhood burn victim will vary according to the severity of the burn and the prognosis for recovery. Children who are victims of severe burns may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Disability;
  • Future medical treatment;
  • Psychological care; and
  • Disfigurement.

Statute of Limitations for Minors in Texas

Generally, the statute of limitations or deadline to file a burn injury case in Texas is two years from the date of the injury. Any claims for compensation filed outside of this timeframe are denied.

There is an exception for minors. Children who are under 18 at the time of injury have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

It is wise to file a claim immediately following an injury because evidence disappears with time and eyewitness recollections become foggy.

Contact an Experienced San Antonio Burn Injury Attorney Today

There are a variety of legal considerations to keep in mind when your child suffers a burn injury. If you are confused about Texas personal injury law and how it applies to minors, contact an experienced San Antonio burn injury attorney at The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC

The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, has represented the injured in San Antonio for more than 20 years. We believe in fighting for children who are hurt by the negligence of others. 

No child should suffer a burn injury. Call The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, now to schedule your complimentary consultation with a skilled attorney. 

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