How long after an incident can a person under 18 instigate a personal injury claim?

Under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of your child's accident to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child. Another statute of limitations also allows your child to file their own lawsuit when they turn 18. The statute of limitations in personal injury cases ranges from one year to six years, depending on the state. For details on the law where you live, check your state's statute of limitations.

The action for personal injury or wrongful death must be commenced within eight years of the substantial completion of the improvement (construction). Most states have a statute of limitations that applies specifically to personal injury cases (or to negligence lawsuits, which is the theory of statutory fault under which most personal injury lawsuits are filed). In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations begins on the day you were injured. Relying on the rule of discovery isn't an option in many types of personal injury cases (those that result from car accidents or dog bites, for example).

If you have suffered injuries as a result of the intentional actions or negligence of another person and have not exceeded the time limit, you may be able to recover damages. Therefore, if the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years and the defendant was out of state for one year after the accident, the statute of limitations in your case would be extended by another year. While a statute of limitations may state that a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within a certain period of time after an accident or injury, that period does not usually begin to run until the time when the person filing the lawsuit knew (or should have reasonably known) that they had suffered harm and the nature of that damage. While the procedure for obtaining compensation for a minor in most states, this means that a person under the age of 18 varies slightly from state to state, in general a child is entitled to compensation for the same spectrum of damages that you would find in a personal injury lawsuit filed by an adult.

If you are seriously injured in an accident caused by a minor and there is no insurance to cover the child's conduct, it may be worth starting a personal injury lawsuit against the minor. But what happens if a child is injured or ends up causing an injury? Personal injury law assumes that children do not have the same well-formed judgment as adults, and has established special rules for compensation and liability in accidents involving children. Under a legal rule known as the statute of limitations, any lawsuit that arises from an accident or injury must be filed within a certain time (“limitation period”) or the injured person's legal claim will be subject to forfeiture, will expire and their right to sue will be lost forever. Obviously, a child cannot negotiate the solution of a personal injury lawsuit, so parents can negotiate on behalf of the child (or parents can hire an attorney to do so).

The statute of limitations has likely passed (although your lawyer could argue that continued exposure equates to continuous injury), so perhaps the only way to file a personal injury lawsuit for your exposure to asbestos is to rely on the discovery rule. As mentioned above, each state has enacted its own statute of limitations, which requires that any personal injury lawsuit be filed in court within a certain time after the incident or injury. And you may want to consider talking to a personal injury lawyer to ensure that all your legal bases are covered and your rights are protected. For more tips on injury claims and everything you'll need to handle your case, see the book How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Joseph L.

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