Personal Injury Involving Minors

Injuries can happen to anyone, including children. In some cases, these injuries are caused by the careless or negligent actions of others. When this happens, a minor and their parent or guardian should have a way to recover compensation for their injury expenses. Here, we want to discuss personal injury claims in Oregon involving those under the age of 18.

personal injury minors

Injuries to Those Under 18 Years of Age

Individuals under the age of 18 can sustain injuries in a wide variety of ways, and just like any adult who sustains an injury caused by the actions of other individuals or entities, a minor should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Some of the types of compensation commonly available for an injury claim involving a minor include:

  • Coverage of all medical bills associated with the injury
  • Lost wages for a parent or guardian who has to take time away from work
  • Property damage expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional and psychological trauma
  • Loss of quality of life

These injuries can occur as a result of car accidents, injuries at a swimming pool or hot tub, premises liability incidents, school sports injuries, recreational sports injuries, medical errors, dog bites, and more. Immediately after sustaining an injury, a child under the age of 18 must seek medical treatment. Parents and guardians need to follow up with all adequate and proper medical care required and requested by a doctor.

Deadline for Filing an Injury Claim

The personal injury statute of limitations in Oregon is two years from the date an injury occurs. Typically, failing to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe would result in a person being unable to recover compensation for their losses. However, there are exceptions to injuries that occur to a person under the age of 18.

If a child sustains an injury, the personal injury statute of limitations is tolled (paused) until a person turns 18 (Oregon Revised Statutes section 12.160). From that point, a person has two years from the date they turn 18 to file the claim. There is a caveat to this though – the filing deadline will not extend for more than five years from the day the injury occurs or more than one year after the person turns 18, whichever date comes first.

It is crucial for any parent or guardian to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer if their child has sustained an injury. The sooner these claims get filed, the better. The entire point of allowing these claims to be tolled is to ensure that a child has a chance to file a claim if their parent or guardian does not do so. The reality is that the longer it takes to file a claim, the more likely it is that evidence will disappear and memories will fade. It becomes much harder to file a successful personal injury claim the farther you get away from the injury date.

A skilled Portland personal injury lawyer will immediately examine the situation, begin to gather evidence, and work to file the claim as soon as possible. The role of an attorney is to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of their client.