Can I File a Lawsuit on Behalf of My Child?

Regardless of their age, there’s nothing scarier than witnessing your child suffer an accident or injury. But what rights do parents and guardians have if they want to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of their child? The answer to this question depends primarily on the child’s age and/or mental state. If the child is a minor, they cannot legally file suit since the law doesn’t consider minors to have the capacity to make legally binding agreements. So if your minor child is victimized or injured and you are a legal guardian, you are effectively the only way through which that child will receive legal compensation. In that situation, not only can you file a lawsuit on behalf of your child, but there will be no lawsuit unless you act on the child’s behalf. On the other hand, if the child is 18 years or older, you have no legal grounds to file suit on their behalf. The only exception is if the older child is mentally or emotionally incompetent (for example, due to illness or disability) or if the adult child names you as a legal representative for some reason. No matter how defensive and protective we are of our children, no matter their age; once they reach adulthood, they must make their own legal decisions in most cases. If you are uncertain about your legal rights or standing on behalf of your child, call Sutton Slover at 404.768.0292.