One of the complications of pursuing an injury case against a child is the possibility of winning the case and not being able to collect the judgment. Fortunately, this isn't always the case, and there are cases in which you may collect your judgment from a child defendant. Here are some of the signs that your judgment collection may succeed:
The Child Isn't Very Young
A child's age is one of the premier factors that determine whether they can be held responsible for their actions. This is because a very young child isn't expected to know the consequences of their actions and may not even know right from wrong. Therefore, you may be out of luck if you were injured by a three-year-old child, but you may be able to hold a teenager responsible for their negligence.
The Child Was Engaged in an Adult Activity
In general, the child's negligent act will be compared to the actions of other children of similar age to determine whether they knew or should have known the consequences of their actions. This is especially true if the child was engaged in a "child activity," such as playing with a toy gun. However, if the child was engaged in an adult activity, their actions will be compared to the actions of reasonable adults; this increases your chance of getting recovery.
The Child's Actions Were Intentional
Children, especially those who are relatively old, are almost always held liable for their intentional actions. For example, when a child places metal spikes or nails on the road and ends up causing an accident, they are likely to be held liable for their intentional action. This is different from when, say, a child who was carrying some nails accidentally loses them and the nails end up causing an accident.
You Can Make the Parent Pay
Lastly, you may also be able to recover your damages if you can make the parents pay. This may be possible under parental liability laws that make parents responsible for their children's actions. Note that there are terms and conditions that must be in place for parental liability to apply. For example, the child must be above 8 or 10 years and below the age of majority.
An injury claim against a child is a complicated case that needs the touch of an experienced injury attorney. In some cases, you may also need the court's help, after the ruling is made, to collect your judgment. For more information, talk to companies like Hodge Law Firm.