We all know that children are adventurous and love to play outside. While playing and exploring new things are a great way for children to learn, it, unfortunately, makes children more susceptible to injuries. There are many ways children can be injured, such as falls, automobile or ATV collisions, dog bites, etc. While a parent can file a claim on behalf of their minor child, a parent may not want to file a lawsuit against her neighbor for a dog bite injury. However, there are options if the child wants to file a personal injury lawsuit in North Dakota when he or she turns eighteen.
Statute Of Limitations
You may have heard the term “statute of limitations” on your favorite law or crime show, but you might not realize how important it actually is. Generally speaking, a statute of limitations establishes a time period after an incident within which a claim can be filed with the court. The time limitations vary from statute to statute and state to state. These limitations have the power to stop an otherwise valid claim simply because the injured party took too long to file a lawsuit. There are, however, some exceptions to the statute of limitations rules that may extend the deadline to pursue a claim, including those regarding personal injury lawsuits involving children.
Statute Of Limitations For Injured Children
The law in North Dakota treats children under the age of eighteen differently than adults. In fact, infancy is seen as a “disability” that extends the statute of limitations in certain claims. The time between the injury and the child’s eighteenth birthday is not included in the limitation period. However, the period cannot be extended for longer than one year after the child turns eighteen. See N.D.C.C. § 28-01-25. More simply put, if your minor child was injured and has now turned eighteen, your child may be able to bring a claim for personal injuries before he or she turns nineteen years old, even if the limitation period would have otherwise expired. There are other exceptions for professional malpractice cases. In professional malpractice cases, the extension of the time period due to infancy is limited to twelve years.
While the statute of limitations may be extended in situations for children who are injured, this does not mean you should wait to speak with an attorney about your case. If you wait months or even years before speaking with an attorney, evidence from the incident may be lost, which can affect the outcome of your case.
Each personal injury case is different, and this article only summarizes very technical laws, on which, you’d be best served to seek legal advice. If you or your minor child has been injured and you are looking to consult with an attorney, please give the Personal Injury Team a call at 701-297-2890 or send us an email below. All consultations are free of charge, and any case for personal injury is on a contingency fee basis only, meaning we only recover fees if we are able to get you compensation for your harms and losses.