Can You Sue a Child for Damages?

If you are injured due to the actions of another party, you likely understand that you have the right to sue them to attempt to cover your damages. This type of lawsuit happens all the time in our legal system. If your injuries were caused by a child, however, it will introduce some additional complexities that most people aren’t familiar with. This blog post covers the most important aspects of how and when you can sue a child for damages that they caused.

Negligent vs. Intentional

When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit against a child, the most important thing that will come up is whether the action in question was negligent or intentional. In this context, a negligent act simply means that while the child’s action certainly resulted in your injury or damages to your property, that wasn’t the intent of the child. A classic example of this would be the difference between when a child hits a baseball that ends up breaking your window compared to when a child throws a baseball through your window on purpose. In general, you can sue a child when the act was intentional, but not when it is negligent.

How Old Is the Child?

Another factor that the courts will look at is the age of the child. The older the child is, the more likely it will be that you can successfully sue them for damages. For example, it is going to be almost impossible to sue a child who is under the age of 8 regardless of what they have done. A 16-year-old, on the other hand, should be much more responsible, and therefore could be sued for certain intentional actions.

Involving the Parents

In many cases, you may be able to sue the parents of a child even when you can’t sue the child themselves. Parents are responsible, to a certain extent, for the actions of their children. In most situations, however, the total liability that the parents have will be significantly reduced compared to how much they would have to pay if they performed the same actions and were sued.

Recovering Damages

It is important to note that this blog post is looking specifically at whether you are able to file a lawsuit against a child. This is a very different question than whether you will be able to recover the damages that you are awarded if you win the case. Most children do not have sufficient assets to allow you to recover a large payout. With this in mind, you will want to think carefully about whether it is worth it to sue in your specific situation. Please contact Abdallah Law to schedule a consultation and learn what the best way to proceed in your case may be.

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Abdallah Law

Abdallah Law has been a successful law firm serving the people of Chicago and the surrounding area for years. This success can be attributed to one thing: Our team. At Abdallah Law, protecting our clients’ rights and safeguarding their liberties is the driving force of everything we do.

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