Accidental Injury to a Child in Texas Law
Texas law defines a minor differently depending upon context. The Texas family code defines a minor as someone under the age of 17, while criminal law defines a minor as someone under the age of 18. In some cases a child may be defined as someone 14 years of age or younger.
A minor may also become emancipated meaning that the minor has the legal status of an adult if (1) the minor is 17 and capable of taking care of their own financial affairs, or (2) 16 and living apart from their parents and taking care of their on financial needs.
Children are at risk for many types of injuries including automobile accidents, defective products, sports injuries, brain trauma, family neglect or abuse, swimming accidents, etc. However, minors are usually unable to file lawsuits without the cooperation of a parent or guardian.
Children are often placed at risk being a passenger in vehicles as they are subject to the actions of the driver.
When the child is seriously injured in an accident of some kind, the injury can cause damage which lasts a lifetime. The cost to manage these damages and treat these injuries can render extraordinary expenses for the rest of the child's life.
Personal injury law allows for recovery of damages for both the minor and the parents when a child becomes injured due to the negligence of others. The child may be entitled to damages covering injury, disfigurement and disabilities, loss of future income, pain and suffering, future medical bills and more. Parents can also recover costs for medical bills, lost income and other expenses incurred on behalf of the child while there are minor.
The Texas Penal Code allows for criminal offenses regarding any person who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, either by act or omission causes injury to a child.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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