The law provides clear direction when adults commit wrongs against one another. For example, a person can sue the at-fault party if he or she is the victim of a car accident, personal injury, or general negligence.
What happens if the accident is caused by a minor? What if the offense was intentional? A few variables can affect what happens after a minor causes a personal injury to someone else. This article will go over several of the most common situations in which a minor causes personal injury: while working, accidentally outside of work, and intentionally outside of work.
Accidents That Occur in the Workplace
In California, the minimum legal age to work is 14, and the minor must have a permit to work. In addition, the minor’s place of business must have a permit to employ minors. If a minor was negligent in his or her duties at work and caused someone to slip and fall on the premises, the business can be held responsible for the damages that the minor caused. This scenario is the simplest out of the three that will be discussed in this article due to the permit requirements of both the minor and the minor’s place of business.
Things get more complicated when a minor causes injury outside of the workplace.
What Happens When an Accident Is Not Related to Work
Sometimes accidents happen, and they can happen to anyone, young or old. Everyone is capable of making a mistake while driving; however, if a minor is found to be at fault for an automobile accident, some additional stipulations apply. Minors have little to no assets and often cannot pay the victims of the accidents that they cause.
The victim of the accident cannot sue for emotional damages, such as pain and suffering. Still, victims can sue the parents or legal guardians of the minor for physical and economic damages that the minor may have caused. However, there is a cap on the total damages a victim can collect from the accident.
All cases, especially ones involving automobiles, are taken on a case-by-case basis and are considered carefully. Some questions that might be asked include:
- Was the minor traveling at an unreasonably high speed?
- Can the minor’s behavior be deemed reckless?
- Did a parent or guardian sign for the minor’s driver’s license, or is the minor driving without a license?
- Is there evidence of anything that could be considered parental neglect?
Even more questions arise when dealing with an intentional injury outside of work.
How to Handle Intentional Accidents with Minors
Troubled youth can involve themselves in dangerous activities, such as gang violence, vandalizing personal and commercial property, and even unprovoked physical assault. Although there still may be a limit on how much money a victim may collect from the minor’s parents or guardians, the cap will be higher if the authorities deem the minor’s actions intentional and reckless. In this scenario, the victim can also sue for emotional and “non-economic” damages. This includes pain and suffering. However, certain factors, like parental neglect and abuse, can cause extenuating circumstances that affect the outcome of the case.
Contact Setareh Law Today If You Have Been Injured by a Minor
If you are a victim of physical harm at the hands of a minor, contact Setareh Law for an unparalleled and professional roster of legal professionals and a free legal consultation. Our team is prepared to help you. For more information, call us at (310) 659-1826 or fill out our contact form.