Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

What Does the Doctrine of Parental Immunity Mean?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 22, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When a child is seriously injured in an accident, one of the first things the parents and their attorney try to do is identify who is responsible for the accident that harmed their child. Of course, the insurance company representing the defendants in any resulting injury claim will try to to the same thing -- and often their investigation begins with the parents themselves. It's common for insurance companies to argue that a lack of appropriate parental supervision was a significant contributing factor in causing the accident. In some cases, frequently involving a child with separated or divorced parents, one parent may directly sue the other for injury damages or wrongful death of a child resulting from an accident that took place while the child was in that parent's care. Regardless of who is accusing a parent of negligence in an injury case involving their own child, such arguments have additional challenges due to the legal doctrine of "parental immunity".

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, parental immunity

Can the Insurance Company Claim Parental Negligence to Avoid Paying for My Child's Injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 20, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Many insurance companies present a friendly, helpful, and concerned face in their advertising, but the success of these businesses involves finding ways to avoid paying out for claims, or to minimize the amount they have to pay as much as possible. One very common tactic insurance lawyers use to this end is the assertion of comparative negligence – the accusation that the injured victim was partly (or entirely) responsible for their own accident. In the case of child injury claims, especially those involving children who are too young to have the capacity for careful or negligent behavior, this often involves accusations of parental negligence. Parents who are seeking to have their child's medical bills and other expenses (or, in the most tragic cases, pursuing a wrongful death claim) after a serious traumatic accident are often discouraged or angered to be confronted with the suggestion that they were negligent and partly to blame for their child's injuries. Sadly, this is business as usual for insurance companies – but there is good news. Accusations of parental negligence have a harder time gaining traction than other comparative negligence defenses, due to the doctrine of parental immunity.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, comparative negligence, parental immunity

Parents Not Held Liable for Accidents & Injuries that Occur in Customary Child Care

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 04, 2015

 By Francis M. Smith

For many people, it can be difficult to imagine a circumstance under which a child would wish to sue his or her parents for negligence. The unfortunate reality, however, is that parents aren't perfect and accidents happen, so the courts have needed to decide if and when a parent may be held liable for their child's injuries in a lawsuit. The answer that our legal system has reached is a complicated one, and through the process of trying to reach a fair and reasonable solution, the doctrine of parental immunity was established.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, parental immunity

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