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Can A Child File A Lawsuit For Injuries In The State Of Washington?


A child can suffer injuries in many ways, from playground accidents to auto collisions. When a child is injured due to negligence or recklessness, parents may have the option of filing a lawsuit on behalf of their child. But can a child file a lawsuit on their own? If not, how old does a person need to be to have a right to sue on their own behalf?

If your child suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you might want to explore your legal options by contacting our lawyers at Emerald Law Group. Our Seattle child injury lawyers help parents pursue legal action against those whose negligence or recklessness caused injuries to their children.

Can Minors Sue for Injuries in Washington?

In Washington State, minors (persons under 18 years of age) cannot sue for damages until they turn 18. However, they can be sued. When a minor is sued, a parent or guardian must act as their representative and respond to any claims against them.

Can Parents File a Lawsuit on Behalf of Their Child to Sue for Injuries?

Yes. Parents or legal representatives are able to file a lawsuit on behalf of their child if the child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. The parents must provide proof that the injury was caused by another person’s actions or inaction and that it resulted in damages such as medical costs or emotional distress.

It is important that this type of lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations (the time limit set by law during which an action may be brought). Generally, injured victims have three years to sue the negligent party for injuries in the state of Washington (RCW § 4.16.080).

What Is “Tolling” of the Statute of Limitations?

Tolling means that even though the statute of limitations has expired, it may still be possible to pursue legal action if certain conditions are met. In Washington state, tolling applies when someone under 18 years old is involved in a personal injury case—in this situation, they may have up to three years after turning 18 to pursue legal action.

Essentially, it means that the statute of limitations – three years for personal injury cases in Washington – does not start to run until after the child turns 18. There may also be exceptions depending on other factors such as being mentally incapacitated or having impaired judgment due to alcohol or drugs at the time when the injury occurred.

Consult with a Child Injury Lawyer

When a minor suffers an injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it can be difficult for them to seek justice on their own due to legal restrictions regarding minors filing lawsuits in Washington state.

If you believe your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and would like more information about your options for pursuing legal action, contact our skilled lawyers at Emerald Law Group. We can help guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected every step along the way. Get a free case evaluation by calling 206-826-5160.


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