As a parent, it’s difficult to see your child suffer from an injury, especially if it could’ve been prevented. After a car accident involving a child, many parents wonder what it takes to pursue compensation from the party responsible. During your research, you may be wondering in FL what is the average settlement for a car accident involving a child. Here is the information you need to know about personal injury cases involving a child and how the attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. Contact one of our car accident attorneys today.


Wondering what the Average Settlement for a Child in a Car Accident is?

According to the car accident settlement for a child examples listed on this page, the typical Florida car accident settlement for a child is anywhere from $50,000 to $220,000. Settlements depend greatly on the unique circumstances of each case which is why there is no accurate average settlement amount for a child in a car accident in Florida.

First, personal injury settlements often remain confidential. This means that even if someone calculated the average of all publicly available settlement amounts, it would be extremely inaccurate. Second, each case is completely unique. The average settlement for a crash involving minor injuries doesn’t necessarily reflect the potential settlement of a claim with life-altering injuries. Finally, some states have limits on the amount of damages you may collect. As a result, the highest potential settlement in one state may not reflect the potential settlement in another.

Florida’s laws concerning child accident settlements protect the rights of minors who suffer from injuries or fatalities due to the negligence of another driver. Minors may not file a personal injury claim under their own name however, the parent or legal guardian of the child must file the claim on their behalf.

Recent Case Examples of Car Accident Settlements For A Child

$100,000/Auto Accident/Pasco County, FL/2021
Our client and her 15-year-old son were driving on County Road 1 in Pasco County, Florida when they stopped for traffic. Unfortunately, the defendant behind them failed to stop and collided with the rear of our client’s vehicle causing moderate property damage. The defendant was cited for careless driving.
He was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries including a badly broken leg, a closed head injury and multiple lacerations and road rash. Due to the severity of his leg fracture, surgery was required to repair it.

We forwarded a demand package to the defendant’s insurance company seeking compensation for our client’s son. As expected, the insurer argued that most of the injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the accident. We agreed with the company that an early mediation conference would be a good way to potentially get the case settled. We negotiated hard on behalf of our client’s son at mediation and were able to convince the defense to offer $100,000.00 to resolve the case.

Since the case involved a minor, we were required to obtain court approval of the settlement. Consistent with Florida law, a guardian ad litem was retained to render an opinion as to whether the settlement was in the child’s best interest. The guardian ad litem felt that, given the difficulties with proving that the accident caused the injuries and symptoms, the settlement offer was definitely in our client’s son’s best interest and recommended the court approved it. The court followed that recommendation, and the case was resolved.

$50,000/Auto Accident/Pinellas Park, FL/2014
In this case, our client’s 15-year-old son was crossing 66th Street in Pinellas Park, Florida on his skateboard when the defendant struck him. Unfortunately, he was crossing outside a crosswalk, and the police found that our client’s son was at fault for the accident.

He was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries including a badly broken leg, a closed head injury and multiple lacerations and road rash. Due to the severity of his leg fracture, surgery was required to repair it.

Despite our client’s son’s actions, we felt that the defendant should have had time to avoid the collision if he’d been paying close attention to his surroundings. Since Florida law at the time allowed an injured person to recover damages where they were partially or even substantially at fault, we took the case. The insurance company for the defendant quickly recognized that the injuries warranted payment of their $50,000.00 policy limits, and they offered to tender that amount.

Our client’s health insurer had paid out over $80,000.00 for treatment her son required after the accident. Under the law, the health insurer was entitled to assert a lien against the potential settlement and be repaid from it. Through negotiation we were able to convince the insurer to reduce its lien by approximately 80% thereby netting our client’s son a fair recovery.

It should be noted that the law that allowed an injured person to recover even where they were partially at fault, known as the comparative fault rule, has since been modified by the Florida Legislature. Under the modified rule, if the injured person is over 50% responsible for an accident, he or she is completely barred from any recovery. This harsh new law prevents people with serious injuries from obtaining needed compensation even where a defendant may be substantially to blame.

$220,000/Auto Accident/2007
Our client’s 17-year-old daughter was a passenger in her friend’s car when her friend ran through a stop sign at which point another vehicle struck them on the side. As a result of the impact, the car our client’s daughter was in flipped three times.

She was taken to the emergency room in serious condition with multiple injuries. These included fractures to her neck, back and pelvis as well as internal injuries and multiple lacerations. She was discharged home, but it was clear that she would require extensive long term follow up care.

Unfortunately, the insurance available from the owner and driver of the at fault vehicle was very limited. Our client, however, did have an uninsured motorist policy that provided up to $200,000.00 in coverage. After receiving our demand package, the three companies tendered their limits of insurance, and we were able to resolve the case for $220,000.00.


Damages in a Car Accident Settlement for a Child

A car accident settlement for a child depends on the types of damages sustained in the crash. In Florida, there are three types of damages available for an injured child: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Here’s how each of the different damage types are broken down.

Economic Damages

These damages refer to any economic losses associated with the accident. To qualify as an economic loss, the damage must be tangible and calculable. For car accident cases involving children, this usually comes in the form of healthcare costs, including:

  • Emergency services,
  • Doctor’s office visits,
  • Surgical procedures,
  • Follow-up treatments,
  • Rehabilitation, 
  • Medication,
  • Therapy, and
  • Imaging.

It’s important to note that this also includes any future medical treatment needed for the injuries. For example, if a child becomes disabled due to an injury, ongoing care, and future accessibility needs may be added.

Non-Economic Damages

General or non-economic damages include any losses that aren’t calculable or tangible. A good example of this is the pain and suffering the child may go through as a result of their injuries. Here are some other examples of non-economic damages:

  • Permanent disfigurement,
  • Loss of quality of life,
  • Loss of enjoyment,
  • Chronic physical pain,
  • Emotional anguish,
  • Psychological pain, and
  • Permanent disability.

Since non-economic damages are subjective, it’s nearly impossible to calculate an average. There are numerous factors that go into determining non-economic damages. This may include the family’s circumstances and the child’s health history. Every jury interprets these facts in a different way, so non-economic damages vary widely between cases.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases, courts may award punitive damages to the plaintiff if the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct. These damages are meant to punish the defendant for exceptionally irresponsible behavior.

According to FS 768.72(a), intentional misconduct “means that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness.” In addition, they must have intentionally pursued the action that led to injury despite knowing the risk. Gross negligence occurs when the defendant had an “indifference to the life, safety, or rights” of the plaintiff. 

While most cases don’t include punitive damages, it’s possible that the court or jury may award them depending on the circumstances.

Special Laws Regarding Personal Injury Claims for Children in Florida

In the state of Florida, minors may not file a personal injury claim under their own name. Instead, the parent or legal guardian of the child must file the claim on their behalf. The court has its own approval process to make sure that the claim is for the benefit of the child and not the parents.

For example, under FS 744.387(3) if the legal guardian of a child files a lawsuit on their behalf, the court must approve the settlement amount and terms. In addition, the parent may only settle the claim if it does not exceed $15,000. In cases where the settlement exceeds this amount, the court usually appoints a guardian to protect the settlement amount and distribute it to the child when they reach the age of 18.

There are a few situations in which a parent or legal guardian may recover compensation for their own losses resulting from their child’s injury. If the child sustains a significant injury that results in permanent disability, their parents may file a filial consortium claim. Florida is one of the few states to recognize this type of claim. According to FS 768.0415, any person who negligently causes a significant permanent injury to a child is liable for damages to the parents. This includes permanent loss of services, companionship, comfort, and society.

How to Secure Evidence

One of the most important aspects of your case is evidence. In Florida, a car accident settlement for a child usually depends on the evidence showing the defendant’s negligence. Here are some steps you can take to collect the evidence you need after the accident.

1. Photograph or Take a Video of the Scene

If it’s safe to do so, try to take pictures at the scene of the crash. This includes any vehicle damage, injuries, and road conditions. Make sure to also include any photos of tire marks as well to assist with accident reconstruction. These details serve as important evidence in your case. 

2. Collect Copies of Medical Records

When you get treatment for your child’s injuries, try to get copies of their record of treatment. Many insurance companies try to minimize or deny a claim if the claimant doesn’t immediately seek medical attention. If possible, ask the doctor to include statements about the severity of your child’s condition and whether it requires further care.

3. Ask Witnesses to Provide a Statement

If your accident occurs during the day on a busy road, chances are there may be witnesses. If you can, ask any potential witnesses for their contact information. Their statements may help bolster your claim, especially if it coincides with other evidence.

Was Your Child Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Us Today

If the negligence of another caused your child’s injuries in a car accident, you don’t have to fight alone. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we know how terrifying it is to see your child go through a serious injury. Our goal is to passionately advocate for you and your family so you don’t have to worry about the legal process. 

The car accident attorneys at our firm have decades of experience representing over 20,000 clients. No matter what questions you may have, we are here to help 24/7. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call or contact us online. We proudly serve clients throughout Florida from our offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Brandon, and surrounding communities.