Clearly, the person who sustained personal injury as a proximate result of the wrongful act of another can recover compensatory damages on his or her own behalf.  If the injured party is a minor (under age 18  and not emancipated.), or is mentally incompetent (unable to comprehend attorney’s advice or to appreciate nature of the litigation), the claim must be prosecuted through a guardian, guardian ad litem or conservator of the estate, as the case may be.

A minor’s “willful misconduct” causing injury or death to another, or damage to the property of another, “shall be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor” for civil liability purposes. Minors (under age 18) are civilly liable for their own tortious conduct, but certain legal principles apply to measure and limit a minor’s liability. Given the statutory restriction on a punitive recovery and the lower “yardstick” for measuring a child’s breach of duty, plaintiffs injured by a child’s misconduct may be able to “maximize” their recovery if there is also a cognizable claim against the parents. Parental liability may lie under any of the following circumstances: the parent has knowledge of the child’s prior misconduct; the parent signed the child’s driver’s license application or the child drives the parent’s car with permission; the child is guilty of willful misconduct ;the child was given access to firearms; the child defaced another’s property with graffiti; or the child is convicted of a crime and ordered to pay restitution to the victim. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to guide you in filing a personal injury claim.

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