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Ford Motor Company Loses Appeal Against Rollover Crash Victim

By Brian Chase on February 7, 2013 - No comments

Ford Motor Company lost its appeal against a minor victim who claimed personal injury in connection with a rollover crash that occurred in 1999.

In a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Texas, the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the minor victim was Rollover Accident Attorneysoverturned and Ford was ordered to pay partial attorney’s fees in connection with that appointment.

A Child Is Injured By A Vehicle Defect

The original case occurred when the minor child was injured and his father was killed in rollover crash.  In that collision, the child was ejected from the vehicle and suffered serious personal injury.  The mother, who was not involved in the crash, sued Ford Motor Company for damages and ultimately settled the case for an undisclosed amount.

However, when Ford and the mother presented the settlement to the court, the judge, acting on his own initiative, appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests, stating that there was a conflict of interest between the parent and the child with regard to the settlement.

A guardian ad litem is appointed to oversee the best interests of a minor or an incapacitated person in a court proceeding.  In this case, the guardian ad litem’s job was to ensure that the child’s interests were protected by the proposed settlement.  The mother and Ford Motor Company objected but the judge ruled against them.  Ford Motor Company filed an appeal which was the subject of this case and was ultimately ordered to pay the guardian ad litem’s attorney’s fees.  However, the Supreme Court ultimately decided that the appointment was an abuse of the trial court’s power and ordered Ford to pay only partial attorney’s fees.

What Should I Do If My Child Is Injured In A Crash?

When a child is injured in a car crash, there are several factors to be considered.  First, the age of the child and the severity of the injuries will determine how much oversight a parent must have in regards to a proposed personal injury settlement.  If the child is 17, the judge will be more much more likely to take the child’s opinion into consideration than if the child is seven.  Furthermore, the relationship between the parent and child must also be considered, especially if the parents are divorced and the child lives with one parent the majority of the time.

The best way to determine how to collect damages for a child who has been injured in a car crash is to consult a personal injury attorney.  A personal injury lawyer will discuss the case with the parent and the child, if appropriate, and make a determination as to the best way to pursue damages.  If the parent and child are in agreement, the personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit for damages to recover medical costs, sums for pain and suffering, and other expenses that may arise from the crash and the subsequent injuries.

 

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