Settling a Minor’s Injury Claim in California
When children are injured in accidents, a parent or legal guardian must retain an attorney to represent the child. The parent will make decisions about the child’s medical treatment and strategize with the attorney about the case, but the court must approve the settlement of the case to protect the child’s interest. This process must be done properly to ensure the child can collect their money, plus interest, when they reach the age of eighteen. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced California personal injury attorney for children for this type of case.
California Minor’s Compromise Hearing
If the parent or guardian agrees to the settlement, the paperwork that must be filed with the court is a minor’s compromise petition to get court approval to settle the case. It requires the following information:
- How the accident happened;
- The injuries to the child;
- The settlement offer and terms;
- The attorney’s fee and disbursements and
- A description of how the settlement will be managed.
At a minor’s compromise hearing, the judge will review this information and make a determination on whether the child is being sufficiently compensated for the pain, suffering and mental anguish he or she has endured after subtracting the attorneys fees, disbursements and medical costs that must be paid out of the settlements proceeds. If the court approves the settlement, it will also make certain that the money is being used only to benefit the child. This is usually done by ordering the money placed in a bank account until the child is eighteen years old.
What If The Court Won’t Approve The Settlement
Experienced California personal injury attorneys for children know how to prepare a case for a minor’s compromise hearing, so it’s rare that the settlement is not approved. If this happens, it’s necessary to either get the insurance company to offer more money or to wait until the child is eighteen years old and does not need court approval to settle the case. If a child is seventeen, most attorneys will wait until the child is eighteen to settle the cases, saving the effort and stress of a minor’s compromise hearing. The minor’s compromise hearing is only necessary to approve a settlement, and is not needed if the case goes to trial and a jury renders a verdict.
California Personal Injury Attorney For Children
If your child was injured in an accident, it’s important to hire an experienced California personal injury attorney for children that knows how to handle this type of case.