Considerations when a Minor is the Plaintiff in a Personal Injury Case
With all the activities kids are involved in, in today’s world, it’s a matter of fact that kids are in the car quite often. In the unfortunate case our client from a personal injury or car accident case is a minor there are some important things to consider. Personal injury lawyers have to ask a couple of questions before they settle the case. These questions include:
- Is guardianship of the settlement required?
- Is court approval of the settlement needed
- Does a Guardian Ad Litem have to be appointed?
To determine if these things are needed, you need to know these rules:
If the total settlement is equal or less than $15,000 and a settlement is reached before filing the lawsuit a claim can be settled by natural guardians of minors without approval from the court
If the total settlement is larger than $15,000 but the net recovery (what actually goes in the plaintiff’s pockets) to the minor is less than or equal to $15,000 the claim can be settled by natural guardians with court approval, but there does not need to be guardianship of the property. Some courts might require a Guardian Ad Litem.
What if the total settlement and net recovery exceeds $15,000? This requires court approval of the settlement and minor guardianship of their property
If the whole settlement is equal or greater than $50,000, court approval is needed for the settlement, and minor guardianship, of the property if net recovery is more than $15,000. The court will require a Guardian Ad Litem unless a guardian of the property has been appointed and has no adverse interests to the minor.
These rules remind us that when settling a personal injury claim for a minor you have to stand up for the little guys, figuratively and literally.
Source: HCBA Lawyer Magazine