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 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