Settling a Personal Injury Claim for a Minor
From dance class to soccer practice, it’s no wonder that kids are in the car quite often. In the unfortunate case, our client is minor, then there are some important things to consider.
Considerations When the Plaintiff Is a Minor
Personal injury lawyers have to ask a couple of questions before they settle the case. These questions include:
- Does the court require guardianship of the settlement?
- Will the court need to approve the settlement?
- Does the court have to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem?
To determine if you need these things, you must 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 need 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, then the court needs to approve the settlement and minor guardianship of the property. The court will need a Guardian Ad Litem unless the court appoints a guardian of the property that 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 those who can’t represent themselves.
Source: HCBA Lawyer Magazine