If your child has sustained an injury, this can add a different level of complexity to your personal injury case. There are extra legal procedures in place that are designed to protect minors. After a lawsuit has begun, a guardian ad litem is appointed to look out for the best interests of the minor. If you want to avoid unnecessary legal costs, you will need to understand how this process works.
You and Your Child are Considered Separately
You and your child will need to have separate claims because the parent can file an extra claim for medical expenses, loss of service and the loss of the child's income before 18. Parents are compensated for medical bills, since they are responsible for paying them. Children have the right to compensation for pain and suffering, permanent injury and disability.
You'll Need a Court Approval for a Settlement
If you choose to settle the case out of court, find out if you need to receive court approval. Depending on your state, it may be necessary to report the settlement to the court if the settlement is above a certain dollar amount.It is also often necessary to have a fairness hearing to determine if the settlement is in the best interests of the child. The guardian ad litem discusses these matters with either the attorney or a judge. The guardian ad litem is reminded that the settlement will permanently resolve the claim. The proceeds are often placed into a trust so they can be dispensed when your child is 18 or older.
You May Not Be In Charge
Usually, the guardian would be you, the parent. However, the courts may choose to grant this status to a family member or close friend depending on the circumstances.
You Must Follow the Minor's Compromise
The settlement involving a minor must be handled using a procedure referred to as the Minor's Compromise. This can be a challenging and time-consuming process, so you will want to work with a qualified attorney when completing this.
You will need to include the personal information of the minor, the relationship of the petitioner to the minor, a description of the claim, a detailed description of the incident that lead to the personal injury, a brief description of the injuries, a more detailed description of the injuries in another section, a description of the requested settlement, a listing of all medical expenses and attorney's fees, and many other details. An attorney can make sure all these details are filled out and that your legal proceedings aren't delayed.
Contact a local attorney such as Irene M Rodriguez PA for more information.