Settlement Of Minors’ Personal Injury Claims
Every parent or guardian wants to keep their child safe and away from harm. However, accidents happen all the time, and sometimes children suffer injuries because of other people’s negligence. If your child sustained injuries in an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, you are most likely wondering if you can seek justice. Fortunately, Florida law allows parents and guardians to bring personal injury claims on behalf of their minor children. If your child suffered injuries in, for example, a motor vehicle accident, you can seek justice by filing an insurance claim on behalf of your child.
After filing an insurance claim on behalf of your injured minor child in Florida, you can settle the claim on behalf of your child without court approval. That said, you might have to seek court approval before settling the claim depending on the situation. Read on to learn when a parent or guardian can settle a personal injury claim on behalf of a child without court approval, when they cannot do that, and how settlement for a minor child is distributed.
When Is a Parent Allowed To Settle a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of Their Child?
According to Florida law, a parent can settle a personal injury claim on behalf of their child without court approval if the insurance settlement is less than $15,000. However, you must note that, even if a settlement is less than $15,000, the at-fault party’s insurance company may still insist that the settlement involve court approval. Insurance companies usually ask that parents and guardians seek court approval to avoid future allegations that a child was not treated fairly.
Suppose the settlement reached in the personal injury claim you file on behalf of your minor child is more than $15,000. How do you ask the court to allow you to settle the case? You would need to file a Petition for Approval of Settlement in such a case. In the petition, you would need to detail, among other things, the circumstances that led to your child’s injury, the liability of the parties, the extent of damages, and the settlement you’re seeking. After filing the petition, it is up to the judge to decide if the settlement terms are in your child’s best interest. If the judge determines the settlement terms are in your child’s best interest, they will approve the petition.
How Is the Settlement Distributed?
Generally, the distribution process is simple if the settlement amount is $15,000 or less. If the amount of the settlement is $15,000 or less, funds will be distributed directly to the parents, and it will be up to the parents to use the money for the best interest of the child. On the other hand, if the amount is more than $15,000, the court may need to appoint a legal guardian to safeguard the money for the child.
Contact Us for Legal Help
Personal injury claims involving minor children can be tricky, so you should retain a skilled attorney if your child suffered a personal injury. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm can help you file a claim on behalf of your injured child and fight for fair compensation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, Ocala, Tampa, Jacksonville, Bradenton, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach areas.