Settling An Injury Case for A Child

settling injury case child

All too often, we see parents come to our office with a child that was injured at the fault of another person.  Children have the same rights to recover for injuries as any adult would.  They can recover for economic losses, medical treatment and for the pain and suffering related to the injury.  They can also be a plaintiff in a lawsuit, but California has special rules in place to protect kids from possible abuse in the process.

As a minor, a child is unable to enter into settlement agreements and make legal decisions on their own behalf.  An adult, such as a parent or custodian, is required to make these decisions.  In order to make sure the parent or custodian does not take advantage of the child’s inexperience and unfamiliarity with the law, California requires that a judge approve any settlement involving an injured child.  This is aimed to make sure the child’s best interest are being accounted for and that the funds be used only for the child’s benefit.

In most cases, the funds are used for the child’s medical care.  Remaining funds are to be held, in most cases, in a trust account for the child needs.  Until the child reaches 18 years old and is legally able to make decisions, the court must approve the use of any funds held in trust for the child.

It is important to find the right attorney, who has experience with this legal process to protect the child’s interest.  By not following this process, there is risk that the settlement agreement is unenforceable.

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