If a child is hurt due to the negligence of another, they may be able to recover for their personal injuries. Children many times are injured in car accidents, slip and falls, school accidents, sports accidents, and other accidents caused by another person. For the most part, if a child is injured, their case is handled very similarly to an adult. The child is to receive his/her medical treatment until he/she has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). After the child reaches MMI, then a demand is made to the insurance carrier and/or third party. If a settlement cannot be reached, then a lawsuit is filed in court.
However, Florida does not allow minors to resolve or accept a settlement on their own. A guardian ad litem it usually appointed by the Court to act in the better interest of the child. The guardian as litem will have to approve a settlement and how the money is distributed. In Florida, the guardian ad litem is usually a lawyer who: 1) looks over the facts of the case; 2) reviews the minor's medical records to determine the injuries; 3) interview's the minor and his/her parents; 3) reviews the trust structure that the settlement monies are to be placed into and 4) makes his.her recommendations to the Court. The Judge then makes a decision whether he/she approves or disapproves of the settlement. It is important to note that if the settlement is $15,000 or less and no law suit has been filed before the Court, the case can be settled by the minor's guardians. See Fla. Stat. 744.301.
A second way that a minor;s personal injury case is different from an adult's, is that after a settlement is approved a check is not simply written out to the minor. The monies can be placed in an account that may be interest bearing or an income producing account that can be monitored by the Court. In other case, an annuity is set up for the minor so the monies continue to increase until the minor reaches maturity. Each case is handled differently since each minor Plaintiff is unique.
The rules are in place to ensure that the minor's recovery is available for when the minor reaches maturity.
If your child has been involved in an accident. Seek the advice of a local personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will be able to determine what is the likely path that your case may take. Olga Porven, P.A. has experience representing injured victims in personal injury matters. Olga Porven, Esq., an attorney with Olga Porven, P.A., is a former insurance defense attorney. She is well aware of what the insurance companies are capable of and has the experience in dealing with insurance companies to help you obtain potential compensation in your case. She is also aware of the insurance company's delay tactics and how it may affect the length of your case. Contact, Olga Porven, P.A. for a free consultation. We will gladly speak to you regarding your personal injury matter.