AUTO ACCIDENT CHILD INJURY ATTORNEYS MINNESOTA
At the Rochlin Law Firm, our experienced lawyers have represented many children who have been injured as a passenger in a car accident. These child injury cases are always difficult for the parents, who often are angry at the other driver for his or her negligence. In cases where the parent is at fault they feel terribly guilty that they caused the crash when their child was a passenger. However, once the car crash has occurred, the parents have to deal with the situation and do the best they can for their injured child.
If your child has been injured in a car accident in MN, there are several legal issues to keep in mind: First, although the child has suffered the injury, the parents are still responsible for the medical bills. Therefore, when our attorneys are hired to help where a child has been injured in an auto accident, we represent the child first, but we also make sure that the parents are reimbursed for their expenses including medical bills. Parents compensation may include mileage and parking going to and from doctor appointments, and reimbursement for time taken off from work.
AUTO INSURANCE FOR CHILD’S MEDICAL BILLS
When the child’s injury is from a car accident in MN, the child will be entitled to No-Fault benefits to pay the first $20,000 in medical bills – no matter who was at fault. See What Are No Fault Benefits. The child may also be entitled to compensation from the other driver, just as any adult would be entitled to compensation for injures after a MN car accident.
What if the parent is at fault and the child is injured? Our lawyers are often asked: “Can my child get compensation or sue when I (the child’s parent) was at fault in causing a car accident and my child was a passenger in the car I was driving?” As a general rule, the answer to this question is yes. It seems a little awkward, but your child can receive insurance compensation even if their own parent caused the accident.
Second, the settlement of the child’s case must get a judge’s approval before the car accident settlement it is final. This is required by law in every Minnesota case involving a child. A judge must make sure the settlement is fair for the child. The procedure is called a Minor Settlement Approval Hearing.
Generally, in Minnesota, the parent or legal guardian and the child must come to court with the car accident attorney. The lawyer for the injured child then leads the parent through a series of questions so that the judge can determine that the settlement is fair for the child. The judge also will look at the child’s medical records and bills, health insurance information, and other facts about the case.
CHILD SETTLEMENT NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL CHILD IS AT LEAST 18
Third, the child’s money for the car accident settlement will generally not be available to the child until he or she is at least 18 years old, unless a court agrees that the money is needed sooner for the benefit of the child. The injury settlement money must be invested in a very safe way (bank deposit, insurance annuity, etc.). Also, the investment can only be in the name of the child who was injured in the car accident, and can only be withdrawn by the child starting at age 18.
Many times, parents of a child who was injured in a car accident in MN will have our attorney structure when the payments will be available to the child. For example, the parents may set up the payments to be yearly starting age 18. In other cases, the child’s payments don’t start until age 22 when the child graduates college, so that the child and family can still qualify for financial aid. These are issues that our MN child injury lawyers will discuss with you in more detail when you call our office.
Unfortunately, our car accident lawyers have seen several situations where a child will try to get the car accident insurance settlement money soon after turning 18, even though the payments are set up to be made over a longer period of time. This is not a call our personal injury lawyers like to get. When someone sells a future payment like that, the terms are never good and the seller (your child) is getting ripped off. Therefore, the lawyer for an injured child will discuss strategies with the parents to set up the structure for the child’s injury settlement in a way that the child will hopefully not want to sell it early.
LAWYERS FOR CHILD INJURED IN CAR ACCIDENT
If your son or daughter is injured in a Minnesota car accident, please call us and speak with a lawyer to discuss the potential case. Our attorneys have also represented many families whose child was killed in a car accident in MN. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury lawyers with more than 25 years’ experience helping hundreds of people injured in car accidents. A top car accident lawyer will answer your questions and make sure that your son or daughter gets fair insurance compensation for the car accident injury sustained.
Our experienced MN lawyers will provide you with a free consultation, and we never charge anything unless we are successful for you. You can meet with a car accident injury lawyer to discuss your child’s case at our offices in Edina, Minneapolis MN, St. Louis Park, and Woodbury MN. Our lawyers also meet with people at their homes to discuss a child’s car accident injury in St. Paul MN, Roseville, White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Golden Valley. Also Anoka MN, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Rogers, Chanhassen, Chaska, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Albert Lea, and other cities throughout Minnesota.