INJURY SETTLEMENT FOR CHILD, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY? ATTORNEYS MINNESOTA
When a child is injured in an accident, there are several legal issues that come up. First, although the child has suffered the injury, the parents are still legally responsible for the medical bills. Therefore, when our MN injury lawyers are hired to represent a child who has been injured, we represent the child first, but we also make sure that the parents are reimbursed for their expenses including their medical bills. We also make sure the parents are compensated out of the settlement for mileage going to and from doctor appointments, and hopefully for time taken off from work.
Second, the child’s injury settlement must get a judge’s approval before it is final. This is required by law so the court can verify that 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 their personal injury attorney. The lawyer for the injured child then leads the parent through a series of questions so that the judge can determine that the injury 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.
Third, the child’s settlement money for the accident injury 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, guaranteed insurance annuity, etc.) and the investment can only be in the name of the child who was injured in the accident, and cannot be withdrawn by the child before the age of 18. However, the parents of a child who was in an accident and injured in MN can also have our attorneys structure when the payments will be available to the child beyond age 18. For example, there could be yearly payments starting age 18, or not starting until age 22 when the child graduates college, so that the child and family can still qualify for financial aid without counting the settlement money. The structure is arranged before the settlement money is distributed and cannot be changed afterwards. These are issues that a MN child injury lawyer will discuss with you in more detail when you call our office.
Unfortunately, sometimes the injured child will try to thwart the parents’ plan for the settlement payout. For example, one parent had the lawyer set up a structured settlement where one of the payments the child was to receive for the accident would not come until the child was 40 years old. When the child was about 20 years old, he called the attorney asking how he could sell the future payment to get some money now. This is not a call a personal injury lawyer likes to get because when someone sells a future payment like that, the terms are never good and the seller usually gets ripped off. Therefore, the lawyer for an injured child will discuss with parents the fact that we want to set up the structure in a way that the child will hopefully not want to sell it early.
If your son or daughter is injured in an accident, please call us and speak with an experienced accident injury lawyer to discuss the potential case. We represent children injured in a car accident, dog bite, school accident, and many other situations. We have also represented many families whose child was killed in an accident in MN. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury lawyers with more than 25 years’ experience successfully helping hundreds of people injured in accidents. A lawyer will answer your questions and make sure that your child gets fair compensation for the injuries. We will provide you with a free consultation, and we never charge anything unless our client receives compensation for their injuries. You can meet with our accident injury lawyers 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 in St. Paul MN, Roseville, White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Anoka MN, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Rogers, Chanhassen, Chaska, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Albert Lea, and other cities throughout Minnesota.