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Minor Compromise in Personal Injury Claims

Unfortunately, very commonly the children get into different types of accidents and receive different kinds of injuries. Certainly, it is possible to seek compensation for such injuries and recover the child’s rights. However, minors do not have the legal capacity for filing lawsuits and claims. It is necessary to understand who shall be responsible for filing the claim and receiving compensation.

Obviously, it shall be the parent of the child who shall act on behalf of him. If the parents split up and live apart, the child’s representative is the parent who has custody. In some cases, the court can appoint guardian ad litem to protect the interests of a child.

What is the Compromise for a Minor’s Claim?

A compromise of a minor’s claim occurs when a parent (guardian ad litem) settles a dispute claim for personal injury monetary damages on behalf of a child under the age of 18. Minors’ rights have a special protection by the state, and as a result, the court must approve any settlement reached on their behalf.

The following are some examples of claims in personal injury lawsuits:

  • Medical bills from a car accident in California
  • Compensatory damages for an injured person at a California public school
  • Rehabilitation costs from a slip and fall; or
  • Bicycle accident damages that result in a loss of earning capacity.

Compensation of the Minor’s Settlement Claim

A minor’s settlement trust gives the minor, his or her family, and the courts more flexibility in how they handle the settlement assets, and it doesn’t require ongoing court supervision. A trust can be written to allow a minor to revoke it when they turn 18, but if they do not do so within 30 days, the money can stay in the trust for longer.

You can obtain financial compensation for your child in the form of:

  • medical bills
  • rehabilitation costs
  • loss of capacities (loss of capacity to work when becoming an adult), etc.

The parent can ask the court to release some or all of the money sooner. However, the court will only agree to do that if it believes it is in the child’s best interests. In most cases, the court will not allow the parent to keep any of the money for personal reasons. This is because the court views the money as compensation for the child, rather than for the parent’s financial gain.

What Information Does a Minors Settlement Petition to the Court Include?

The information highlighted in the petition of the court shall include all details which are necessary for the agreement to be settle. Usually, they are:

  • details (personal data) of the child,
  • relationship of the petitioner and the minor
  • description of the nature of the claim, as well as the description of the accident, which caused injuries to the minor
  • descriptions of the injuries that the child suffered
  • description of the medical expenses
  • acknowledgment that the statement is final, etc.

A compromise hearing usually takes place in which the minor and the guardian ad litem shall be present. examination of the injuries will determine if the Court approves or denies the petition of settlement. Besides, the Court also takes into account where the funds of the settlement shall be transferred to in case and after the court approves the petition of settlement.

What is a Blocked Account?

For the last point, the Court usually uses the method of blocked accounts. The account that has a ban is a bank account which will receive the funds of compensation. It is possible to use the funds only when the minor gets 18 years old.

However, in some exceptional situations, the funds can be released from this account only by the order of the court.

If a child received any disabilities as the result of the accident, the court is entitled to impose a special need trust to protect the assets of the child. When the child becomes an adult and is unable to work, the special needs trust shall maintain the assets of the child and also assist the child to receive public benefits as an adult.

Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of an accident, then you may be entitled to compensation. If that is the case, contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review.  Please feel free to give our office a call at 310.943.1171.


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