Children can unfortunately get hurt in a variety of situations.
This includes slip-and-fall accidents, automobile accidents, daycare accidents, and accidents involving defective toys.
It can be distressing when you find out that your child has suffered an injury.
It is especially frustrating if someone else’s negligence or carelessness caused them to get hurt to begin with.
Sometimes, it is complicated to determine how you ought to settle an injury claim for your minor child.
At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, our personal injury lawyers can help you to navigate your options.
Who Can Bring a Claim for a Minor?
If the injured child is still a minor, a parent or a guardian at litem can represent the minor on their behalf. A guardian at litem refers to someone whom the court appoints to represent the child.
Settlement of the Injury Claim
There are several settlement options for minors. Overall, for any settlement for a minor child, the court will take into account the best interests of the child.
Friendly Judgment Hearing
A “friendly judgment hearing” is a hearing without any legal battles because the parties have already decided to reach a settlement.
This means that there is no jury involved in the proceedings. Instead, the court will decide whether the settlement is “fair and reasonable.”
Possible Settlement Options
Once the parties have reached a settlement, there are a few different options.
Funds held in trust
Oftentimes, in New Jersey, a county Surrogate will hold the settlement funds until the minor turns 18 for the protection of the child.
The parent or guardian ad litem can request that the court allow them to withdraw funds. They can only withdraw funds for necessities, and petition fees are required.
All in all, it is important to check the rules for your specific county. You should also ask your attorney for guidance on these procedures.
Under New Jersey law, creating a structured settlement is another one of the settlement options for minors.
A structured settlement is essentially an insurance settlement for a minor child, where the settlement is disbursed periodically. This limits what the child can reach from the settlement until they are 18 years old.
The funds are disbursed this way to protect the child. This is, of course, because minors are not likely to carefully manage the funds they receive.
Typically, structured settlements are paid via an annuity that a life insurance company issues.
In every state, one of the benefits of structured settlements is that insurance commissioners regulate them.
Again, if you have any concerns or need clarification on these options, consider discussing them with a personal injury attorney.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
For more information about your settlement options, consider reaching out to our attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC.
We practice several areas of law including personal injury, commercial litigation, and real estate.