Settling Your Child’s Vehicle Accident Case
For a parent, there's nothing more terrifying than having your child injured in a vehicle collision. When it comes to pursuing compensation for those injuries, the rules that must be followed are different than those for adults. Since minors can’t legally enter into contracts, a settlement hearing is required. These hearings are conducted in order to:
- Create a paper trail to prove that all parties involved understand the settlement agreement.
- Give the court an opportunity to evaluate the settlement and determine if it's best for the child.
- Ensure that settlement funds are preserved until the minor becomes an adult.
The Minor Settlement Hearing
Due to a child's legal status as a minor, vehicle accident injury claims for children can be complicated. Fortunately, our courts developed procedures for the approval of settlements intended to provide compensation for a child’s injuries.
In Texas, minors are classified as anyone under the age of 18. Since children can’t legally sign contracts, including insurance company releases, settlements involving minors must be approved by a judge. The minor, his personal representative, his legal counsel, and the attorney for the settling party are typically present at this minor settlement hearing. The parties involved present evidence in an effort to convince a judge the proposed settlement is best for the child.
Unlike most court proceedings, a minor settlement hearing is typically brief and isn’t adversarial. Since the parties involved already agreed upon the settlement, the purpose of the hearing is simply to finalize it. Once the judge approves the settlement, the minor cannot initiate a lawsuit when he's older.
If your child was injured in a vehicle accident, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you and him receive the compensation he deserves. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.
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