Settling Child’s Personal Injury Case: Tips for Concerned Parents

Your Trusted Advocates: Maximizing Justice, Minimizing Stress.

Learn how the Dressie Law Firm can guide you through the process of settling your child’s personal injury case, ensuring their rights and future are protected.

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How to Settle Your Child’s Personal Injury Case

When a person is injured due to another’s negligence, they have the right to claim compensation from the party responsible or their insurance company, depending on the circumstances.

Unfortunately, children can also be injured by the negligent actions of others. Even though they have the same rights as adults to compensation for their injuries, they cannot enforce those rights on their own. It falls to the parents or guardians of such children to pursue the insurance claim or file a lawsuit to get compensation.

As a parent, in such circumstances, it is also your job to handle the settlement process on your child’s behalf if the at-fault party wishes to settle out of court.

Personal injury settlements are generally tricky to navigate. Settlements involving minors are also subject to additional laws and procedural steps created to secure the child’s interests. Understanding how the settlement process and these laws work is crucial to getting your child the maximum compensation possible.

    At the Dressie Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of negotiating beneficial settlements for minors. With our extensive personal injury law experience, we can represent you throughout the settlement process and guide you toward a satisfactory settlement for your child while ensuring you meet the necessary legal requirements.

    Please read on for a brief overview of how personal injury settlements for minors operate in Georgia and specific ways we can help.

    What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?

    A personal injury settlement is an agreement between the injured party and the party responsible for their injuries. The responsible party agrees to pay the injured a specific amount as compensation for their injuries. In exchange, the injured party agrees to terminate their personal injury lawsuit or claim.

    A personal injury settlement can occur at any time, even after a lawsuit has been filed, as long as the court has not delivered its verdict.

    If you’ve received a settlement offer from the person responsible for your child’s injury, you might be wondering if a settlement is appropriate or if you should let the case go to trial.

    The answer to these questions depends on the circumstances of your case. Although a settlement can help you avoid the rigors of litigation, there’s always a chance that you might settle for a lesser amount than what you might get from a court judgment. On the other hand, the outcome of a lawsuit is never certain, and you might end up getting less than what you were offered when the court delivers its verdict.

    As such, before accepting a settlement offer, you need to carefully weigh your options and consult a personal injury attorney before you decide to ensure that the path you choose offers the most benefits for your child.

    Deciding Whether a Settlement Is Appropriate for Your Child’s Personal Injury Claim: Factors to Consider 

    Before accepting a settlement, you’ll need to consider certain factors, including the following:

    • The severity of your child’s injuries
    • The impact the injuries have on your child both now and in the future
    • The cost and duration of your child’s treatment and the possibility of a full recovery
    • The emotional and psychological trauma caused by the injuries
    • The certainty of liability (how sure you are that the other party is responsible for your child’s injuries)
    • The cost and duration of litigation.

    Properly measuring your case against these factors can help you decide whether or not a settlement offer will be enough to satisfy your child’s claim, whether to negotiate better terms, or whether to take your chances in court.

    An experienced personal injury attorney can provide step-by-step guidance during this process. They understand how personal injury settlements work and can offer their professional insights to help you make an informed decision.

      Personal Injury Settlements in Georgia: Regulatory Requirements for Cases Involving Minors 

      As a parent, you have the right to represent your child and secure compensation on their behalf. However, any settlement or financial compensation you receive belongs to your child and must be handled or utilized only in their best interests.

      To ensure this, the Georgia Code has some specific requirements:

      • If the gross settlement (that is, the total value of the settlement received from the other party, including attorney’s fees and other ancillary payments) is $25,000 or less, the child’s parents can handle the settlement process without court approval. However, they are legally obligated to use the funds only for the minor’s benefit.
      • If the proposed gross settlement is more than $25,000, the settlement must be approved by
        •  The probate court if no lawsuit had been filed on the claim
        • The court before which the personal injury lawsuit is pending 
      • If the proposed gross settlement is more than $25,000 and the net settlement ( that is, the gross settlement minus certain deductibles such as attorneys fees, litigation expenses, or any amount set aside to be received by the child after they turn 18) is more than $25, 000
        • A conservator must be appointed to handle the child’s settlement.
        • The conservator shall receive and hold the child’s personal injury settlement funds and use them only for the minor’s benefit.
        • The conservator must submit the settlement agreement to the probate court or court before whom the lawsuit is pending for approval, as explained earlier.

      How We Can Help at the Dressie Law Firm

      At the Dressie Law Firm, our mission extends beyond the courtroom to ensure the lifelong welfare of your child after a personal injury. We understand that injuries to a child not only cause immediate harm but can also impact their future.

       As skilled personal injury lawyers, we are fully prepared to fight for your child’s rights and ensure that they get a compensation amount that covers their 

      • Current and future medical expenses
      • Pain and suffering
      • Other long-term care costs.

       We can assist you by

      • Helping you identify and collect the evidence you need to establish a solid claim 
      • Representing you throughout the settlement negotiations to ensure the outcome is in your child’s best interests
      • Advise you on your chances and represent you if a fair settlement cannot be reached and you decide to take the case to trial.

      In our extensive experience as personal injury attorneys, we’ve come to appreciate the unique legal considerations when a personal injury case involves a minor. We also understand that applying these laws correctly could be difficult to handle because of the nuances. We are here to take the weight off you and ensure your compliance with the law.

      Contact Us Today

      Injuries to minors can result from various incidents, including bus accidents, car accidents, or dog bites. When these unfortunate events occur, our goal at the Dressie Law Firm is to help families seek and obtain the rightful compensation for any temporary or permanent injury. 

      We empathize with families dealing with children’s bicycle accident claims or other kinds of personal injury claims and make it our mission to guide them through these difficult times. 

      Contact us today, and let us stand by you as you fight for your injured child’s right to a fair settlement.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How Long Will the Child Injury Settlement Process Take?

      Settlement durations vary significantly. However, child injury cases can sometimes take longer to resolve than those involving adults because of the need to assess the child for long-term effects. 

      Children are still developing. It is important to understand the possible impact of their injuries on their development and future life to ensure that any settlement reached will cover their possible future needs.

      How Can You Prepare a Child for the Legal Process?

      Your child is integral to the claims process since the case centers around them. Even though they may not need to appear in court, attend the settlement negotiations, or even talk to insurance adjusters, preparing them just in case is important. 

      Preparation involves :

      • Explaining: Use simple language to discuss the process, ensuring they understand without feeling overwhelmed.
      • Reassuring: Emphasize that the process is for their benefit and will be as stress-free as possible.
      • Supporting: Provide emotional support throughout the case, demonstrating patience and understanding of their feelings and concerns

      The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

      If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

      Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!