Adults in Kentucky face the risk of accidents every day. Unfortunately, children in Kentucky can just as easily become the victims of personal injury. Precious young lives face most of the same hazards and risk of injuries as everyone else, but children are also at risk of unique dangers in their daily lives.
When negligence and carelessness are to blame for a child getting hurt, he or she is permitted to seek compensation. There are some key differences though. Young people may not fully understand what it means when they sign off on a personal injury settlement. That’s why there are special laws in place to protect them in these situations.
Minor’s Compromise Protection for Children in Kentucky
In personal injury matters involving minors (under the age of 18), special legal procedures have been put in place to protect the interests of a child. The Minor’s Compromise is one such procedure that safeguards children’s interests when they are set to earn a personal injury award from an insurance company.
The Minor’s Compromise in Kentucky allows a judge to check over the settlement to make sure it is fair and is in the child’s best interest in the future. Agreeing to a personal injury settlement prevents the child from going back to ask for more money from the insurance company in the future. It’s important the child and the child’s guardian understand this.
One of the protections intended under a Minor’s Compromise is to provide a check of how the acceptance of a settlement offer will affect the child’s wellbeing once he or she is an adult. Once a judge had approved the settlement, a guardian can accept a settlement offer on behalf of a child since a minor can’t legally approve a settlement contract.
Insurance Companies and the Minor’s Compromise
Insurance companies want a judge’s approval on a personal injury settlement with a child because it also protects the company down the line.
A child can’t enter into a legal agreement with the insurance company. So, if a child accepts a settlement award, they could technically have the settlement contract thrown out when they become an adult and file another lawsuit.
For this reason, insurance companies usually won’t pay out to minors any settlement above $5,000 without a court order.
The Guardians Roll in a Minor’s Compromise
Minors are not considered to have the capacity to enter into a legal agreement with anyone. That bars them from signing off on a personal injury settlement and collecting money.
Children do fall victim to the negligence of others and do get hurt. They’ll need help with medical bills and the person or people at fault and their insurance representatives should be responsible for every cost of recovery. Under these circumstances, young victims need some way to benefit from a personal injury case victory.
The Minor’s Compromise in Kentucky allows a parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem to sign off on a court-approved settlement. A guardian ad litem is an attorney is appointed by the courts to represent the best interests of the child. The guardian ad litem also helps the court figure out what is a fair settlement for what the child has been through.
A parent or guardian can sign off on a personal injury settlement that’s been approved by the court. However, if a lawsuit has been filed only a guardian ad litem can sign off on a legal agreement for the child.
If a settlement exceeds $50,000, the child will be required to take part in a hearing to answer questions from a judge. This step is taken to make absolutely sure the child understands what accepting a settlement or award means.
Who Gets the Settlement Funds in a Minor’s Compromise?
The entire purpose of a Minor’s Compromise is to protect the child. That protection extends far beyond the settlement agreement. The court will see that a few concerns are met when it’s time for a minor to collect an award.
- The Funds must be used only to benefit the minor.
- Funds will first go to make sure the child is provided with basic necessities.
- The remaining is set aside for the child. Funds go into an account or annuity that earns interest. The money is unavailable until the minor turns 18.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Kentucky
After a tragic accident has injured your child, please reach out to us with any questions about the Minor’s Compromise you may have. Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, offers a free and confidential consultation for families. You should be informed about the tactics insurance companies will use to try to rob you and your child of compensation.
The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have a combined 100 years of experience in helping parents and their children get the compensation they’ll need to fully recover physically and financially after an accident. To discuss your case contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today.