A car accident can be a traumatic event at any time when you're driving, but when your child is a passenger in the vehicle and is injured, it can be a parent's worst nightmare. If it is found that the other driver is at fault for the car accident, his or her insurance company will be responsible for paying for your child's medical expenses and possibly for any pain and suffering. But getting an insurance company to offer a fair settlement for a minor child can be difficult. Take the following steps to seek compensation for your child's car accident injuries:
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Securing a settlement for your minor child can be complicated, and it isn't something that you should try to do on your own. In this type of situation, it is in your best interest, as well as that of your child, to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Your car accident attorney will understand how to work with the insurance company to come to a settlement, and if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, a lawsuit can be filed.
File a Lawsuit as Legal Guardian
When an insurance company won't cooperate, your attorney can file a lawsuit on behalf of your child, with you serving as the legal guardian. Just because a lawsuit is filed doesn't necessarily mean that you will go to court-- in many cases, the insurance company will settle this type of case before the court date. But, if the lawsuit does go to trial you will need to present all evidence that you have pertaining to the accident and your child's injuries. Your attorney will most likely ask for the evidence in advance so he or she can prepare for court.
Minor's Compromise Petition
Whether the insurance company settles or your lawyer wins a settlement on your child's behalf in court, a minor's compromise petition will have to be drawn up. This type of document outlines how much the insurance company has agreed to give your child, where the money will be kept in trust, and the name of the trustee of the account. The petition may also stipulate how much of the money is to go towards medical expenses, and how much of the settlement has to go towards attorney fees. Your child can take care control of the money left in trust when he or she reaches the age of majority.
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