Over the years, Wieland Hilado & DeLattre has represented many children that have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Settlements involving minors have to be handled much differently than those settlements involving adults (those 18 years and older). How settlements of minors are handled is determined by the amount of the settlement.
The utmost importance in settling an injury claim involving a minor is to make sure that when the minor reaches age 18, they receive their settlement money. The best way to protect your minor is to purchase an annuity for them from the settlement proceeds, no matter the settlement total. The annuity is flexible and can start making payments when the minor reaches majority age, or even later. These payments can be made monthly, yearly or even in one lump sum.
If the gross settlement of a minor’s claim exceeds $15,000, Florida Statutes requires court approval. This means that the judge ultimately has to review the settlement and determine whether it is in the best interests of the minor. As you might imagine, additional rules come into play the larger the settlement due to additional required protections.
For example, Florida Statute 744.3025(1)(b) states that, unless a guardian with no potential adverse interest to the minor has already been appointed, “The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the minor’s interest before approving a settlement of the minor’s claim in a case in which the gross settlement involving a minor equals or exceeds $50,000.”
The goal of any injury settlement involving a minor is to ensure the best interests of the minor are considered and properly met. There are rules and statutes in place to ensure that this happens but, ultimately, it comes down to hiring an attorney that has substantial experience in handling injury claims involving minors.
If you, a loved one or a friend have been unfortunately injured as a result of the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak to an experienced attorney at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about the best practice in law.