Car Accidents: What If My Child Was in the Car with Me?
With commuting to school, activities, sports, and more, it’s not uncommon that children are often passengers in a Los Angeles car accident. California law addresses information that parents need to know related to settling claims involving minor children. It’s important that parents talk with an experienced car accident lawyer to fully understand their legal rights as well as to accurately determine whether the settlement offered for their child’s injuries is fair.
The Settlement from a California Car Accident Belongs to the Child
California state law specifically states that the settlement the child receives does not belong to the parent -- It belongs to the child. The court will work to protect the settlement proceeds on behalf of the child. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that the money is still available when the child turns 18. This means that the court may deposit the money into a bank account on behalf of the child, restrict withdrawal of any of the money by anyone until the child turns 18, or decide to have the money invested in an annuity until the child turns 18. The annuity would begin paying out to the child once they turn 18.
The Court Must Approve the Settlement
If a child is involved in Los Angeles car accidents, the legal system wants to make sure that the settlement the child receives is fair. With that in mind, the court must approve the settlement offered on behalf of the minor child. It’s important to note that the child does need a lawyer for the settlement process. Usually, the lawyer chosen by the family to represent the minor will also be appointed by the court as the guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is bound by the court to act in the child’s best interest.
Once a settlement is reached, the court will hold a hearing. Anyone with an interest in the settlement is invited to attend and tell the judge whether they agree with the settlement and how they think the court should handle the funds. If the court is convinced that the settlement is reasonable, it will be approved.
If your child was involved in a car accident, whether or not you were driving, and your child suffered an injury, you want to do everything in your power to protect their legal rights and ensure that they receive the financial compensation owed to them. For a free, no obligation consultation about your child's potential case, contact the top-rated Los Angeles injury attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.