Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What is the process for settling a minor’s personal injury accident claim with an insurance company?

What is the process for settling a minor’s personal injury claim with an insurance company? A person under the age of 18 (a minor) does not have the legal capacity to entered into binding contracts. As a result, when an insurance company offers the minor compensation for his or her injuries they do not have the capability of executing the settlement and release agreement. In order to remedy this situation, insurance companies often require the parties use the friendly suit process. The friendly suit process is a lawsuit the parties file solely to get the case in front of the judge so the Court can approve the settlement and bind the minor to the terms of the settlement including the release. The plaintiff’s in these lawsuits are usually one of the minor’s parent(s) bringing the claim on behalf of the minor. At the friendly hearing, the minor’s lawyer will ask the minor or the minor’s parent(s) a series of questions about the automobile accident and the minor’s injuries. The minor’s lawyer will also provide the Court with a breakdown of all the settlement funds detailing the amount of the medical bills being paid from the settlement funds, the amount of attorney’s fees and the total amount of funds to be paid to the minor. The Judge will then usually explain to the minor’s parent(s) that the settlement funds are not their money but for the benefit of the child. The judge will make sure the parent(s) understand that this if a full and complete settlement and that the minor will be forever barred from bringing a claim against the defendant(s) and the insurance company again in the future even if it is determined that the minor later learns his or her injuries were more severe than originally thought. Assuming the Court approves the settlement, the minor’s portion of the settlement funds will then be deposited in a restricted bank account until the minor reaches the age of 18.

I recently represented a 14-year-old boy who was seriously injured in a single car accident. His father drove off the road and struck a telephone pole. My client suffered a vertebrae fracture and underwent a spinal fusion. Since the accident was caused by his father there was a conflict of interest and his father could not act of behalf of my client to resolve the claim. As a result, the Court appointed another lawyer to serve as the guardian ad litem for my client. The guardian ad litem after reviewing the facts of the accident, the injuries the minor suffered and the terms of the settlement then made a recommendation to the Court that the settlement should be approved. The Court subsequently approved the settlement which was for policy limits and the minor’s portion of the funds were deposited in a restricted bank account where they will remain until he turns 18.

We frequently represent minors across Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska who injured in an automobile accident. We would be happy to travel to come see you. We provide free consultations and we don’t get paid unless we get you a monetary recovery. Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 316-684-4400 or toll free 800-241-BRAD or to Brad on his cell at 316-706-5020 or to Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In fact, Tony just traveled to Western Kansas to see a client who was still in the hospital under treatment for serious injuries he sustained in a motor accident in mid-November. We are located at 10111 E. 21st Street North, Suite 204, Wichita, Kansas 67206 and answer our phones 24 hours a day.

Tony Atterbury, Personal Injury Attorney at Brad Pistotnik Law

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Kansas Personal Injury Attorney