Helping Injured Children
Small children and even teenagers can be badly hurt in an accident. Injuries may include loss of limbs, paralysis, death or broken bones. In Georgia, persons under the age of 18 cannot handle their own injury case. Rather, a natural parent or the child’s guardian are the persons that bring the claim on behalf of the child. Ultimately, the parent or guardian will decide on whether to settle the case, file a lawsuit, as well as assisting in proving injuries and damages at trial.
Recovering for Medical Bills
Like any other injury case, a child’s case will include the amount of medical bills incurred by the parent or guardian because of the accident. These bills will have to be paid out of any recovery and a parent or guardian may be sued if they are not paid. Your attorney should handle these side issues when handling a child’s injury case.
Recovering for Pain & Suffering
A minor child is also entitled to recover for what they have gone through because of the accident. This would include past pain and suffering as well as future pain and suffering. Both physical and mental pain and suffering is recoverable.
Protecting the Child’s Settlement
In Georgia, a parent or a natural guardian only has limited powers over their child’s injury case. The law imposes safety checks depending on how much compensation is recovered in a child case. Basically, the more money at issue the more safety checks are put in place to protect the child.
- Settlement less than $15,000.00: Parent or guardian can resolve without the need for Court. Money is given directly to the parent for use and benefit of child.
- Settlement more than $15,000.00, however child receives less than $15,000.00 after deducting attorney fees and payment of medical bills: Parent or guardian needs to file a petition with Court to approve settlement. Once approved, money is given directly to parent for use and benefit of the child.
- Settlement more than $15,000.00 and child receives more than $15,000.00 after deducting attorney fees and payment of medical bills: Parent or guardian needs to file a petition with Court to approve settlement. Also, parent or guardian need to petition Court to be become conservator over the child’s finances, requiring yearly reports and accounting of the funds. Money is kept in a separate account and can only be invested in certain places and can only be used with Court approval.