Unfortunately, personal injuries can happen to children just as easily as they can happen to adults. In fact, injuries to minors can often be more complicated, if not more serious, due to the fact that children are smaller, weaker, and in some cases incapable of expressing the location of pain or other symptoms.
Nevertheless, children and teenagers are entitled to compensation for their personal injuries just like adults are. The question becomes, who decides how much money they can accept and where that money goes. Ninety-nine parents out of one hundred will put the money from their child’s settlement somewhere safe and set it aside from them…however, the law has to protect the child whose parents or guardian may not have that interest in mind. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney must be experienced in negotiating these procedural complexities.
All of these issues are addressed in the Petition for Minor’s Compromise. This is an attorney-prepared document that is filed with the Court, at no cost, wherein a judge evaluates the amount of the proposed settlement (as agreed upon by the child’s parent or guardian) and where the settlement proceeds are expected to go and how they will be protected. Until a judge approves the minor’s compromise, no liability carrier or other responsible party will issue a settlement check. The requirements of a minor’c compromise are codified at NRS 41.200.
Experienced personal injury attorney know how to make the most of a minor’s settlement, and are familiar with tax and other laws which provide a great degree of flexibility in how the minor’s money is handled. Minor’s who receive large personal injury settlements would do well for their money to not sit in a savings account at less than 1% interest for 10-15 years. This is where the term “structured settlement” comes in. In settlement structures, different portions of the minor’s money can go to different places, such as CD’s, college funds, annuities, or trusts. These structures can be set up to provide portions of the personal injury settlement at different times and at the happening of different events.
In smaller cases where maybe only a few thousand dollars are involved, such complexities are not really necessary and the minor’s injury settlement is best left in a simple savings account or CD. Only an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can full advise you of what issues may arise in a particular case.