Personal Injury Cases Involving Minors in California
- If your child under the age of 18 has been the victim of a personal injury in the State of California, we highly recommend that you stop reading right now, and call our law firm for a free telephone consultation at (800) 816-1529, Ext. 1. We will tell you over the telephone if we think that you have a case and whether we can help you.
- If we believe we can help you, and you decide to retain us, we can then send our investigator to you with all of the legal forms necessary for you to retain our law firm.
- If your child does not have medical insurance, we can immediately refer you to an appropriate doctor near you for medical treatment. (Yes, even if you do not have Medical insurance)
- Yes, this can all be accomplished with one phone call to our law firm. We try to make the process as simple as possible for you.
Personal Injury Cases Involving Minors (children under the age of 18)
Personal Injury accidents involving minors under the age of 18 are subject to special treatment under California Law.
First off in California, a minor does not have legal capacity to enter into a contract until they reach the age of majority which is 18 years old, unless a Court of competent jurisdiction legally emancipates a minor, or the minor enters military basic training with one of the Armed Services of the United States of America. (17 is the youngest age most branches of the military accept)
What this means is that a minor cannot sign a contract with an attorney that is legally enforceable. Further, in the Courts eyes they are too young to have the capacity to handle their own legal case.
Therefore in California Personal Injury cases involving minors under the age of 18, the minors parent, or legal guardian, or some other individual appointed by the Court, must handle the case for the minor, as the minor’s Guardian Ad Litem.
When our law firm takes on a new case for a minor, we determine who the Guardian Ad Litem will be from the inception of the case, since the Guardian Ad Litem is the one who signs the retainer documents for the minor’s case.
The personal injury case will usually proceed just like any other case, except that the Guardian Ad Litem will be making all decisions on behalf of the minor.
If a settlement with an insurance company or an entity above $5,000 is reached on behalf of a minor, even before litigation is commenced, a Minors Compromise is usually required.
A Minors Compromise is an action filed in the Superior Court to get approval from the Court for settling a case for a minor under the age of 18. The Court action is meant to ensure that the settlement is in the best interest of the minor and to protect the minor.
A hearing is set in the Minors Compromise wherein the Court will take testimony from the Guardian Ad Litem, declarations from Doctors, etc., to determine if the settlement is in the best interest of the minor.
If the Court deems the settlement to not be in the best interest of the minor, the Court will not approve the settlement.
The Court will usually order that any monetary settlement made on behalf of a minor, be held in trust by the Attorney, and then be placed in a blocked account with a reputable financial institution such as a Bank or Savings & Loan, until the minor reaches the age of 18.
The Court usually also sets that amount of attorney’s fees that are allowed in the case, and how much the doctors will be paid.
If a settlement on behalf of a minor below $5,000 is reached, California Probate Code 3611(d) and 3401 has routinely allowed custodial parents or guardians to manage settlement funds on behalf of the minor, thereby not requiring a minor’s compromise to be approved by the Court.
Most major insurance companies are aware of the law and will waive the requirement of the minor’s compromise before dispensing settlements of $5,000 or less.
Our law firm has handled a substantial number of cases involving minors under the age of 18.
Call us Now
We are California Minors Lawyers for persons under the age of 18 who have been in personal injury accidents.
It is very important that you pick the right law firm to handle your minor who is under the age of 18’s case.
We have the expertise, experience, and resources to handle these cases.
Our Personal Injury law firm handles minor’s compromise and minors personal injury cases on a regular basis and are experts at what we do.
For a free consultation on your Child under the age of 18’s case, call us at 800-816-1529 x. 1.