Auto accidents happen all the time and even minors can get involved either directly or indirectly. If a minor child sustains injuries from a car accident in New York City, it’s a prudent action to contact an personal injury lawyer to commence the settlement case.
Whether the parent of the child can gain access to the funds depends on the type of settlement agreed upon and where the funds are held. The settlement funds paid as compensation for the injuries sustained by the child are lawfully and exclusively the benefits of the child because of the sustained injuries. That is why it’s important to put safeguards like holding the funds in the personal injury attorney’s trust account until the child is mature enough to utilize the money so as to avoid improper depletion of the money. Even if the money if received on behalf of the child, it should exclusively be used for the child and not any other purposes.
A parent’s entitlement
Parents or guardians can be entitled to a portion of the settlement if they have been included in the settlement. For instance, the settlement may have certain sections designating funds for reimbursement of the medical expenses incurred by the parent in dealing with the car accident. In other words, parents or guardians of the minor will get a reimbursement for the amount of money they spent for medical expenses resulting from the child’s injuries. Therefore, a parent should consult with an personal injury lawyer to get advice on whether he or she is permitted to spend any funds for reimbursement purposes.
Furthermore, as a parent, grandparent, or guardian, you can seek the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you pursue other courses of actions such as claiming compensation for damages sustained in relation to the child’s injuries. It’s easier, faster, and cheaper to let a trained personal injury lawyer with years of experience in handling such matters to handle the claim’s pursuit on your behalf.
Payment of settlement money
Money from a personal injury case settlement can be paid in structured form, lump sum, or different periodic payments. The settlement agreement will determine the manner in which the payments will be distributed and how it will be utilized for the benefit of all parties involved. In some situations, some limitations can be set to allow for an early withdrawal of the settlement funds. In general, it’s wise for a parent or guardian of the injured child to take the settlement money on behalf of the child and make certain that the funds are properly utilized to compensate for the injuries sustained from the accident.
Whenever money is held in a trust, it means that there are certain guidelines that protect the utilization of those funds. Therefore, a trustee will be appointed to ensure that the funds are managed and disbursed according to the predetermined guidelines. It’s the duty of the trustee to manage the funds according to the trust provisions and use his or her fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of the trust’s beneficiary. For example, if the child’s parent is the trustee of the settlement funds held in a trust, then he or she can only distribute the funds for the benefit of the aforementioned child by following all provisions of the trust fund. In such instances, if the parent or guardian tries to gain access to the funds wrongfully for personal use, then he or she will be subject to certain penalties set out in the trust fund’s provisions.
It’s, therefore, vital to contact an personal injury lawyer to guide you in understanding how the settlement money should be utilized or handled in case you get involved in a personal injury settlement case on behalf of a child.