In California, if a minor child (anyone under 18 years of age) is injured and receives a settlement offer above $5,000.00, it must be approved by the California Superior Court. This means a judge needs to issue a court order for the settlement after a thorough review of the settlement. The review includes scrutiny of the medical bills, and whether the attorney negotiated down a reduction, the attorneys' costs, and the net recovery to the minor child. This review ensures the settlement is fair and equitable to the minor child.
I tell the parents of the injured child often, if you retain me, you will be effectively retaining two lawyers: Myself, and a California Superior Court Judge "looking over my shoulder" to make sure the settlement is just and fair for the minor child. Most of the time, I find myself in downtown San Diego at the local Superior Court there having my injured child's case approved by the judge.
Why is the review important? Because the California courts want to protect the child's interest against any unscrupulous parent. The court needs to be certain that the settlement funds go to the injured child when they become an adult. Sometimes we open what is called a "blocked account" with a local bank to deposit the funds into, and other times, we open a structured annuity to structure the funds to the injured child. Most of time, depending on the settlement amount, a structured annuity is favored by the parents because they get to structure, over time, and with maximum return, how much money their child will receive in different points of time. Sometimes the settlement is too large for a child to handle once they turn 18 years of age, so it is wiser to have it structured out, over time, in periodic pay outs to the injured child.
WHAT TO DO NOW IF YOU KNOW OF AN INJURED CHILD THAT NEEDS A CALIFORNIA CHILD INJURY LAWYER:
If you, or someone you know, is under 18 years of age and injured by another, perhaps you are a parent, first download my free injury guidebook BY CLICKING THIS LINK. The book will let you know about what you can expect, your legal rights, and if you even need a lawyer for your minor childs injury case in California.
If you have further questions or concerns, and you would like to speak to me for free, you can call me direct at (619) 813-7955. I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction for your child's injury case. Stay strong, attorney Mark Blane.