Personal Injury Involving Minors - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Involving Minors

When a personal injury case involves a minor, there are specific considerations and procedures that demand attention. Personal injury cases inherently possess complexity, requiring careful navigation to secure rightful compensation. Equally important is the structuring of settlements to serve the best interests of the victim well into the future.

Personal injury cases with minors as the victim of an accident require special attention and involve special legal issues. The child’s interests and rights must be protected by the child’s lawyer, family and courts. Minors are not capable of making legal decisions like settling an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit; therefore, Colorado law requires special protections for children in legal claims. Let’s discuss those issues and how our experienced Denver child injury lawyers can help your family protect your child’s interests.

The Unique Dynamics of Personal Injury Cases Involving Minors

In cases where minors are victims of personal injury accidents, a heightened level of attention is imperative. Safeguarding the rights and interests of the child both during and after the legal proceedings becomes paramount. Most personal injury claims conclude in a settlement but minors lack the legal and mental capacity to fairly evaluate settlement offers to decide whether to accept an offer. A Colorado court must review the settlement with the child’s legal guardian to ensure a fair outcome. This is in addition to the child’s attorney advocating for the child’s best interests in the injury claim.

As part of the approval, the court will review the terms of the proposed settlement and details of the case. The court approves the amount of compensation in the settlement in addition to a plan for handling the funds until the child becomes an adult. The child may need ongoing medical care which is funded through the settlement, so there must be a trust established and a trustee to distribute funds within the terms of the plan.

Minor settlement approval in Colorado

Personal injury claims involving minors in Colorado necessitate court approval of the final settlement. Additionally, the appointment of a guardian, separate from the representing personal injury attorney, is obligatory to act on behalf of the minor within the court’s jurisdiction. Compromise of the minor’s claim is similar to a lawsuit. All of the parties involved in the accident claim must receive legal notice and the court must hold a hearing. At the end of the hearing, the court will approve or reject the compromise.

Compromise of a Minor’s Claim: Ensuring Fair Settlements

In Colorado, the process of approving minor settlements, termed as Compromise of a Minor’s Claim, entails meticulous court scrutiny. All stakeholders receive formal notification, and a comprehensive hearing is conducted to ascertain that the settlement serves the minor’s best interests. The participants in the compromise procedure all agree and sign off on the compromise understanding that the settlement resolves the child’s claims related to the accident and injury.

Key Components of a Compromise of a Minor’s Claim

  • Identification: Details including the victim’s name, age, and residence.
  • Financial Transparency: Comprehensive accounting of attorney fees and the total settlement amount.
  • Settlement Specifications: Summary of factual circumstances, damages covered, and custodial arrangements.
  • Validation: Affirmation from representatives ensuring fairness and finality of the settlement.

Colorado Court Procedure: Upholding Minor’s Interests

Rule 16 of the Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure outlines the procedural framework for approving a minor’s injury settlement. Parties file a Rule 16 Petition, providing due notice to all relevant stakeholders for a judicial review. Most Colorado probate courts require form documentation as part of the Rule 16 petition. The court website for the district court where the child resides will provide any required paperwork to file. The paperwork generally will require:

  • Parents or legal guardians
  • The other parties to the personal injury or accident claim
  • Any government entity paying benefits on behalf of the child like Medicaid or SSI
  • Insurance companies involved in the case
  • Any parties that have the right to subrogate or has a lien against the child’s case
  • The injuries, medical treatment and bills incurred

Evidentiary hearings are conducted, with the judge meticulously assessing potential conflicts of interest. Factors such as familial relationships and affiliations with involved parties are scrutinized to ensure impartial adjudication.

Post-Settlement Management: Securing the Child’s Future

Upon successful litigation, the appointed guardian or custodian receives the settlement funds, subject to court approval. Various avenues, including familial management or professional conservatorship, are explored to optimize the child’s welfare. Pros and cons, such as familial insight versus professional impartiality, are deliberated in determining the optimal fund management strategy. Ultimately the court will consider the circumstances involved and determine a plan that is in the child’s best interests.

Personal Injury Minor Statute of Limitations in Colorado

In personal injury cases involving minors, the statute of limitations begins to run after the child’s 18th birthday, providing ample time for legal recourse. From that date, the normal statute of limitations for that claim begins to run. For most personal injury claims, this is a two year period. For car accidents, it’s a three year period. Some claims have shorter or longer statute of limitation periods in Colorado.

Parents can petition to initiate claims on behalf of their minor children, ensuring timely pursuit of deserved compensation. If the parents or legal guardians opt to pursue a claim on the child’s behalf, then the court must approve the settlement and plan to protect the settlement proceeds. If the parents file a lawsuit, the jury can award an amount to the child like any other personal injury trial. The court will still require a plan to protect the funds until the child becomes an adult.

Contact Front Range Injury Attorneys to Help your family

In navigating personal injury claims involving minors, entrusting experienced legal professionals is paramount. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we specialize in advocating for justice, particularly in cases involving minors. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey to rightful compensation for your child.

Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers

If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right under Colorado law to pursue compensation for your injuries and financial losses caused by the accident. Our experienced Colorado personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys help clients across the state pursue insurance claims and litigation to be made whole. We represent clients in a wide range of accidents including car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall incidents, pedestrian collisions, workplace accidents and wrongful death. We help clients in all four corners of Colorado, including:

Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with our attorneys. You can speak with our personal injury lawyers at no cost and no obligation to learn more about how we can help you get justice for the harm inflicted by another person’s carelessness.

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