Updated February 20, 2020
Accessibility of a child’s settlement money is dependent on who is awarded the money. The owner of the settlement is determined either in the settlement agreements or in the court. If the parents are awarded the settlement, sometimes courts can mandate what that money is spent on (food, water, shelter, clothing, health, etc.). If the court decides that the parent fails to represent the child’s best interest, it can appoint a guardian ad litem for the purposes of the lawsuit. The guardian has the authority to select and consult with an attorney.
If a child’s settlement award is less than $10,000, it can be received directly by the child’s parents. Settlements are legal property of the minor, and they are often awarded under a set of particular provisions that determine how the money should be spent. For example, if the plaintiff cited hospital bills, rehabilitation, counseling, and home accommodations in the original claim, the settlement award would be designated for those expenses.
If a settlement brought on behalf of the minor amounts to $10,000 or more, it must be approved by the court and accepted by the parent or guardian.
Children under the age of eighteen cannot file their own lawsuit in Indiana. A parent or guardian may file a claim on the child’s behalf. Any child under the age of seven years is presumed incapable of fault. Children between the ages of eight and thirteen are likewise incapable of fault.
However, children of fourteen to eighteen years can potentially be charged as adults. In children’s personal injury cases, the statue of limitations is extended. Ordinarily, an injured child has two years after the incident to file a claim. Since children are not able to file claims on their own, the statute of limitations does not necessarily apply until the child turns eighteen. If you have specific questions on how long you need to file a claim on behalf of a child, we recommend consulting with a personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at WKW offer free consultations.
Parents or guardians can delegate the child’s settlement money to:
No parent should have to endure the trauma of fighting for an injured child. The experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham are dedicated to your recovery. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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