How would a personal injury award for a minor child be paid out?

My 6 year-old daughter got hurt. Back injury. Soft tissue. She racked up $4200 in actual medical bills and $1900 in projected medical bills for future treatments. The company has agreed to pay all medical bills. I have asked the insurance company for a settlement for pain and suffering. They have not responded yet. I was just wondering if and when they do, would there be a check issued on her behalf to me the parent or would the amount be placed in an account for her to be released when she is 18?

Asked on September 9, 2010 under Personal Injury, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most states, any setltement made on behalf of a minor must have the approval of the court.  Indiana is not exception to this general rule. Even if a lawsuit is not filed a "friendly" lawsuit must be filed to settle the claim. And I tell you that no good insurance adjuster would ever settle a minor's claim without it and will never issue the check to the parent unless it is as guardian for the child, which they will often require court appointed guardianship (not difficult to obtain as a natural parent for the purposed of settlement).  Why? Because minors have rights that they can assert at 18 and the insurance company is not going to take the chance that they will have to pay twice on the same claim.  The check can be issued depending on how the court wants it: to you as guardian, in to an account that is already set up for her benefit to be given to her upon majority, etc. I would do yourself a favor and speak with a personal injury attorney in your area as to this matter.  Best for everyone involved.  Good luck.

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