Paulding County Personal Injury Settlement Lawyers
Experienced Personal Injury Settlement Lawyers Assist Minor Clients in Pickens County and Throughout Georgia
No parent or guardian ever fully prepares for the day when their child is gravely injured, especially if the injury results in a permanent disability or death. This is an emotionally fraught scenario that no one wants to imagine happening to their family. Unfortunately, it can happen in a blink of an eye. Then, you’re in the tough spot of having to handle everything that stems from this injury.
If your child has been injured, he or she can file a personal injury claim with the insurance company through you as the parent or permanent guardian. When your child is injured, he or she is entitled to recover damage for the pain and suffering for any permanent disability to their body or brain, plus for their future loss of earning potential as an adult.
A personal injury case involving a minor has two aspects:
- reimbursement for the medical expenses that you as the parent or guardian pays for the child’s medical expenses
- compensation for the child’s pain and suffering.
If you’re the parent or guardian of an injured child, you have the right to recoup your past, current and future medical expenses.
Trusted Estate Planning Attorneys Help Clients Through Personal Injury Settlements in Polk County and Throughout Georgia
It’s important for you to know that in Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. However, if the accident involved a minor (under the age of 18) that statute of limitations can be paused. A minor has until age 20 to file his or her lawsuit.
However, if you’re the parent or guardian, you’re obligated to pay your child’s medical expenses and your window of time to get reimbursed doesn’t pause. That means you need to take action sooner rather than later. If you file a claim to be reimbursed for medical expenses you paid or that you’re liable for, you must file or settle the claim in court within two years. If you fail to do so, you lose the right to recover the expenses you paid, even if your child can wait till he or she is 20 to file their own case.
If you’re a parent or guardian to a minor child who’s been injured, filing a personal injury lawsuit can be complex and difficult to navigate without a strong legal advocate in your corner. Our attorneys at Steele Law Firm are available to sit down with you and help you understand how the personal injury lawsuit process works in Georgia.
We can help guide you through filing a lawsuit and recouping your medical expenses in a way that’s as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family. It’s important to file at the right time so that the statute of limitations doesn’t run out for you to recover those expenses. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at Steele Law Firm for a consultation, if you reside in Cobb County or anywhere in Georgia.
Typically your personal injury attorney will send the at-fault part and their insurance company a demand letter to try to settle the claim. If your attorney can’t help you receive a fair settlement through this letter and negotiations, then you may opt to have your attorney file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Being a Court-Appointed Legal Conservator in a Personal Injury Settlement for a Minor
Typically, if you’re an adult who files a personal injury lawsuit, when a settlement is reached with the defendant or insurance company, you’ll sign a release agreeing to the financial payout terms and releasing the defendant from further liability. However, when you’re an adult filing on behalf of a minor, the process is more complicated depending on the amount of the gross settlement.
Georgia defines a “gross settlement” as the full value of the settlement, which includes cash, medical expenses, litigation expenses, attorney’s fees and any amount you paid to purchase an annuity.
If your child’s personal injury case settles for less than a gross settlement of $15,000, you don’t need to file a petition to be an conservator of the funds or get court approval for the settlement. The expectation is that you’ll use most or all of the settlement to benefit your child.
However, if you didn’t file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your child, and the gross settlement is more than $15,000, the court must first approve the settlement. (This settlement amount is before you take out attorney’s fees or medical treatment.) If the gross settlement is more than $15,000 and the net proceeds are $15,000 or less, you may seek the court’s approval without first becoming the child’s conservator. If the gross settlement and net proceeds exceed $15,000, you need to first become your child’s conservator before seeking the court’s approval for the settlement.
You’ll need to file a petition to be appointed conservator for your child in probate court. Your attorney at Steele Law Firm can help you with this process. After this, the settlement funds will be deposited in a separate account that no one can access without court permission. This ruling was put in place to prevent parents or guardians from taking a portion of the settlement for the child for their own use.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation, if you live in Polk County or anywhere in Georgia.
Call Steele Law Firm to Set Up a Consultation With an Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Steele Law Firm, our knowledgeable probate and estate planning attorneys are here to help you preserve your family’s future and help to create a lasting legacy to pass on to future generations. If you’re handling a probate or considering a comprehensive estate plan no matter how old you are, it’s never too early (or late) to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. Our knowledgeable attorneys also help our clients navigate filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their minor children. Having an experienced professional by your side to help you through the process can make it go smoothly and result in a favorable outcome for your family.
Steele Law Firm serves clients in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Fannin, Forsyth, North Fulton*, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk counties, as well as throughout the entire state of Georgia.