Q: I was involved in a motor vehicle accident (car accident). I was injured and my children were injured. I settled my case with the attorney. But, my children’s case still isn’t settled. Why not?
A: Settling cases for minors can be tricky. We have to be concerned abouttheir future medical condition, as well as the injury and treatmentthey received. We also have to make sure that the settlement will passmuster with the court as every settlement with a minor must be courtapproved. It is possible that your attorney has looked at the offerfrom the insurance company and realized that the judge will not approveit.
It happens sometimes. The judge looks at it and determines it is not inthe best interest of the child to settle the case. Judges need to makesure they are doing what is best for the child.
So, lets say the insurance company is offering $10,000 for each child.The attorney may think this is a bit low, but it may look good to you.The attorney could realize that the judge will not approve thesettlement. So, he is going to try to get the insurance company to comeup with more money. No one wants to go to court and have the judgereject the settlement and send everyone back to negotiate again.
Once the case is settled, you will not see the money. The attorney willput the money in his trust account. The money will then go into ablocked account or an annuity for the kids. You will only be able touse it with a court order. The kids will have access to it when theyare 18.
I would encourage you to talk to your attorney. Make an appointment togo in and sit down and get an explanation. If you are uncomfortablewith the explanation, get a second opinion.