Has your child recently sustained an injury? There are a number of ways this may have occurred. As a result, you may be considering whether it’s best to move forward with filing a personal injury claim to collect compensation for the damages you and your child have suffered. However, if you share custody of your child with another parent, you may give pause prior to moving forward. Whether you have joint legal custody or sole custody, when another parent is at play, it may be a good idea to speak with them and your lawyer prior to moving forward.
Understanding Personal Injury Settlements Involving Minors
Watching your child suffer due to another person or entity’s negligent actions can be difficult to withstand. While you are likely supporting and caring for them in the best way you know how, many parents may be left feeling helpless. In some cases, it may make sense to take legal action with the help of a lawyer. When facing a personal injury case following an accident involving a child, a lawyer will work to prove that the following key elements are present:
If a minor child is awarded a settlement, it will be important to identify a responsible party to oversee the settlement until the child is no longer an adult. In most cases, there will be a sum of money disbursed to help cover any damages that may need immediate attention. They may include medical expenses and legal fees. The remaining money will likely be placed into a trust until the child reaches the age of 18.
Who Will Manage the Settlement?
You and your partner are likely wondering which parent should take on the responsibility to manage the settlement until the child is old enough to do so. For divorced parents, this can quickly become a point of tension. While some may be able to mutually agree upon who will take on this responsibility, others may struggle to reach a decision. In most cases, the parent with primary custody of the child will be appointed to oversee the trust.
The Best Interest of the Child
It’s important to be aware that the courts are charged with acting in the best interest of the child. When parents can not reach an agreement, the court may appoint another party to oversee the settlement. In some cases, this may be another trusted family member or someone who has been appointed by the court. Situations involving child custody can quickly become heated. When you and your child?s parent are at odds regarding personal injury decisions, it may be a good idea to speak with a lawyer.
Understanding Fiduciary Duty
Once initial expenses incurred from the accident are taken care of, it will be the appointed parties responsibility to ensure that the money is preserved until the child reaches adulthood. When a parent carries this responsibility, they must uphold their fiduciary duty to protect the child’s overall present and future interests.
No parent wants to witness their child’s suffering. During this time, chances are they will need your comfort, nurturing and advocacy more than ever. While it’s important that both parents work together in supporting the child, tense relationships may make the ability to do so challenging. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim in the name of your child, or your child has recently been awarded a settlement, it’s not uncommon for parents to manage the award until the child is older. With divorced parents involved, what to do can become a bit more challenging. Working with your family lawyer in Frisco, TX may be able to help advocate for you by providing legal guidance as you navigate these complex waters.
Contact Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and a personal injury claim for a child you share custody.
*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
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