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How Child Personal Injury Cases Differ from Adult Personal Injury Cases

  • Published: December 14, 2012

The fact that youngsters are more vulnerable to injury should come as no surprise; personal injury lawsuits involving children are not rare. In some ways, the legal process for a child injury case is similar to an adult injury case. However, there are a number of differences.

In this article, I’ll discuss how a personal injury claim involving a child differs from an adult personal injury claim.

It is Necessary for a Guardian Ad Litem to be Appointed

In the event that a child is injured, his interests must be represented by a guardian ad litem. This guardian must be appointed.

In California, the Court appoints the person who will serve as guardian ad litem; this is usually a person recommended by the child’s attorney with the parents’ consent. The guardian ad litem must honestly and legitimately represent the interests of the child. Typically in this situation, the court appoints a parent of the child.

A guardian ad litem has no legal right to recovery and are not parties involved in the lawsuit. Their role is merely one of acting in the interests of the youngster who has suffered an injury.

A Blocked Account is Established for the Placement of the Child’s Settlement

When a settlement is reached, the personal injury recovery of the child will be placed into an annuity or blocked account to await the child’s majority or coming of age (18). When all legal fees have been met, the remainder of the settlement is placed into a low interest bearing account by the Court. Once the minor reaches the age of 18, the entirety of the money is distributed to the young adult.

The reason for this is to ensure that the settlement is provided to the child and is not usurped for any other use. For needed expenditures from time to time, a parent would need to petition the court. Extraction of funds is likely only allowed if its directly related to the claim of injury accident. If you have have legal questions regarding a child injury incident, please contact our law offices today for a free consultation and case review.