As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your child safe. You already know the importance of safety restraints in passenger vehicles and trucks, and a frightening statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves this point: One-third of children under 13 who were killed in auto accidents nationwide were not wearing a seat belt or secured in a car seat at the time of the collision. While you can ensure that kids buckle up when they are riding in a vehicle with you, it is not possible to be with them every minute. Crashes still happen, and it is common to feel powerless and overwhelmed when your child becomes a victim of a Maryland car accident. Fortunately, it is possible to recover compensation for injuries and related losses, but these cases are unlike incidents where an adult seeks to file a claim. Here are some important details parents need to know.
Settlement with Insurance Company
Maryland law protects minors from financial exploitation, including when settling a claim with an insurance company after a car accident. Lawmakers have enacted legislation to ensure that funds paid out to children under 18 are not squandered.
- Amounts Less Than $5,000: When a claim is settled for less than $5,000, exclusive of attorneys’ fees and costs, the check can list the child’s legal guardian as payee; legally, a parent is the legal guardian for the minor. Parents can deposit the check in the child’s account or their own, to be used for the child’s benefit.
Lawsuits for Children Who Suffer Car Accident Injuries
When the parties are not able to reach an agreement to settle the claim for a child’s injuries, it may become necessary to go to court to recover compensation. In such a case, it is likely that a judge will require official appointment of a guardian for the minor: The lawsuit would be titled in the name of the guardian, acting on behalf of the minor child. Maryland law requires guardianship when it is in the best interests of the child, especially when he or she suffers significant injuries that may lead to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
A child’s age can be a challenge if you are a parent seeking to recover compensation for injuries due to a car accident, but an experienced auto accident lawyer can help. Attorney Michael A. Freedman has represented many clients in similar matters, both in negotiations with an insurance company and in court. If your child suffered injuries and you want to hear more about your options, please contact our Owings Mills, MD office with questions. We can also schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
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