Provo Personal Injury Lawyers

doctor assisting little boy on his minor foot injury

When minor children are hurt as a motorcycle passenger or a car passenger, often a Utah District Court Judge will have to confirm any settlement as being reasonable and adequate, under the circumstances.

This is called the minor settlement approval process and it works as follows:

The Personal Injury Case Settles:  When a minor child is hurt it is good practice to hire a Utah personal injury attorney to press the minor child’s injury claim.  With minor children, it can often be the parents  who hurt the child, normally as a passenger in a one car accident or where the parent driver is attributed some fault in a multiple car pileup.  Injuries can also occur when a child is on the back seat of a motorcycle driving with the dad when he crashes.

In situations where the parent injures the child, the Inter-Family Arbitration provisions are especially helpful. Inter-Family Arbitration is where one close family relative hurts the other in a Utah car accident and the entire dispute is handled privately through arbitration.  This way, the awkwardness of the child suing his own father is dissipated somewhat.  Even with Inter-Family Arbitration, the insurance company representing the parent can seek a jury trial after the arbitration is over.

$10,000 Minor Settlement Threshold:

The Utah Probate Code has realized that not all minor settlements need court oversight and approval.  Therefore, there are provisions where if the minor child’s settlement is less than $10,000, there does not need to be the court’s approval on the settlement.  The insurance company can just send the check directly to the parents of the child and the law assumes that the parents will do the right thing and use the money for the child’s benefit.

The Minor Settlement Court Hearing:

Prior to the court hearing, the child’s personal injury attorney will file with the District Court a petition demonstrating the factual and legal sufficiency of the money settlement.  The personal injury attorney will show what the child’s injuries are, how they are affecting the child and the amount of the money settlement, along with what the maximum policy limits were.  If there is disputed liability, inquiry can also be made into particularities of why the settlement was appropriate.

Contact Provo personal injury lawyers at Howard, Lewis & Petersen, PC today to talk about your personal injury case.

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