Being involved in an accident is a traumatic and life-altering event, especially if you are a minor. Pennsylvania laws offer a legal remedy for minors who suffer injuries in such accidents by allowing them to make claims for monetary compensation. However, due to the status of minors as legal minors, such compensation is not always a straightforward process as the court must protect their interests. One legal mechanism to ensure that a minor is adequately compensated while protecting their rights and interests is a minor’s compromise. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a minor’s compromise is and why it is necessary after a child sustains injuries in an accident in Pennsylvania.
What is a Minor’s Compromise?
A minor’s compromise is a legal process in which a court reviews and approves a settlement or resolution to a minor’s claim for damages sustained after an accident. In Pennsylvania, if a minor under the age of 18 incurs injuries as a result of an accident, they are entitled to sue the at-fault party for damages, just like an adult. However, any award made to the minor must be put in a trust or similar account that is administered by a guardian until the minor reaches the age of 18. Therefore, before any settlement or compensation amount is awarded, it must be approved by the court. The approval process involves filing a petition in court, which must include all relevant documents, including medical bills and a proposed settlement agreement.
Why Is a Minor’s Compromise Necessary?
Several reasons make a minor’s compromise necessary in Pennsylvania. First, the process guarantees that the minor will receive appropriate compensation for their injuries. Since the minor is considered too young to make informed decisions regarding legal matters, the court acts as a guardian to ensure that the child’s interests are protected. Second, the law requires that any compensation awarded to the minor must be put in a trust account, which the guardian must manage until the minor reaches the age of 18. By approving the settlement amount, the court ensures that the compensation received will be sufficient to meet the child’s needs as they grow up. Finally, a minor’s compromise also protects the interests of both parties involved in the settlement. The at-fault party cannot later claim that the settlement was unfair, while the minor cannot claim that they were denied appropriate compensation.
How Does the Process Work?
In Pennsylvania, the process of filing a minor’s compromise petition begins with a lawyer filing a petition on behalf of the minor and their guardian with the court. The petition must include all relevant information, including the parties involved in the accident, the nature and extent of the minor’s injuries, medical bills, and the proposed settlement agreement. The proposed settlement amount must be reasonable, taking into consideration the minor’s long-term needs, such as medical care, education, and other expenses. Once the court receives the petition, they will set a date for a hearing to review the proposed settlement. The hearing may include a review of medical records, statements from medical professionals, and a guardian ad litem, who is an impartial attorney appointed by the court to represent the minor’s interests.
If your child has been involved in an accident in Pennsylvania and has sustained injuries, a minor’s compromise may be necessary. The process guarantees that your child will receive appropriate compensation, protects the interests of all parties involved, and ensures that the compensation will meet your child’s needs. At the same time, it protects the interests of the at-fault party who may later claim that the settlement was unfair. For help with filing a minor’s compromise petition in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the process and can guide you through it. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.