Under California Law, a minor under the age of 18 cannot file their own lawsuit. A parent or Guardian can be appointed to file the claim on behalf of the minor. This is very common in a minor’s dog bite case. There are requirements to follow in bringing a dog bite claim on behalf of a minor child. One of the requirements is to have a judge approve the settlement of the claim. A parent or guardian cannot agree to a settlement with an insurance company without getting the permission from a judge to settle the claim. An experienced dog bite attorney will know the requirements for court approval.
The judge will want to ensure the settlement is fair and in the child’s best interest. A parent or guardian cannot even sign the Release of All Claims for the settlement without getting approval from the court first.
The settlement monies must be placed in an blocked account that prohibits the money from being taken out without court permission. There are specific forms that must be filed with the court to ensure that the account was set up properly. In some cases, the settlement money is used to buy an insurance policy that provides payments for college and other needs after the child turns 18 years old. Again, the court must approve the terms of this policy.
Determining the settlement value of a child’s dog bite case is a job for only an experienced attorney that has handled these cases in the past. There are many considerations that go into the amount of the settlement and the experienced lawyers at our firm know how to get the maximum possible settlement in these cases. Once you agree to a settlement you cannot come back at a later date and ask for more money, so it is important that you have the best legal representation to get you or your child the highest settlement and to make sure that all legal procedures have been followed with the courts.
Edward A. Smith has been helping dog bite victims in Sacramento and throughout California for over 30 years. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, contact my office for a free case evaluation at 916-921-6400 or toll free at 1-800-404-5400. More information about my office can be found on www.autoaccident.com. See my reviews on Yelp.