Representing Minors in Personal Injury Claims
The staff at Berenson Injury Law considers the representation of children one of the most important responsibilities of our practice. Attorney Bill Berenson mentors students at Rufino Mendoza Elementary School and recognizes the importance of helping children recover with as little disruption as possible to their education and future endeavors. He also understands the special challenges faced by severely injured children and their families, and the unique factors involved in representing minors.
Berenson Injury Law has regularly represented minors in litigation and settlement negotiations for more than 35 years. We treat your family with compassion and respect as we aggressively pursue your child’s best interests.Filing a “Friendly” Lawsuit and Appointing a Guardian Ad Litem
The law recognizes that children lack the maturity and experience to make important decisions that are in their best interests. Furthermore, unscrupulous adults may take advantage of young people by pressuring them to accept inequitable settlement terms. For these reasons, the law treats minors differently than adults in litigation and settlement proceedings.
Teens cannot enter into a contract until they reach 18, the age of majority. Once a teen reached adulthood, she could void the contract she entered into before she turned 18 and sue for additional damages. Without court intervention, insurance companies would, therefore, be unwilling to settle with minors, a situation that would be adverse to all parties involved.
A “friendly” lawsuit is designed to protect your child’s interests and allow for settlement of claims. To reach a settlement in your child’s case:
- Our firm negotiates for the best possible settlement.
- We file a non-adversarial friendly lawsuit to initiate court review.
- The court appoints a guardian ad litem to represent your child’s interests.
- The guardian ad litem reviews the terms of the agreement and recommends approval.
- The court issues a judgment based on the settlement to which your child is bound.
Upon securing an equitable settlement, we arrange for protection of the settlement funds for your child’s benefit. The funds may be deposited into a court registry until your child reaches age 18 or into a structured settlement, which can pay in phases well into adulthood. We may draft a special needs trust if your child was severely permanently injured to preserve her right to Social Security Disability.Damages for Minor Children
When calculating damages, we consider the unique issues that affect children and teens. Injuries can have particularly devastating consequences on children who are still developing physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. In addition, children usually do not have a high claim for lost wages, but may have a very substantial claim for diminished earning capacity. Reduced qualify of life would include not just those activities your child once enjoyed, but those he will never have the opportunity to experience.Help Your Child Recover After an Auto Accident
Berenson Injury Law represents Dallas-Fort Worth minors injured in auto accidents. To learn more about your child’s rights and options, schedule a free consultation at 817-885-8000 or schedule your appointment online. We represent your child on contingency.