Car accidents can cause life-altering ramifications to anyone involved — young or adult. But children bear even higher risk, as they are generally smaller in size and their organs have not yet fully developed.
The Florida laws regarding child accident settlements protect the rights of minors who suffer injury or death due to another driver’s negligence. In addition, the law ensures that minor victims receive fair compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
But to pursue car accident settlement for a child effectively, you need a qualified car accident attorney by your side. Our lawyers will help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ultimately secure a favorable outcome for your case.
At Eltringham Law Group, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Florida’s child accident settlement laws and will work hard to obtain a desirable outcome for your case. We understand how daunting it can be to deal with an insurance company after a devastating car crash, so we strive to make the process as easy as possible for you.
If your child got injured or succumbed to injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, contact us at (561) 944-6607 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Factors Impact the Amount of Car Accident Settlements Awarded to Children?
The amount of compensation for a child in a car accident depends upon several factors, including:
- The extent of injuries: For instance, if your child suffered broken bones, internal bleeding, or severe head trauma, they may require surgery and long-term care. In these cases, the victim’s future quality of life could be severely impacted. Thus, they may be entitled to higher settlements than if they suffered minor injuries like lacerations.
- Medical expenses: Your child may incur substantial medical costs related to their injuries. These include hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and more. To determine what portion of these costs should be covered by the at fault driver’s insurance policy, you should consult a Florida car accident attorney.
- Pain and suffering: A child in a car accident can deal with both physical and emotional trauma that lasts for months or years after the crash. They may experience headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms. In turn, they may be entitled to compensation for these harms.
- Long-term disability: If the accident leaves your child with permanent disabilities, they might be eligible for compensation for lost earning capacity (even though the don’t have a job or career yet). This includes any impairment that prevents them from performing basic daily tasks, such as walking, talking, bathing, dressing, eating, or working.
- Wrongful death: If your child died as a result of the accident, you might be able to recover compensation for wrongful death. Wrongful death refers to the financial losses and other harms incurred by family members when someone dies due to the negligent actions of another person.
How are Settlements for Minors Paid in Florida?
In most instances, car accident settlement for a child in Florida requires court approval and guardianship. If the claim settlement exceeds $15,000, it prompts a complex court approval procedure, as outlined in the state’s “Global Settlement Rule.”
Notably, if the gross settlement in a case favoring a child is $50,000 or more, the state requires court approval, regardless of the net amount the child would receive. On top of that, when the settlement hits the $50,000 threshold, a guardian ad litem or a court-appointed representative must be present to ensure the amount awarded is received and managed in the child’s best interests. The representative may be the child’s legal guardian if there is no conflict of interest.
Subsequently, it follows that if the car accident involving a child attracts a gross settlement of less than $15,000:
- Court approval is not necessary unless one party files a civil action
- Guardian ad litem or a court-appointed representative is not needed
- Legal guardianship is not necessary
Can Parents Also Be Entitled to Compensation for Their Child’s Injuries?
Although a parent may not be the primary victim in a car accident, they can still seek their fair share of compensation for the child’s injuries. Here are a few circumstances where this is possible:
- Staying home from work to provide child care: If a parent has no choice but to stay home to care for a child injured in a car accident, the parent may be eligible for compensation for the lost productive time at work.
- Incurring out-of-pocket expenses related to medical treatment. For example, if a parent pays for a child’s emergency room visit or hospitalization, they may be eligible to recover their expenses. You may also be entitled to compensation if you hired nurses, babysitters, and other caretakers to look after the child when unavailable.
- Emotional distress: A parent may also be compensated for emotional distress caused by witnessing an injury to their child.
A Qualified Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
An experienced personal injury attorney at Eltringham Law Group will help you navigate the complex process of obtaining maximum compensation for your child’s injuries. Here’s why:
- We have experience negotiating settlements on behalf of clients throughout Florida, including those involved in serious accidents like car crashes.
- We know how to identify and evaluate potential claims against multiple parties, including the driver responsible for causing the crash, the owner/operator of the vehicle, and other liable third parties.
- We understand the intricacies of Florida law governing car accident settlements for minors, which includes the Global Settlement Rule.
- We know how to negotiate with insurers to maximize recovery for your child’s injuries while protecting your rights.
- We can assist you in filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver and represent you during trial if necessary.
Contact Eltringham Law Group Today
If your child has been involved in a devastating car accident, contact us today for a free consultation about your claim. We offer free case evaluations and handle each matter with the attention and care it deserves. You also do not pay for our experience or service unless we get you a settlement! Call (561) 944-6607 or complete our online form today.
FAQs About Car Accidents Involving Children
What is a reasonable settlement for a child’s injuries in a car accident?
There is no preset car accident settlement for a child. Instead, the compensation you may receive depends on various factors, such as the severity of the child’s injuries, the extent of their disability, the amount of pain and suffering they have endured, etc.
How much is my child’s medical bill going to be?
The cost of medical bills incurred due to a child’s injuries in a car accident varies depending on several factors, including the type of treatment required, the location of the treatment, the length of time the child received treatment, etc.