How Personal Injury Claims for Minors Must be Handled Legally and What it Means for Your Settlement

In California, a minor is anyone below the age of 18. If a minor is injured in a car, motorcycle accident or any other type of personal injury accident, he or she will not have access to the settlement money until he or she reaches the age of majority or adult which is 18 years old.

Many insurance companies require law firms to file minors compromise petitions with the court for approval of the settlement amount by a judge. This process is tedious, lengthy and time consuming. Hundreds of pages of documentation, medical records, agreements, negotiations, liens, bills, and more must be provided and documented to the court in an organized fashion.

Usually, when a minor’s claim settles for $4,999.99 an insurance company may forego a minors compromise depending on their own internal rules. There is a battle for example if the settlement is for any amount over $5,000.00- for example $5,050.00. A significant settlement of $10,000 or $20,000 or more will require a minor’s compromise be filed with the court. The process of filing a minor’s compromise, attending the hearing if the minor and his or her guardian have moved out of state and must appear, and getting a petition approved can take months and even up to a year.