Personal injury actions-where you are injured due to somebody else’s actions or failure to act-can be a lot of stress added to the fact that you are injured and trying to focus on your recovery. When the injured person is your child, the drive to protect and defend that child can make an already stressful situation overwhelming. In Minnesota, a parent can file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor who is too young mount their own legal action, but there are specific rules that govern how any money paid out from such a suit must be held.
When you win a lawsuit or settlement on behalf of your child, that money belongs to the child, who is usually not in a position to know how to handle $100 let alone tens of thousands. Minnesota law requires that a judge approve the distribution of the money which means even if you settle out of court and never file a law suit, you will still need to appear in front of a judge who will evaluate whether the settlement is being held safe for the child.
The parent may elect to pay a bond set by the judge in order to receive the funds and distribute them as the court orders. Otherwise, the parent can put the money in certain safe investments (usually a savings account, certificate of deposit, or other account that has no risk of loss). Large settlements may have to be divided among multiple banks to make sure that they are fully insured by the FDIC. Once invested in these accounts, money cannot come out unless the court approves the distribution. There is paperwork that must be filed with the court documenting the amount of the settlement, how much money is going to insurance companies, lawyers, or any other people who may have a claim against the settlement. The bank also needs to file paperwork with the court acknowledging that the money is being held for a minor and that the bank will not release any money without a signed court order. This could mean multiple court filings to apply for payments until the child is old enough to take possession of any remaining funds.
So if your child gets hurt and you are feeling up the proverbial creek, call Swenson Lervick, where we have the knowledge (and extra paddles) to get you back on track and focused on the ones who matter most.