Asking your lawyer for a quick personal injury settlement can be a mistake. As a Palm Springs personal injury lawyer I know the possible unfortunate consequences of trying to settle a personal injury case whether it is an
auto accident case,
slip and fall case, or a
medical malpractice case before the complete medical picture is clear and the treating doctors can make an evidenced based prognosis. This week I had a consultation with a mother who related that she thought a doctor committed medical malpractice while treating her child. The mother was anxious to settle the case immediately. I explained that I could not and would not even attempt to settle the case until her child's treating doctors could determine what medical problems the child will be reasonably certain to have in the future related to the original alleged medical malpractice. Before a personal injury case can be settled for a minor, it is necessary to file a Petition for a Minor's Compromise in the Superior Court. This requirement is the same in the Coachella Valley as it is for other areas of California. The Petition must contain as an attachment a current medical report of the minor's treating doctor or a doctor who has been hired to examine the minor for the purpose of rendering an opinion as to the diagnosis and the prognosis for the minor. The Superior Court Judge must determine whether or not the proposed settlement is reasonable based on the medical evidence and the issues of liability. This process insures that the minor receives a fair and reasonable settlement based on the facts of the case and the medical issues involved. Adults can settle their cases without court approval. When a case is settled for a Minor or a Jury Verdict is rendered in favor of a Minor, the money received is for the benefit of the Minor. Most of the time any money obtained for the Minor is placed into a blocked account at a bank. The money cannot be withdrawn from the bank without court approval before the Minor reaches 18 years of age. The money can also be used to purchase an annuity that pays the injured Minor money over a set number of years. This annuity process must also be approved by a judge. The Minor's money is protected by court.
Contact the personal injury lawyer at Barry Regar A Professional Law Corporation for any questions about injuries to Minors.