Articles Posted in Minors

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moneyPersonal injury claims by individuals under the age of 18 can be tricky because they require the attorney to be vigilant of special procedural requirements in cases involving minors. To begin with, minors in Florida cannot pursue their own legal claims because they are not of age. Thus, a minor must pursue his or her personal injury claim through a legal guardian or a parent. In certain cases, parents and guardians must seek court approval when it comes to settlement agreements on behalf of their minor children. The Florida law is intended to provide judicial oversight so that minors have some degree of protection when it comes to such legal matters.

Under Florida statute 744.387, a parent or guardian can settle a claim on behalf of his or her minor child without court approval as long as the monetary amount of the settlement does not exceed $15,000. However, if a lawsuit has been filed, court approval is needed. While court approval is not necessary to have a valid settlement agreement, insurance companies often require court approval before making payments for a settlement on behalf of a child.

When the gross amount of the settlement exceeds $15,000, the parent or guardian must seek court approval for the settlement. Specifically, the parent or guardian must file a Petition for Approval of Settlement. The petition contains details of the facts of the case, the issues of liability, the monetary amount of damages, and the settlement amount sought, as well as attorney’s fees and costs. A judge then evaluates the settlement terms to assess whether they are in the best interests of the minor. It is important to note that the parent or guardian is obligated under the law to act in the best interests of the child. Continue reading →

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texting and drivingAs a general rule, individuals are not liable for the acts of third parties unless a special relationship exists. A parent/child or guardian/child relationship constitutes one of those special relationships. Almost every state in the United States has laws known as “parental responsibility laws” and imposes some degree of civil liability on parents for torts committed by their children. In Florida, certain statutes outline which of their children’s actions they will be responsible for.

Parental responsibility laws hold parents and legal guardians responsible for certain acts of their minor children. A minor is defined as a person under the age of 18 in the state of Florida. Thus, the legal principles discussed here will only pertain to actions of a child under the age of 18.

In Florida, a parent or guardian may be liable for their child’s negligence in certain contexts. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care in an act or omission that leads to injury or harm to another. Reasonable care is defined as acting how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In short, negligence is the failure to take proper care when doing something. Continue reading →

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busEvery year, tens of thousands of children are injured or killed due to negligent accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 12,000 children die every year due to accidental injury. This alarming number impacts not only the children that lose their lives, but the families that are left behind to pick up the pieces.

Generally, a person under the age of 18 is ineligible to file a lawsuit. Due to this limitation, it is typically a minor’s legal guardian who must bring the lawsuit on behalf of them. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child who has been killed or injured, you may be the only one who can seek justice for that child. Florida has specific procedural requirements that the attorney on the case must follow. Therefore, picking a qualified Florida attorney to represent your case can make all the difference. Common Causes of Accidents Involving Children Serious injuries can be a physically and emotionally traumatic experience for a child. Oftentimes, families of injured children are left to deal with the financial burden that generally accompanies such accidents. While there are a number of ways a child can sustain an injury, some of the common causes are as follows: Continue reading →