Can a minor collect a settlement from a car accident? 42 Answers as of July 03, 2013

My son was under 18, and was in a car accident. Now that we are settling, he is now 18. Should the check be written to me or my son being that he was under 18 when it all happened?

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Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law
Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law | Ryan L. Hilts
Now that he is 18 (assuming this is in Oregon) the check can be written to him.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/19/2011
Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
Once he turns 18 he is considered an adult, age of majority, under the law and can received settlement funds directly. Try to counsel him on using the funds and also he should consider that it could affect his ability to receive financial aid, if he is college bound. A structured settlement is a great way to go. Talk to his attorney about it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/14/2011
Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
Depending on the amount, the court may require an escrow account that he can access when he becomes an adult. If small (less than $2500) the judge may allow it to be paid to the parent.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/14/2011
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Your son legally has the right to the funds but discuss it with the lawyer and ask your lawyer about an annuity so your son won't get his hands on a lot of money as he turns 18.....the money will be gone in a New York second.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/11/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
It should be written to him now that he is an adult. F
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 11/11/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Check goes to your son who has attained the age of majority.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    He is of full age and can now do what he pleases to do. You have no legal control of the matter. He does.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    If your son is now of the legal age in your State where the accident happened, the insurance Company can reach a settlement of his claim with him. Did you initiate the claim as his representative and pay any out-of-pocket expenses? If so, you should be reimbursed.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
    If the settlement funds are delivered before when your son is under age 18, they are typically delivered to a parent, and that is after a court approves the settlement. The funds are then placed into a special account which draws interest and delivered to your son when he turns 18. The parents are required to account for the funds with a court appointed commissioner. For smaller amounts (usually $5,000.00 or less), most courts will allow the parents to hold the money. If the settlement funds are delivered when your son is age 18 or older, the funds go directly to him (check is written to him). When the accident happened is not relevant.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    He is 18 now, he gets the money.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Yes, your son may collect a settlement from a car accident after he is 18. It's difficult to explain to an 18 year old that although they have now reached majority, they still need our help, guidance and assistance. But yes the check will be written to both of you, because parents have a claim for medical expenses since during minority they are responsible for a "child's" medical care. So yes about your son, but the check should be written to both of you, or at least split between your son and you.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Eftekhari Law Offices
    Eftekhari Law Offices | Ehsan Eftekhari
    The check will be written to the personal representative named in the complaint. However, I am sure his name will be on the check too. In any case the money is his.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If your son is now 18 or over, the check will go to him and probate approval is not required.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    It should be written to him.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    I suggest you speak with an attorney regarding this particular situation. Generally speaking, once a minor becomes an adult, a recovery in a personal injury case can be written directly to him without having a minor's compromise, which is required in any settlement above a specific amount.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    It should to your son.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Gilbert & Bourke, LLP | Brian J. Bourke
    Generally, all settlements for minors need Court approval. However, if your son has reached 18 at the time of the settlement, he can now sign the release and the monies can be paid directly to him and not held in a blocked account as is the case for a minor. If he had an attorney while a minor, you will want to discuss with the attorney that his fee probably will stay at 25%, which is the usual percentage on a minor's claim at time of retention.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Now that he is 18, it can probably be issued directly to him.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    He is an adult now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    Most likely your son.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    The check can be written to him. Regardless of when the accident happened, it is when is the settlement being entered into that determines whether he is treated as a minor or an adult. However, as a parent you still need to see if you can help him figure out what to do with any monies he receives and perhaps talk with an accountant and see if he has any suggestions.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Buff & Chronister
    Buff & Chronister | G. Scott Buff
    You had 2 years from the date of the incident to bring an action to recover on behalf of your son. Once your son reached the age of 18, he then had 2 years to bring an action. He cannot recover for special damages incurred while he was still a minor, as that was your claim as the parent. You are now time barred from bringing your claim. Now that your son is 18, he has the claim and the insurance company will make the check payable to him.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    In Indiana, the check can be written to the now 18-year-old adult.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    He gets the check since he is 18 now. Had the case been settled before he was 18 then the court would have had to approve the settlement and would have required the money be put in a restricted bank account. The when the child turns 18 the money is released to the child.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Now that your son is of age, the check should be issued to your son.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    You need to protect your legal rights and representing yourself is not the way to do so. Representing yourself is a recipe for problems, if not now, in the future. Retaining a lawyer need not be as difficult as you think.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Now that your son is of majority age, he can now make decisions on his own. In my office, we typically would execute new papers signed by your son in order for him to effectuate control. The settlement money is for him, so it should go to him. Even if the check were written to you as father and guardian, it would be your obligation to maintain it for him as it is his money. Easiest thing to do is have your son handle things from this point forward.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    It should be written to your son.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    He is an adult now, so the settlement is his and he should sign. You will warn him to save it and he will probably ignore your good advice.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    The check would never be written to you. As he is 18, he gets the check. If he was under 18, the check would be deposited in savings bank under an Infant's Compromise Order issued by the court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy | Garrett S. Handy
    Now that he is 18 years old, your son is no longer a minor. In my opinion, the check should be written out to your son.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/11/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    Since he is now 18, his settlement check can (and should) be written to him.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/10/2011
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