Accidents and Injuries are not just limited to the adults in our lives. Each and every day those little ones in our cars are involved in the accident or injury and also need legal representation. I’ve been involved with numerous cases where minors have been one of the parties injured or the only party injured.
From a legal stand point, the legal process is no different than an adult except for two major differences. The first if the Statute of Limitations for a child, and the second is that once a settlement or judgment is reached, a Minor Settlement Hearing has to be scheduled and take place.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A MINOR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
If your child has a claim that they are asserting in Utah, then the same Statute of Limitations rule applies; essentially they have four years to bring their suit. However, the statute of limitations does not begin to run, also called tolling, until the child reaches the age of majority, or eighteen.
MINOR SETTLEMENT HEARING – UTAH’S PROCESS
Once a settlement or judgment is reached, the parent or another interested party will need to schedule what is called a minor settlement hearing. Typically, if it is a settlement, the best place to do this is within the probate court. However, they can be handled by a Judge if a case is already pending. All parties will need to receive notice, and the parent becomes a conservator over the minor’s property. That parent then has a fiduciary duty to oversee and keep safe that property until the minor reaches the age of majority and can secure it themselves. Typically, what the parent may seem as a small sum will be able to grow to a nice nest egg for future medical treatment or a college fund by the time the child reaches adulthood.
The most typical situations where I see this occur are in car accident cases. But this is often the case when it comes to children being bite by dogs and kids hit by cars. If your child, or you know someone who’s child has been bitten by a dog, or they are hit by a car, have them call my office. I can sit down with them and see what I can do to assist them is resolving this matter.
Utah has put together a great how to page on the State’s court website, for further information please click here: Conservatorship of a Minor
Aaron Tillmann is an attorney licensed in Oregon and Utah, with offices in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City Utah. Tillmann law services Oregon clients in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill and Marion counties. Mr. Tillmann also services the Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and Draper areas of Utah. His areas of focus are personal injury, family law matters, bankruptcy, and estate planning / probate matters.