Unfortunately, minor children are involved in more car accidents than any of us would like. If you find yourself in this troubling situation, then here’s what you need to do. First things first, if you haven’t obtained an accident report/police report for the car accident, then you need to contact the agency/police department that responded to the scene of the accident and request the report. Alternatively, you can use this website to purchase your report if it is available online. Next, you need to get your child treated immediately. Make sure all their injuries have been attended to and they receive the appropriate treatment.
Open Claims with the Insurance Companies!
During your child’s treatment, you need to open claims with the insurance company of the individual that caused the car accident and your own insurance company. The reason you need to open a claim with your insurance company is if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it could come into play to pay for your child’s injuries on top of what you receive from the other individual’s insurance. Do NOT accept any preliminary offers that they send you. If the accident was your fault, then you likely do not need to open claims with anybody unless you have medical payments coverage or “MedPay.”
Offer Above $25,000.00?
Once your child has completed their treatment, you need to get all of your child’s medical bills and records together to send to the insurance company and DEMAND they pay for your child’s injuries and their pain and suffering! Keep in mind that under Georgia law, a natural guardian (you) cannot accept an offer above $25,000.00 without first getting approval from a probate court judge! See. O.C.G.A. § 29-3-3. If this is the case, you need to submit several forms to the probate court judge that can be found online! Once the probate court judge approves the settlement, they may suggest creating a trust or some form of structured settlement depending on the age of your child.
Offer Below $25,000.00?
If the offer is below, or equal to, $25,000.00, then you have nothing to worry about if you are the natural guardian of the child. You can accept the offer yourself and hold the money for your child/use it for their benefit. Unfortunately, nothing involving legal matters is this straightforward and there are often pitfalls that people can fall into very easily that can cost them everything. Our recommendation is that you hire a lawyer that specializes in car accidents and walk you through every step of the process.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident in Georgia, contact Slam Dunk Attorney for one of the best car accident lawyers. We’ll provide you with professional legal counsel and get you the compensation you deserve. We are ready to listen to your story and take you from your lowest point back to where you belong! Call us today for a free strategy session!