Q
To whom does the money go in a child's personal injury case?

A
Medical bills account for a significant portion of most children's personal injury cases in Virginia.  Children are not responsible for paying their own medical bills, and therefore, any out of pocket money the parents apply towards medical expenses is eligible for reimbursement in a claim filed separately from the child's personal injury case.  In this instance, the case is separate from the child's and the money goes to the parents.

If an adult sues on behalf of a Virginia minor, however, any monetary recovery belongs to the child.  (A child under the age of 18 cannot sue on his or her own behalf.)  The child will not receive any money until he or she is 18 years old.  The courts generally hold the money in an account and will only release the funds to the child or the child's parents under extreme circumstances.

If the amount of the award is significant, structured settlements are recommended.  Structured settlements earn interest and allow children to receive money years later after they turn 18.

More information on Children's Injury Cases in Virginia

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