“My child was hurt in a car accident. Is there anything I can do?” The short answer is yes, however, there are a few procedural issues that must be addressed.
A minor, (under the age of 19 as set out in the Age of Majority Act), cannot commence an action except by a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is usually one of the child’s parents or legal guardian, but can be someone else. A guardian ad litem acts as the representative for the minor in the court action only, and provides instructions to our offices as the matter progresses on behalf of the minor.
The name of the guardian ad litem will appear on all court documents in that capacity. An example would be: John Doe, a minor by his mother and guardian ad litem, Jane Doe. As such, the guardian must consent to the appointment, and appropriate filings must be made to the Court. The guardian ad litem remains in place until further order of the Court, or the child attains the age of 19.
The primary concern is for the minor throughout. The guardian ad litem cannot have an interest adverse to the minor.
If a settlement is reached, the guardian ad litem files an application with the Court for approval of the settlement. Usually the funds are maintained by the Office of the Public Trustee until the minor attains the age of majority. In some instances other arrangements can be approved by the Court if it is satisfied that the alternate arrangements will benefit the minor.
It is unfortunate whenever anyone is hurt by the actions of others. At O’Dea Earle, we have the experience to help guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.
Whether age 1 or 101, make it our fight.