In Wisconsin, if a child is injured in a car accident and the parent is at fault, the child may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against their own parent’s insurance policy. Wisconsin law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance to cover injuries and damages in the event of an accident.
However, it’s important to note that pursuing a claim against a parent’s insurance policy can be a complex and sensitive issue, particularly if the parent is also the child’s legal guardian. In these cases, it may be beneficial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate the legal and emotional complexities of the situation.
Additionally, Wisconsin follows a modified comparative negligence system for personal injury claims. This means that if the injured child is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault. If the child is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering any damages.
Handling the monetary recovery
It’s important to understand that any settlement for a minor child in Wisconsin belongs to the child, not the parent. Recovery for the child is placed in a restricted account until a minimum of age 18 for the child to access the funds.
A restricted account can be just an ordinary restricted savings account at the bank. Larger settlements are frequently put into structured settlements, which are sort of annuity, where a child is given future, periodic payments throughout their lives.
There are many ways of having a child’s injury award engaged for the benefit of the injured child. However, most courts will not permit the child’s money to be at risk. For example, a court won’t permit investment in stocks or similarly uncertain financial instruments and they will not under any circumstances, allow anyone except the child to have access to that money once the child reaches the age of the majority, absent a court order.
What that means is, if there’s some particular reason why the child would need the money earlier than 18 for his or her benefit, the parent would need to go to court and ask for that money early. For example, if the child was going to college at 17 instead of 18 and needs the money out of the court settlement to help pay for college six months early, a court is likely to permit it, sometimes as a check be made payable directly to the university.
If your child has been injured in a car accident in Wisconsin, regardless of fault, it’s important to seek medical attention and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for your child’s injuries and damages.
If you have questions about this article or if you would like to have a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney about your personal injury case, please call us at (414) 306-8999 or write to us using the contact form on this page.