Q My child survived a car accident in Cary. How will a minor receive an accident settlement in NC?
Car accidents do not discriminate. Anyone of any age or background might be a victim at some point in their life. Sometimes children are involved in car accidents. Children who suffer accident injuries might be impaired for life, depending on the severity of the crash. Insurance companies or a court will determine the value of compensation for these injuries, but when the settlement or award is finalized the transfer of funds is different for a minor than for an adult.
In North Carolina, a minor who receives a settlement from a motor vehicle collision usually will not receive funds until they reach the age of majority, 18. Certain statutes within North Carolina law stipulate how and when a minor will receive a settlement. Before the victim reaches the age of 18, the settlement is kept in a interest-bearing common fund by the Clerk of Superior Court. However, the Clerk charges a fee to hold the funds, and the small interest that accrues generally covers the cost of the Clerk fee.
There is one exception to holding the settlement in a common court fund: A structured settlement. Instead of being held by the Clerk, the funds are used to by an annuity, which has favorable interest when compared to the common fund. A structured settlement also offers a level of flexibility that the court fund does not: The parent or guardian of the minor can decide the terms of the structured settlement.
Navigating complicated laws while advocating for the best interests of a minor can be challenging for parents. Let us know if you have questions. An initial consult is free of charge and we can help you understand all options so that you can make the best decision for your loved one. Call 800-910-5879 to schedule a spot on our calendar.