Any accident in which a minor under the age of 19 suffers an injury is complex, as it means the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) has to be involved in the decision-making process.
The PGT looks out for the best interests of the child. They have to approve of any settlement reached to ensure it is fair and takes into account any future complications or ongoing issues.
If the claimed amount for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, known as non-pecuniary damages, is relatively modest, the procedure to get the settlement approved is quite straightforward. Your lawyer can help you complete the paperwork and make the submissions to the PGT to get it approved.
Bear in mind that once the settlement is approved by the PGT, the funds will go to the PGT in trust for the child until he or she reaches the age of 19.
In some cases involving more serious injuries, approval of the settlement may require a court hearing. Once an infant turns 19, then the PGT is no longer involved in the matter, no matter how long the case has been going on.
Due to the intricacies involved in an infant claim, it will be beneficial (or even necessary) to retain a lawyer to guide you through the procedure.