What do you do when the parents of a child in a personal injury case do not agree on what needs to be done? Now here at St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, unfortunately, this situation comes up more frequently than you might expect. And it’s normally in a situation where either the parents are divorced or they are separated or estranged. You can understand that oftentimes there are hard feelings between the biological parents of a child. And in those situations, sometimes the animosity between the parents plays a part in really the decision making over what to do with the child’s personal injury claim. And the reason I shoot this video is because in order to settle a child’s personal injury case, you actually need the consent of both of the biological parents. And this situation comes up because many times people do not go to court. There is no court order basically explaining who has the custody rights of a child. Now if there is a court order, it makes it a lot easier if the court gives the mother the permission to handle all the child’s affairs and so be it and vice versa for the father.
But that’s rare. Most of the time no one has ever gone to court. There is no order, no court order directing us. And so as personal injury attorneys were contacted by one of the parents, we take the case, we’d proceed with the case, uh, and there are inevitably sometimes issues about what to do with the money or what to do with the decisions in the case because one parent might not agree with what the other parent wants to do. So if we’re in a situation where we just simply can’t get any type of agreement by the mother and the father, the, uh, the end result really is that the money needs to be interplay. So, in other words, we have to file the money with the court, go to go to a judge in order to get some type of guidance or a court order as far as whether we’re able to accept a settlement or whether we’re able to pursue a claim, et cetera, et cetera.
It really depends on the city, on the circumstance. Having to go that route, uh, is not the best course because the money that is basically going to the child then gets eaten up in attorney’s fees, costs. It’s delayed. It is not in the best interest of a child. But again, sometimes, uh, for example, the mother may come to us and say, Hey, um, you know, you re you recovered X number of dollars for my child. He, uh, the father owes, owes child support. So even though let’s just say $10,000, even though my child is going to receive $10,000, I should get that full $10,000, um, for the benefit of the child, uh, rather than him getting us splitting it five to five because he owes me money. And unfortunately, uh, it’s tough to argue with that logic and hopefully because the money’s ultimately met for the child, you hope that the two parties agree come to some type of resolution.
Now another situation that pops up is because the parents each have each have equal rights to that child’s case. Uh, one, one parent might want to hire a certain lawyer, the other parent might want to hire another lawyer. I mean, this happens from time to time. And so you get in a situation where insurance companies are dealing with two different, uh, lawyers for the same claim, and it really becomes very confusing and it needs to be avoided, uh, as much as possible. So if you do have a situation where the mother and father disagree over the child’s, uh, personal injury case, we always advise to try to work it out amicably. Either mediate the case, sit down, try to work it out no matter what type of hostility that hostilities that are between the mother and the father. Because fighting over the money, uh, is simply not in the child’s best interest. If your child unfortunately, has been injured in some type of personal injury accident, whether it’s a, um, a product liability case, a slip and fall, a car accident, whatever the case may be, and you have questions about what you need to do with that child’s case, please contact us at St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid and Douglas will hopefully give you the correct legal advice and a correct legal strategy. Good luck to you.
*The above has been transcribed by a third party service and has not been checked for accuracy.
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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
5858 Central Ave suite a, St. Petersburg, FL (727) 381-2300
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Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas were voted best personal injury attorneys in Saint Petersburg, Florida for 2019.