Visitor Question

Who accepts the settlement in a civil suit?

Submitted By: Damon (Monroe, Louisiana)

If a mother files a civil suit on behalf of one of her children and then the child becomes an adult, when a settlement is offered who will the money go to? Would it be up the child to accept the settlement, since they had become an adult, instead of the mother?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Damon,

When a parent files a lawsuit on behalf of their child it is called a minor’s compromise and it is done because the minor lacks capacity to settle their own law suits. A parent must do so on behalf of the child similar to a proxy.

However, when the child reaches the age of majority during the pendency of a lawsuit, the suit becomes that of the minor (now adult) because the person is now capable of negotiating and settling a case on their own. In fact, unless the mother filed her own law suit, the settlement proceeds go 100% to the child (less attorney’s fees and expenses related to the suit).

The best advice is for the child (now adult) to contact the attorney. The attorney works for the client, who technically has always been the child. Now that the child is an adult, the mother is really an unnecessary “party.”

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 24, 2011

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