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Settlements in Injury Cases Involving Minors

Florida Statutes, Section 744.301(2) authorizes parents or other guardians, on behalf of their minor children to:

  1. Settle and consummate a settlement of any claim or cause of action for damages on behalf of their minor children
  2. Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of any proceeds of any such settlement
  3. Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of any real or personal property distributed from an estate or trust;
  4. Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of and make elections regarding the proceeds from a life insurance policy or annuity contract payable to, or otherwise accruing to the benefit of, the child; and
  5. Collect, receive, manage, dispose of, and make elections regarding the proceeds of any benefit plan as defined by s. 710.102, of which the minor is a beneficiary, participant, or owner, without appointment, authority, or bond, when the amounts received, in the aggregate, do not exceed $15,000.

This statute is very important in accident cases involving minor children. Clearly, children cannot bring these cases on their own, and parents in Florida are specifically given authority to act on their children's behalf by this statute.

The $15,000 threshold, as established in subsection (e) is important to note. Any settlement from a personal injury case involving a minor that exceeds $15,000 will need court approval, and often times, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem.

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