With any minor settlement in Minnesota, there needs to be a minor settlement hearing where a judge determines whether or not the settlement value is adequate and the distribution is appropriate. This is a safeguard that minors are given so that their interests are protected.
When a person is unrepresented, the defense attorney for the insurance company is the one presenting the evidence. While an argument can be made that they are getting this service for free, they may be getting what they paid for. It is always worth running the facts by an experienced trial lawyer.
As I have written in the past, if the settlement offer is appropriate for the injury, we will tell you that. If it is not, then the appropriate value needs to be determined and steps need to be taken to ensure that the minor is properly protected.
Judges play a vital role in this review because they should have the experience to determine whether the settlement should be accepted or rejected. They have options to send the case out for review in order to check the value of the case and to ensure that any amounts the child is not getting are properly deducted. It is not unusual for us to see cases where health insurance companies are being paid back at 100% where some negotiation would knock that number down substantially.
An insurance company that wants to close their file is not going to go out of their way to do this negotiation or to make sure that your rights are protected. You owe it to yourself and your family to make sure the proper advice is sought and received.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.