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Was Your Child Hurt In A Car Crash in North Carolina?

“In the case of infant parties, the next friend, guardian ad litem, or guardian cannot consent to a judgment or compromise without the investigation and approval by the court.”

In Re Reynolds, 206 N.C. 276, 288, 173 S.E. 789, 795 (1934) (quoting with approval McIntosh’s N.C. Practice and Procedure in Civil Cases, at page 721).

In North Carolina, technically EVERY minor settlement agreement must be adjudicated, or approved by the court.  What does this mean?  This means that if your child is injured, you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your child’s rights are protected.

Adjudicating a Minor Settlement

A minor settlement typically requires 1) the filing of a complaint in the proper court, 2) the petition for a guardian ad litem, 3) an order granting the petition for a guardian ad litem, 4) a petition for the approval of a minor settlement, and 5) a judgment approving the minor’s settlement.  An experienced attorney should be able to navigate this formal and confusing process.

Proceeds from a Minor Settlement

The proceeds from a minor settlement are usually deposited into the Clerk of Court office where the complaint is filed.  The funds are kept secure until the minor turns 18.

Waiver of Court Approval

Sometimes insurance carriers are willing to waive the requirement of court approval.  This typically occurs in personal injury actions involving only minor injuries to the child.  When an insurance company waives the court approval requirement, they risk the child renouncing the settlement when he/she turns 18.  Oftentimes the insurance company requires the parent of the child to indemnify the defendant and carrier from any subsequent action by the child.


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When a new client comes to our office, they are not handed off to a paralegal. One of our attorneys meets with each new client personally on their first visit to our office. We will discuss the merits of your case with you, listen carefully to your concerns, and answer your questions at that time, without any obligation on your part.

We generally only accept those cases that we are willing to take all the way to trial. Many of our clients have come to us from other attorneys who only want to settle cases as quickly and as easily as possible. While settlements are generally desirable and we encourage them, some cases need to go through the litigation process to achieve their full value. The decision to file a lawsuit is made by the client after a full discussion of all relevant factors.


With over 30 years of combined experience, we have the skill and experience to see a case through from the initial investigation to seeing the case through at trial. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you to make sure you get the quality legal advice you need.


Charlotte Personal Injury Disclaimer: The medical and legal information presented on this web site, including Auto Accidents, Premises Liability, Wrongful Death and Workers Compensation, should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Please contact one of our experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers in our Charlotte law offices. Serving the greater Charlotte area. Copyright 2019-2020 Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, PA