Reader Question: Child with an Eye Injury

My daughter sustained an eye injury. She gets a settlement from the insurance company but cannot get it until she is 18. What do we do about medical expenses like doctor visits and glasses now? Can part of it be accessed by us as her parents for that? Tom, Hartford, KY

Our Answer: Absolutely yes.

As your daughter's parents, the people financially responsible for the payment of her medical expenses, you are entitled to part of her settlement money.

You are not entitled to any of the general damages (the 'pain and suffering') or any punitive damages that may be part of the overall settlement, but you are entitled to the exact amount of her medical bills that have already been incurred, and those that can reasonably be expected in the future. (Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the various forms of claim settlements.)

If you have hired an attorney to represent your daughter's interests, he or she will (or should) already know this and will make sure that your interests are protected. If you are handling this case yourself, without legal assistance, let the insurance company representative know that you are aware of your rights.

Many cases involving minor children need to be court-approved. The judge that this case would go before for approval will also interested in seeing that your immediate accident-related medical expenses are taken care of.

This article is approved for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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