Why is a conservatorship required in Iowa for a minor's personal injury settlement?

Question: Steve, what is the value of a torn ACL with surgery and fractured knee cap from an auto-pedestrian accident?

The Main Facts: Here are the details; a 16-year-old girl is walking on the side of a road while it was snowing. Down the street comes a car being driven by a 17-year-old girl. As the car comes down a hill in slick conditions, the driver hits the brakes, swerves across the road and hits the 16-year-old girl knocking her into the ditch. The impact fractures the knee and tears the ACL. Additional injuries include a concussion; she has scrapes and bruises along with internal injuries. What is the value of her settlement? The specials include $15,000 for medical expense and he's claiming $2,000 in the parents wage loss. The defendant has a $50,000 policy limit and the parents have underinsured insurance with a $100,000 limit. The defendant made a policy limits offer and the parent's insurance offered $15,000 in addition to the $50,000. What would you tell them to do?

Answer: First of all let me say, welcome to Iowa winters. Like the Paul Simon song normal is usually slip sliding away. But I digress; I’m not sure why with such an important case you’re seeking a free opinion, because free opinions many times go along with DIY case management or worse. Isn’t your daughter more important to you than what this implies? Shouldn’t you be protecting her legal interests? What you’re doing indicates to me you should not be her guardian or conservator because you’re not exercising sound judgment on her behalf. A conservator would never attempt to settle the case without a full review by a lawyer who practices personal injury. You have to have a lawyer to know how to settle this case and what to accept. With a child (a minor), in Iowa for any significant settlement there will need to be a conservatorship set up to protect the child's money. If the insurance adjuster isn't telling you this, they will soon enough. A Judge will need to sign off on the settlement and without a lawyer it's not likely that will happen if you're getting less than the limits. If we can help give us a call, if no I wish you the best. I may join Molly with her head under the bed. She hears the thunder rolling in and thinks if her head is under the bed the lightning can't strike her. Again, if I can help let me know.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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