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Minors and Incapable Adults Are Also Entitled to Settlements

In some legal cases, there may be a minor child involved or an adult who has been determined to be incapable of making his own decisions due to a disability or impairment. The government has taken extra steps to ensure that these two groups of people have the proper protection in place to guard their best interests. Under the law, these groups are still entitled to receive settlements from legal proceedings, but they do come with some additional provisions. The law refers to these people as ‘parties under a disability’, whose decisions are made by an appointed litigation guardian.

While the litigation guardian is usually a family member or a friend, there are occasions in which Ontario government agencies (such as the Children’s Lawyer or the Public Guardian and Trustee) can step in as an alternative. They can act as the litigation guardian when it has been decided that the ‘incapable party’ (minor or person with a disability) does not have a parent, guardian or capable adult who is willing to act on their behalf to pursue or defend a claim.

In the case of a civil matter, minors cannot be sued in their own name. Litigation guardians speak on behalf of the minors in these types of court proceedings. In cases of financial settlements, the litigation guardian has the ability to negotiate a settlement on behalf of the party they represent. However, the decision is not binding until a judge of the Ontario Superior Court has made his or her final approval. This additional step is added to ensure that the best interests of the minor or incapable adult are being protected to the fullest extent of the law. A litigation guardian is also responsible for making sure that any money awarded to a minor or incapable adult is properly allocated to investments or savings vehicles.

In cases where you are looking out for a minor or an incapable adult in regards to a potential lawsuit for an injury or civil matter, it is in your best interests to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. The variety of cases that can be brought on behalf of a minor or incapable adult is extensive. That is why consulting with a lawyer can ensure that your family member or friend is well protected. Your personal injury lawyer can provide the legal advice and peace of mind that you need to ensure that the financial and emotional well-being of the incapable party is fully protected under the law.

For assistance with a personal injury or insurance claim, please email David at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com. To be contacted immediately call 1-855-446-7765 for a free case evaluation.

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