My sons dad was killed by a drunk driver, is there any way to use some funds from settlement for counseling and other needs
3 attorney answers
If the settlement hasnt been sent to and approved by the court yet, (Petition For Approval Of Minors Compromise), then the Petitioner can put such requests in to those papers to seek court approval of those disbursements. Often with minors, when a substantial settlement is reached in cases for minors, a structured settlement annuity is purchased to help the child in the future for things like college. The money grows while payment is deferred. Once those are purchased, they cant be changed. Other times the court orders the net recovery be placed in a blocked bank account. Those funds are available once the minor reaches 18. If money is requested before that, you have to get a court order allowing the disbursement. Judges have a lot of discretion. I have seen judges deny things that should be covered by health insurance (like your son's counseling assuming you have health coverage thru work, California exchange, etc.), a bicycle for Christmas, etc. If there is no insurance coverage/health plan, then you would be best to get a proper child psychologist to prep a letter explaining what issues the child is having, the recommended treatment plan, and the costs for therapy. That should help getting court approval. I assume your child has a lawyer for the case. Discuss with that lawyer.
The answer is intended as general information, and not to be acted upon without consultation directly with attorney. It is advised that you consult another lawyer in person to review all details. This is especially true for legal issues outside the State of California. This answer does not create a lawyer client relationship.
You can certainly ask the court to use some of the funds for the boy. That is, if you are the guardian ad litem. If you have the proper relationship and standing to make the request, the court will entertain making orders in the interest of the minor boy.
There are certain things that can be done with the money now but it has to be approved by the court. Your son's lawyer should be able to explain that to you.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.