My Daughter Was Bitten by a Dog. What Should I Expect in a Settlement?



My daughter was bitten by a dog. We are waiting for a settlement. So far the medical expenses have been $1300.00. A future plastic surgery will cost $5000.00. This will require two surgeries.
What should I expect in a settlement? They say it will be in one lump sum. Isn’t the norm to be a trust fund in my daughter’s name?

–Sandra, Kansas City, MO


When a child’s case settles, most states require that the money be placed into a fund that can only be distributed when the child is 18 years or older. Hence, the lump sum your dog injury attorneys are talking about should be deposited into a financial institution.
I find the best avenue for the client is to have the defendant’s insurance purchase an annuity which will pay your child compensation at the age you select, the minimum age being 18. Here, you would have more control. You could decide that you don’t want your child to receive the money until she is 25 due to maturity issues, etc.
This is the best alternative because your child will earn tax free interest at a much higher rate of interest than is currently available. Make sure the annuity is from a triple-A rated company. If on the other hand you deposit the money into a bank, then the interest will be taxed.
As to settlement amounts, I would be doing a disservice to you to suggest the same. Each case is individualized and must be treated that way.