When a motor vehicle accident occurs, the drivers and passengers involved in the accident often sustain injuries. Sometimes those injured in an accident are children. If a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident, they have the right to a personal injury claim but they are required to have a designated litigation guardian. The litigation guardian makes decisions and provide instructions on behalf of the child. A parent is commonly the designated litigation guardian but it could be any adult over the age of 19. If there is no-one available for this role, then the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (the ‘PGT’) steps in to fill this position.
The PGT is a corporation established under the Public Guardian and Trustee Act to protect the legal and financial interests of children.
If a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident and their ICBC claim settles before they turn 19, then the PGT is required to review the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement and corresponding documents need to be provided to the PGT, who may ask for additional information for further clarification.
For settlements of $50,000 or less, the PGT has authority to make the executive decision of whether or not the proposal should be approved. They make their decision based on whether or not the proposed settlement amount is a fair compensation to the child. However, for settlements of more than $50,000, the PGT only has authority to give their recommendation, the court makes the final decision.
Once the proposal is approved, the settlement fund received from ICBC is provided to the PGT. The PGT keeps the funds in trust for the child until they reach the age of 19 when they can finally have access to the funds. During this time the settlement earns interest. The fund gets transferred to them once they have successfully executed the PGT release documents.
The legal process for a child’s personal injury claim can get a little overwhelming with all the additional steps dealing with ICBC and the PGT. So, if your child has a personal injury claim, we recommend speaking to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Our legal team at Simpson, Thomas & Associates is experienced in handling personal injury claims for children and can help you navigate the procedure with ease.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please contact us at (604) 262-0457 to schedule a complimentary consultation.