Personal injury settlements involving minors in Maryland are strictly governed by the legislature to protect the minor. Under Title 13, Section 402 of the Estates and Trusts Article, Annotated Code of Maryland “it is public policy of the state that any substantial sum of money paid to a minor because of a claim, action, or judgment in tort should be preserved for the benefit of the minor.”
That according to Title 13, Section 403 of the Estates and Trusts Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, “if a minor or any other person in whose name a claim in tort is made or judgment in tort obtained on behalf of a minor recovers a net sum of $5,000 or more, the person responsible for the payment of the money shall make payment by check made to the order of ‘(name of trustee), trustee under Title 13 of the Estates and Trusts Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, for (name of minor), minor'”.
Simply put, under Maryland law, the proceeds of a personal injury settlement for a minor are to be preserved for the minor until the minor turns eighteen.
I have handled a number of cases in which clients have contacted me when they have learned that their settlement funds have been pilfered by unscrupulous attorneys, parents or guardians. In addition to possible recourse against the attorney for failing to comply with the Maryland Code, there is possible recourse against the bank where the settlement funds were deposited and the insurer who initially issued the check.
If you are the minor-victim of a personal injury settlement whose funds have been pilfered or stolen, please contact me for a free consultation.