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It is an unfortunate fact that many victims of dog attacks in New Jersey are children under the age of 18. Larger, more aggressive breeds such as Rottweilers and pit bulls may be prone to attack young children simply because they are perceived by the offending animal as smaller and weaker. In such cases, the injuries inflicted by dog attacks may be severe.
The child, or the family in the event of a wrongful death, may be awarded compensation for those injuries. The child may be expected to have ongoing medical support for years. For this reason, and often the psychological impact, settlements can be substantial. The goal is to provide for the child victim’s needs and ensure that there is money waiting for the child after he or she turns 18.
In the event that a claim involving a dog attack victim, who happens to be a minor, is settled, the minor’s parents may choose to place the settlement proceeds in a structured plan. The awarded compensation is delivered at regular intervals. These payments are called annuities.
These “annuities” are periodic payments of the settlement proceeds, with accrued interest, that are paid out on set dates (usually on the child’s birthday) after the child reaches their 18th birthday. The structure of the payments are documented as part of the settlement agreement and are purchased from an insurance company at that time.
They can be set up to cover higher initial medical costs, at intervals to cover equipment or surgeries, or for the same payment at each payout. Once terms are decided, and court approval has been granted, they can not be changed. They are generally guaranteed by the insurance company, but ultimately the defendant is responsible for the payments.
These annuities, coupled with the annual interest accumulated, can add up to a significant recovery that can make a child’s life entering adulthood significantly easier. These payments can possibly help the child pay for otherwise expensive items such as college tuition, rent payments, payments toward a car, or even a house. Parents or guardians can feel comfortable that their child’s future will be easier for them once they reach the age of majority.
Attorney David J. Cowhey excels in obtaining large structured settlements for dog attack victims who are minors. If your child has been attacked by a dog in New Jersey, and you want to ensure the best possible recovery that will facilitate an easier transition to adulthood for them, call The New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer, David J. Cowhey, today. For our 24/7 Attorney Hotline, call (609) 513-0627 to speak with Mr. Cowhey directly. Our attorney will provide an easy, honest assessment of your child’s case at no cost to you.
Updated May 5, 2021