An approval hearing is a hearing where a judge reviews the evidence of the case and the settlement that has been agreed to ensure it is a fair settlement. Approval hearings are more common when the injured client is a child or a protected party and a litigation friend is required. If you are currently acting as a litigation friend, it is likely that you will have to attend a hearing of this type. Both the child and the litigation friend must attend the hearing. It is important to remember that these hearings are in the best interest of the injured client to ensure that the settlement is suitable. There is unlikely to be many questions directed at yourself or the client and it is more of an opportunity for the judge to review the evidence. At the end, the judge will ask whether the client has fully recovered from their injuries, which may be directed at either the client or the litigation friend. It is important that this question is answered correctly to ensure that the case is suitably settled.
We will need to make an application to the court for any claims settled for a child under the age of 18 so that the court may approve the settlement. Once it has been approved, the third-party insurer will be asked to make a payment into the Court Funds Office.