Claiming compensation for children
For any parent, carer or guardian, having your child experience an injury is devastating, especially if the accident wasn’t their fault and could have been avoided. Although you cannot reverse what has happened, you can make a claim for compensation to help with the road to recovery.
If your child has experienced an accident, Smith Partnership’s specialist solicitors in child injury claims can help you. Contact us today.
How to make a child accident claim
Where children have been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, a claim can be made on their behalf by an appropriate adult, i.e. a parent, guardian or close relation. The individual claiming on behalf of the child is known as a Litigation Friend.
Personal injury claims for children are generally treated the same as any accident claim made by an adult, although there are the following exceptions:
- A child can bring a claim for compensation and formally start court proceedings at any time up until their 21st birthday. Adult cases would usually need to be started within three years from the date of the accident. However, it is advisable to seek legal advice about your claim as early as possible, whilst the evidence is still fresh.
- Any settlement in a case involving a child must be approved by the court. If a settlement has been agreed outside of court, court proceedings will still go on to get the judge’s approval that the settlement you are receiving is fair. The child, Litigation Friend and your solicitor or barrister will be required to attend the hearing.
Who receives the compensation?
When a child injury claim has reached settlement, the amount of compensation awarded will be invested by the court on behalf of the child, until they turn 18 years old. This investment typically takes the form of a trust fund.
However, in some cases it may be possible to access funds sooner, provided that the court is satisfied that the money will be used for the child’s benefit. The final settlement amount will compensate for:
- Any required medical treatment or rehabilitation following the accident
- Loss of earnings if a parent or guardian had to take time off work to look after the child
- Any related expenses, including travelling to appointments
- The costs of any required household adaptations if injuries have affected the child’s ability to live independently
Types of accidents
It’s common for children to experience knocks and bumps in their daily lives and thankfully these can be nothing to worry about. It’s when the safety and wellbeing of your child are in someone else’s hands that accidents can become more serious, particularly if proper health and safety measures haven’t been followed. In these circumstances, injury compensation can be claimed to get some form of justice for your child.
Accidents can include:
- Incidents at nursery, school or after-school clubs
- Road traffic accidents
- Accidents in public places, for example shops, restaurants and play areas
- Medical negligence
This is not an exhaustive list as there are many other situations in which children can be injured as a result of someone else’s mistake or wrongdoing. To find out how we can help you with a compensation claim, contact us today.
What should I do next?
- If your child has had an accident which has resulted in a serious injury, you should ensure they are checked by a doctor or GP first and then follow any medical advice that is given, as this could be vital to the speed and chances of their recovery.
- It is also important to report the accident to any relevant party depending on where it happened. It should be recorded in the appropriate accident book, including the date and time it happened.
- If possible, take pictures of the location or cause of the accident as this could significantly strengthen your case, especially if the perpetrating factor is visible. This may be faulty or damaged equipment, for example.
- Finally, seek specialist legal advice. We can then assess the details of your case and advise you on the best course of action to help your child get the compensation they deserve.
Why Choose Smith Partnership?
Our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers has years of experience in successfully settling child accident claims and helping families to get back to some form of normality after such a stressful event. We draw from this experience to tailor our advice to your individual circumstances, coming up with an approach to help achieve your desired outcome.
At Smith Partnership, our services are built on providing excellent client care through clear and practical advice. This means that any communications you receive from our solicitors will always be straight-talking and jargon-free. We understand how important it is to be fully aware of your position and options throughout every stage of a child injury claim so if at any point you are uncertain, our dedicated team will be more than happy to help clear things up.
We also take cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you.