For most of us, injuries sustained in an accident can be tough to deal with. They can have an impact on daily activities and affect our independence. Something that can be harder to deal with is when a child is injured in an accident. It can be particularly traumatising especially if the accident was caused by somebody else’s negligence. In this article on child personal injury claims, we’ll explain how you could seek compensation on behalf of your child and what the process involves.
We can help you begin your claim by offering a free consultation to discuss how your child was injured. We’ll assess the chances of winning compensation, provide free legal advice and we could introduce you to one of our personal injury lawyers. Importantly, if the case is accepted, you won’t need to pay any legal fees unless compensation is awarded to your child for their suffering.
Please carry on reading to learn how to claim compensation on behalf of a child or give us a call on 0800 652 1345 if you’d like to discuss your options right away.
Types of accidents leading to child personal injury claims
In essence, any type of accident could lead to a child personal injury claim including:
- Road traffic accidents.
- School accidents.
- Playground accidents.
- Accidents in swimming pools.
- Sporting accidents.
- Amusement park accidents.
- Child car seat accidents.
Additionally, you could make a claim if your child has sustained avoidable injuries due to medical negligence.
Can I claim compensation for my child’s personal injury?
Before a child personal injury claim is taken on by one of our injury lawyers, they will try to verify whether:
- Your child was owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- The defendant’s negligence caused an accident; and
- Your child was injured during that accident.
Proving a duty of care isn’t something you should be too worried about as your solicitor will check this for you. Some examples, for now, are that schools owe children a duty of care to try and keep them safe and soft play areas will have a duty of care to remove as many potential risks to a child’s safety as possible.
Later on, we’ll explain what proof could be used to help you prove why your child’s accident and injuries were caused by somebody else.
How do I make a compensation claim on behalf of my child?
In the eyes of the law, children (those under the age of 18) cannot represent themselves in personal injury claims. However, the litigation friend process allows a responsible adult to represent the child’s interests.
Our solicitors can help you to become a litigation friend. Once the paperwork has been filed and agreed upon, you’ll deal with a solicitor and the courts on behalf of your child. The claim will proceed as any other personal injury claim would but you must have your child’s best interests at heart throughout the process. If possible, you’ll also need to keep them informed about the case as well.
If the claim is settled on behalf of your child, any settlement amount will be reviewed by a court to ensure it is fair. After that, the settlement will be held and managed in a Court Funds Office account. The funds will remain in this account until the child turns 18 years old.
As a litigation friend, you can request that funds be released before your child’s 18th birthday by writing to the court. Your request will be reviewed before being released to check that any funds will directly benefit the child.
Negligence leading to child personal injury claims
In this section, we’ve listed a few accidents and explained when they could make your child eligible for compensation. They include:
- Where your child is struck by falling merchandise in a shop because it was not secured properly.
- If your child breaks a leg after falling in a park and safety tiles were damaged or missing.
- If your child suffers an allergic reaction in a restaurant because of incorrect allergen advice.
- If your child hurts their back at school after falling from a damaged chair.
- Where your child is knocked over by a careless driver while riding their bike to school.
Essentially, any type of accident that resulted from another party’s negligence could entitle you to start a claim on their behalf.
Common personal injuries that children could be compensated for
Some of the most common child injuries our solicitors help claim compensation for include:
- Broken bones.
- Head injuries including concussion injuries.
- Muscle strains, sprains and tears.
- Minor brain injuries.
- Burns and scalds.
Even if your child’s injury isn’t included here, we could help you to seek damages so please give us a call and explain what’s happened.
How much compensation for a child’s personal injury can I claim?
When child personal injury claims are made, a compensation settlement would be based on two different heads of loss. General damages can be sought to cover your child’s pain and suffering whereas special damages could cover any financial impact incurred because of your child’s injuries.
Depending on how your child was affected, they could be compensated for:
- The physical pain suffered during the accident and any treatment.
- Any psychological harm your child has had to deal with.
- The impact on your child’s hobbies and social activities.
- Medical costs which, in some cases, could include the cost of private hospital treatment and physiotherapy costs.
- Care costs if you’ve had to look after your child or if they need a professional carer.
- Loss of future earnings if your child’s injuries are likely to impact their ability to earn in the long term.
- Adaptations to your home such as lifts, hoists, handrails or ramps if they’ll make it easier for your child to deal with any ongoing disability.
- Travel expenses.
As you can see, there is quite a lot to take into account when making a personal injury claim on behalf of a child. Before filing a claim with the defendant, your solicitor will try to ensure that all aspects of your child’s suffering (both now and in the future) are considered. In all cases, they’ll try to secure the highest level of compensation possible.
Providing proof for child personal injury compensation claims
In the main, most child accident claims are dealt with by an insurance company representing the defendant. That probably means your claim will automatically be denied unless you have the proof to show how your child was injured and who was to blame. The type of proof that could support your claim includes:
- Photographs. Taking pictures of the accident scene can make it much easier to explain how your child was hurt. Taking pictures of your child’s visible injuries could also prove useful.
- Medical records. If your child’s injuries were treated at a hospital or by your GP, you can request copies of their x-rays and medical notes to help prove how seriously they were injured.
- Accident report forms. Legally, if the accident happened on an organisation’s premises, they should keep records of any accidents. Your copy of the accident report could be useful in proving when and where your child was injured.
- Video footage. You can request copies of CCTV or dashcam footage relating to your accident but you should do so quickly before it is deleted.
- Witness details. In cases where liability for your accident is denied, your solicitor could ask any witnesses to provide a statement of what they saw.
Child personal injury claims time limits
Unlike a typical personal injury claim, the normal 3-year time limit does not apply to child injury claims. As such, you could seek compensation for your child at any time before they turn 18 years of age. If you don’t, the normal limitation period will apply so your child will need to claim themselves before their 21st birthday.
Start a child personal injury compensation claim today
If you’ve decided that it’s time to take action and claim compensation for your child’s injuries, call us on 0800 652 1345 to start the ball rolling. We’ll begin by reviewing the claim with you and explaining your options.
If the claim is suitable, we’ll refer it to one of our personal injury solicitors. If they agree to represent your child, they won’t ask for any legal fees to be paid in advance because of their No Win, No Fee service.
If you have any further questions on child personal injury claims, please use our live chat service to get in touch with a specialist advisor, or arrange a free consultation here.