Head injuries in children have the potential to lead to life-changing problems that affect the child’s development. Trauma to the head can lead to a lifetime of suffering caused by brain injuries like epilepsy and conditions affecting vision, speech or hearing. If your child has injured their head in an accident caused by someone else, you could lodge a children’s head injury compensation claim on their behalf.
We’re here to help if you need advice on making a head injury claim for your child. You’ll receive free legal advice during a no-obligation assessment and your specially trained advisor will explain your options. If your claim is taken on by a personal injury lawyer from our panel, they’ll manage it on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means that no matter how long the claims process takes, you’ll only pay legal fees if compensation is awarded to your child.
Please read on for information about children’s head injury claims or call 0800 652 1345 to speak to us right away.
Can I claim compensation for my child’s head injury?
For a personal injury solicitor to help you to claim compensation for a child’s head injury, they’ll first be looking to confirm whether:
- Was your child owed a legal duty of care by the defendant?
- Did the defendant make a mistake that led to an accident (negligence)?
- Did your child sustain a head injury during that accident?
If the answer to all three questions is yes in your case, you could be entitled to start a claim on your child’s behalf.
Common causes of children’s head injuries
Some common causes of children’s head injuries include:
Accidents in playgrounds
Public parks and school playgrounds should be kept as safe as possible. Falling from broken playground equipment or landing on a hard surface because of missing safety tiles could result in a concussion or more serious head injuries.
Public place accidents
Unfortunately, children have suffered life-threatening injuries in public places in recent years. These could lead to a compensation claim if caused by negligence. For example, you could claim if your child was struck in the head by a poorly-secured sign or fixture in a shop accident.
Road traffic accidents
Road traffic accidents, including car crashes, bicycle accidents, or being struck by a moving vehicle, can lead to head injuries in children. Examples here where a children’s head injury compensation claim may be possible include if your child was hit by a vehicle while crossing a pelican crossing or was knocked off their bike because the driver was using their phone or not paying attention.
Slips, trips and falls
Even in fairly safe environments like schools and libraries, if a child falls and hits their head, serious injuries can be sustained. If the fall was caused by slipping in a corridor on a wet floor, tripping on some sort of defect in the flooring, or falling down some steps in the playground because a trip hazard wasn’t cordoned off a claim might be possible.
Participation in sports activities, particularly popular sports like football and cricket can increase the risk of head injuries to children. Collisions with other players or hard impacts with sports equipment like cricket balls can result in head trauma.
If a coach, teacher, or sports facility, failed to fulfil their duty of care to your child and they’ve suffered their head injury as a result, they may be entitled to compensation.
This list is by no means exhaustive so please get in touch if you’re child has suffered a head injury in any other type of accident and you’d like to find out your options. A specialist will go through everything with you and answer any queries you think of.
Common head injuries to children
Any suffering your child has endured because of a head injury caused by someone else could result in a personal injury claim. Some common head injuries involving children include:
- Cuts and bruises.
- Fractured skull.
- Scalp lacerations.
- Concussions and minor brain damage.
- Brain haemorrhages and other serious injuries.
In more serious children’s head injury claims, compensation may need to be sought to cover problems such as:
- Vision and hearing loss.
- Memory issues.
- Mobility problems.
- Mood and concentration issues.
- Fits and seizures.
- Emotional and awareness issues.
If your claim is accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll work with you and third-party specialists to get a full understanding of the impact of your child’s head injury. They’ll then work on your child’s behalf to try and ensure that they are fully compensated for both the short and long-term impact on your child’s life.
Children’s head injury claim time limits
In the typical personal injury claims process, there is a standard 3-year time limit to initiate legal action from the date of the accident. However, this does not apply right away for child personal injury claims. In fact, the time limit doesn’t apply until your child’s 18th birthday and you can make a claim on their behalf at any point before then. Furthermore, if your child sustains a head injury that impairs their mental capacity, there will be no time limit for lodging a claim while they’re impaired, ensuring that their rights are protected indefinitely.
Rather than waiting, it’s a good idea to begin the children’s head injury claims process as early as possible, in our opinion. Doing so could mean you’ll receive interim payments to cover the cost of your child’s immediate medical and care needs before the claim is finalised.
If you don’t claim on behalf of your child and they’re well enough to make their own claim, they can take legal action themselves within 3 years of their 18th birthday.
How to claim compensation for your child’s head injury
Before you instruct a solicitor on behalf of your child, you’ll need to apply to become their litigation friend. This is something a solicitor from our panel can help with. Once you’ve received approval, you’ll be able to make decisions and guide the case on behalf of your child.
If the claim is successful, a court will be asked to review the settlement amount to ensure that it covers all of your child’s needs. In more serious children’s head injury compensation claims, a lump sum may be awarded followed by annual payments for the rest of the child’s life.
Until your child is 18 years old, any compensation will be kept in a court trust account. As a litigation friend, you will be able to write to the court and ask for funds to be released as and when they’re needed.
How much compensation for children’s head injury claims?
To try and ensure your child is fairly compensated for their head injury, your solicitor will review how they’ve suffered physically, psychologically and financially. This is an important part of the claims process as you can only seek damages once for the same injury so it’s a good idea to go over everything thoroughly.
If compensation is paid, it could include damages that cover:
- Any pain, discomfort and suffering.
- Mental disorders or psychological injuries.
- Loss of amenity to cover any activities your child is prevented from doing because of their head injury.
- The cost of a care professional or your own time when supporting your child.
- Travel costs.
- Mobility aids.
- Loss of earnings if your child’s ability to earn will be reduced by their head injuries in the future.
- Adapting your home to make it easier for your child to cope with any long-term complications or disabilities.
Helping your child to recover from a head injury
In addition to the above damages, your solicitor could help to secure compensation to help with your child’s:
- Education – if their head injury means they have specific or bespoke needs.
- Rehabilitation – to try and improve the speed or chance of a full recovery.
In all cases, your solicitor will seek the maximum compensation possible to help your child recover fully or cope with the suffering caused by their injuries. Compensation could also be sought to cover your own losses. For example, any income you’ve lost because you’ve taken time off to care for your child could be factored into any compensation that is awarded.
Providing proof for a children’s head injury claim
In reality, no insurance company will agree to award compensation to your child right away. Instead, they will need to be convinced that their client caused the accident that led to your child’s head injury and about how the injury has affected them. To do this, your solicitor may use any of the following:
- Medical evidence. A&E records, surgery notes and X-rays could all be obtained to prove the extent of the head injury.
- Witness statements. To help clarify how the accident occurred, your solicitor could collect statements from witnesses about what they saw when your child was injured.
- Photographic proof. Pictures of any visible head injuries can help to prove that your child was in fact injured. Photographs of the accident scene can also be very useful as proof to support your case.
- Accident report forms. If your child had an accident at school, in a public place or on a company’s premises, you should report what happened. Legally, you can request a copy of an accident report form to make it easier to show where the accident happened.
- Video recordings. Dashcam and CCTV footage of the accident should be requested quickly. You’re entitled to ask for a copy but remember that it’ll often be deleted within around a month or so.
As you may be able to recover any costs from your child’s head injury, you should retain any relevant receipts, bank statements and other financial documents and provide them to your solicitor before the claim is finalised.
No Win, No Fee claims
Securing compensation for a child’s head injury can be a daunting process. It should be somewhat easier if you’re represented by a legal specialist but the cost of hiring a solicitor can seem off-putting. However, the solicitors from our panel provide a No Win, No Fee service for any children’s head injury claims they accept. Knowing that should make the process much less stressful from the start.
Before your claim proceeds, your solicitor will forward a No Win, No Fee contract to you. This will explain that:
- No Win, No Fee means no legal fees are paid upfront and there are none to pay if the claim is lost; and
- You’ll pay a success fee (a deduction from your compensation) to pay for your solicitor’s work if the claim is won.
The success fee percentage you’ll pay will be listed in your contract but, legally, it cannot be higher than 25 per cent of your child’s settlement.
Once you’ve signed your agreement, your solicitor will begin working on collecting medical records and further proof where they can to support your claim. All communication with the defendant will be managed by your solicitor but they’ll keep in touch with you to explain any progress. They’ll also work hard to counter any objections about liability for your child’s head injuries to try and make sure they’re fully compensated.
Start a children’s head injury compensation claim today
Has your child sustained a head injury that was not their fault? Do you believe they should be compensated for their suffering? If so, call us on 0800 652 1345 today for free legal advice about your options.
Your child’s case will be assessed during a no-obligation consultation and your advisor will provide legal advice on your next actions. If the claim is suitable and accepted by a personal injury lawyer from our panel, they’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis. That will allow you to relax a little during the claims process as you’ll know that legal fees will only need to be paid if your child is compensated.
For further advice on children’s head injury compensation claims, please connect to our online chat service or claim your free consultation here.