Child Personal Injury Claims *
Child personal injury claims * arise following an accident involving children. Accidents involving children * can be more stressful than an accident involving an adult, especially for the parents of the child involved in the accident. The welfare and health of the child is of utmost important, often overshadowing the need or want to proceed with legal proceedings to claim compensation. A claim for compensation for an accident involving a child * is treated differently than personal injury claims * for adults.
A person under the age of 18 is considered a ‘minor’ in the eyes of the law. A minor cannot engage a solicitor or make an accident compensation claim by themselves, instead another adult person will have to represent them in the personal injury claim *. The other person who represents the minor in a claim is called their ‘next friend’. A next friend representing a minor is usually a parent or guardian of the child involved in the accident.
If your child has been involved in an accident as a result of somebody else’s negligence and you are considering making a child injury claim, the best thing you can do is contact a child injury solicitor first to discuss the case and how best to proceed.
Common Types of Child Personal Injury Claims
- Children’s Toys Injury *
- Accident at School or Crèche or Day-care *
- Playground Accident *
- Birth Injury Claims *
- Child accident in a public place *
How can I make a Child Personal Injury Claim *
Before you consider legal proceedings and making child accident claim *, your first priority should be to seek medical attention for the child involved. In minor accidents whereby the child involved seems or feel fine, but what you don’t realise is that the minor injury you have suffered could develop into a bigger health issue for the child in later years. Assessing the health after an accident is a critical first step. It is important that when you seek medical attention for your child that the medical practitioner records the injuries, distress, any symptoms that arose from the accident, this will be used in evidence in your child injury claim at a later stage.
Once the child has had a medical assessment and you have contacted a child injury solicitor * there are a number of steps you will follow:
1. Record and report the details of the accident
It is important that you have a clear account of how the accident happened when making a child injury claim. Important facts to record are:
- Time and Date of the accident
- Weather conditions at the time (if the accident happened outdoors)
- Circumstances that caused the accident
- Request contact details for any witnesses to the accident
- Take photos of the accident scene and any conditions that led to the accident
- Report the accident to the relevant persons or authorities – the person you report the accident to will depend on where and how the accident happened. When reported you may need to complete an accident form, make sure that you request a copy of any accident record forms you complete and file it with your personal records of the accident.
2. The Injuries Board
With the help of a personal injury solicitor * , an application to the Injuries Board must then be made. The application for assessment of the child injury claim * can only be brought by the child’s ‘next friend’. The Injuries Board will then suggest an amount of compensation to be paid by the party at fault to the child. Speak with your personal injury solicitor * and they can help you decide on whether to accept or decline the Injuries Board suggested compensation.
In cases where the parent or guardian of the child accepts the Injuries Board suggested compensation, the next step is for your solicitor to apply to the Courts to have the compensation amount paid.
In cases where the Injuries Board suggested compensation amount is not accepted by the parent/guardian, then the matter will proceed further and court proceeding will be issued. The case may be settled outside of court, or reach court and a ruling will be given by the court as to how much, if any, the child will receive in compensation.
Please note that the only exceptions to the above are medical negligence cases *. Medical negligence involving children are treated differently to other types of personal injury * and are not assess by the Injuries Board.
3. Payment of Child Injury Claim Compensation *
Where a child injury claim * is successful and a compensation amount has been agreed and approved by the Court, it is important to note that the amount of compensation can only be paid to the child when the child reaches the age of 18. Once the child reaches 18 years old, they must make an application to the Courts for the compensation amount to be paid to them.
What legal remedies can I seek for Accidents Involving Children * ?
The compensation awarded for a personal injury claim * involving a child is known damages. The amount of compensation awarded can vary depending on the severity of the injury to the child and its effects on the child’s quality of life thereafter.
General damages refer to non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional damage as a result of the personal injury.
Special damages refer to out of pocket expenses incurred as a result the personal injury.
Useful Information about accidents involving children *
Statute of Limitations – Legal Time Frames
Following an accident involving children *, it is important to remember that there is a certain timeframe in place within which you can bring a claim for compensation. A parent or guardian can bring a claim forward as soon as the accident happens. The standard time limit is two years following the date of the accident. However, minors are given extra time and their two year time limit to make a claim starts on their 18th birthday. The time frame in which you have to make a claim for compensation is called the statute of limitations.
Making a Claim on behalf of child * – Next Friend Responsibilities
In cases where a child is involved in an accident, the legal process making a child accident claim differs slightly from a personal injury claim * involving an adult. If you are thinking of making a child accident claim then the first think you should do is speak with a child accident claim solicitor *.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist child personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors, ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand. For a confidential discussion contact Elaine Hickey on 00353 (0) 1 649 9900 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her about your case.