Child Accident Claims: A Guide to Compensation
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Accidents involving children can be stressful and traumatic for the child suffering with an injury, as well as their parents. In some cases, an accident and subsequent injuries can have a huge impact on the child’s life and wellbeing. If your child has been involved in an accident which was due to someone else’s negligence, and they suffered an injury as the result of an accident, they may be able to make a child accident claim for compensation.
Types of Child Accident Claims
Child injury claims are common and can arise from many different types of accidents. The most common child accident claims we have dealt with have included:
- Accidents at school due to slips, trips, and falls in corridors, playgrounds, classrooms, or canteens.
- Accidents at school during physical activities, for example during P.E. class or whilst participating in extra curricular sports.
- Injuries at school caused by another pupil
- Accidents whilst playing or watching sports
- Accidents in parks or playgrounds
- Trips and falls due to defects on pavements
- Slips, trips and falls in cinemas, arcades, restaurants and shops
- Medical Negligence
- Road traffic accidents/ Car accidents
- Horse riding accidents
Whatever the cause of your child’s accident, if your child has been injured and someone else was to blame, they may be entitled to compensation.
What to do if your Child is Involved in an Accident
If your child has been injured in an accident, you should report the incident to the person responsible and ask that the accident is recorded in an accident book. If your child’s accident happened at school, you should contact them to ensure that they are aware of the accident.
If your child’s accident occurred outside of school, try to take photographs of whatever caused the accident, the area in which the accident happened, and obtain the contact details of anyone who may have witnessed you child’s accident.
You should always seek medical attention for your child if they have sustained an injury in an accident to ensure that they have their injuries assessed and to obtain appropriate medical treatment for their injuries.
Ensure that you keep hold of any receipts or invoices for payments you had to make as a result of your child’s accident as you may be able to recover these expenses as part of the claim.
If you would like to make a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf, contact Beacon Law to discuss the process of making child accident claims.
Is Your Child Entitled to Compensation?
Children have accidents on a daily basis, and some may not have been caused by anyone’s negligence. However, a large proportion of child accidents are preventable and may not have happened if appropriate measures had been set in place to prevent accidents and injuries.
If reasonable steps had not been taken by the person or organisation responsible for your child’s injury, you may be able to make a claim on your child’s behalf. Your child will be entitled to compensation if we can prove that someone else had been negligent, and that their negligence resulted in your child’s accident and subsequent injury.
Making a Child Accident Claim
Child accident claims can be dealt with in two ways; you can wait until your child turns the age of 18 to let them pursue the claim themselves, in which case, they have have three years to settle their claim. Or, as a parent or guardian of an injured child, you may pursue the personal injury case on their behalf before they turn 18.
If you decide to make a claim on behalf of the child, you will be referred to as the “litigation friend” within the case. The compensation will be held in an account, protected by the Court, which the child will have access to from their 18th birthday, unless the injury impacted their mental capacity to manage their finances. A legal deputy will be appointed by the Court of Protection if they lack capacity to manage finances.
Access to compensation may be allowed before the child turns 18 if earlier payments are required for care and development.
Parents and guardians will be able to recover additional losses sustained as the result of their child’s injury, such as loss of earnings, if they were required to take time off work to care for the child, medical costs, and travel costs. These can be obtained as in interim payment before the settlement of the case, at the final settlement.
Beacon law provide all personal injury compensation claims, including child accident claims, on a no win no fee basis. As the litigation friend, you will be required to sign a conditional fee agreement stating that you are happy for us to deduct our fees from your child’s compensation award.
At the end of the claim’s process, there will be a hearing, known as an Infant Approval Hearing, which the litigation friend will be required to attend. During this hearing the Court will look at all facts of the case to ensure that the claim has not been under settled, and management of the compensation until the child turns 18 will also be discussed and approved during the hearing.
Our personal injury solicitors will discuss the process of the hearing and will provide you with all the information you require before you attend the hearing.
How Much Compensation Can Your Child Claim?
For child accident claims, your child will be able to recover general damages, which is the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity due to their injury. If the injury is serious or life-changing, they may also be able to recover the costs of any future treatment, care and loss of earning they may sustain as the result of their accident.
The amount of compensation/ general damages awarded to your child will depend on the type of injury they sustain, including the severity of the injury, the amount of time it will take to recover, and the impact in which the injury has had on your child’s life, for example, if they have had to give up playing a specific sport due to the injury, or if they required substantial amounts of time off school or college.
More severe injuries which take a long time to recover from will attract higher awards than those which may be classed as minor injuries.
An examination and medical report from an independent medical expert will be required to determine the extent of your child’s injury.
Parents and guardians will be able to recover special damages as part of their child’s claim for compensation. Special damages refer to any additional losses, and may include, loss of earnings, travel costs, care and assistance and travel costs.
How Long Does it Take to Settle Child Claims?
Child claims may take slightly longer to settle than some adult claims as an infant approval hearing will be required at the end of the process.
The amount of time required to settle a claim for a child will depend on a number of factors, including the extent of the child’s injury and the amount of treatment they will require. You will be unable to settle a claim on behalf of a child until they have fully recovered from their injuries to ensure that the claim has not been under settled and that no further treatment will be required.
It is often the case that child injury claims take years to settle as it can be difficult to understand the true extent of an injury to a child, especially if their bodies and minds have not fully developed.
In some circumstances, traumatic injuries can have long term impacts on a child’s mental health and it may take years to understand the full extent. It is also common for an injury to have an impact on the physical development of a child, and this may not be obvious until the child has reached a certain age.
Other factors and complexities may make it take longer to settle a child claim for compensation. Defendants denying liability for the accident, complex evidence and problems in obtaining evidence will make it longer to settle a claim. Issues with the defendant’s behaviour, such as if they take a long time to respond or produce evidence will also add to time time taken to settle.
Time Limits for Child Accident Claims
If you do not pursue a claim on behalf of your child and they wish to make a claim for compensation when they are an adult, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to make a claim. This means that their ability to make a claim for an accident that happened when they were a child will expire when they reach the age of 21.
If you make a claim on behalf of your child, there is no time limit on making the claim. If the claim has not settled by the time the child reaches the age of 18, they will have until their 21st birthday to settle the claim or lodge the claim with the court.
We would always advise that you start your claim as early as possible to ensure the claim does not become statute barred.
Why Choose Beacon Law to Handle your Child Accident Claims?
Beacon Law is a Manchester-based Personal Injury law firm with a great reputation for providing exceptional service to all clients. Our specialist solicitors and legal professionals have vast experience in handling all types of personal injury claims, including child accident claims.
We have experience in dealing with all types injury claims as the result of many different types of accidents, including accidents at work, road traffic accidents and occupiers liability accidents.
We offer our assistance on a no win, no fee basis which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay our fees. If your claim is successful, our fees will be deducted from your compensation on conclusion of your case.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and can provide you with the legal advice you require as your personal injury lawyer. We will provide assistance throughout your case and act only within your instructions in progressing the matter.
If you require our assistance or wish to discuss your case , please complete the online contact form on our website, and a specialist Solicitor will contact you. Alternatively, you may call us on 0330 1332 857 to discuss your child’s case.