Can I make a claim for compensation for my child’s injuries after an accident? Can a child claim compensation for injuries following an accident? How long does a child have to start a claim for compensation after an accident?
The simple answer is “yes”. A child has the same right as an adult does to bring a claim for compensation for their injuries following an accident.
The elements of the claim will be the same as for an adult i.e. medical evidence is required to support the claim, settlement offers can be made by either party and court proceedings can be issued if the parties cannot agree a settlement figure.
However, there are certain points to bear in mind with a claim for a child:
a) The child cannot make a claim by themselves. They need a “Litigation Friend” [need link to answer in Legal Questions section]. This is a person who will act for the child in the case. It is usually a relative of the child or friend of the family who acts for them. The Litigation Friend will deal with the claim on behalf of the child i.e. discuss the case and medical evidence with the Solicitor etc;
b) A compensation award for a child must be approved by the court and then invested in court funds until the child is 18. The settlement figure plus interest will be released to the child when they are 18. This is to protect the child’s interests and ensure that the child receives the appropriate compensation for their injuries. When a compensation figure has been agreed between the parties, Court proceedings must be issued. The court will then arrange a short, informal court hearing at the Claimant’s local court to approve the agreed compensation figure. The child and the Litigation Friend will be required to attend this court hearing;
c) The usual period for bringing a claim for an adult is 3 years from the date of the accident. This is called the Limitation Period [need link to answer in Legal Questions]. However, for a child, this period starts when the child turns 18 and so the child will have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim after the accident. This is not usual and most claims for children will be finished before they are 18, but it is a point to consider if a child has been involved in accident more than 3 years ago.
If you want to discuss in more detail claims for children, call us on 061 749 9000 (or click here to request a call back ) for a free, without obligation chat.