Can I claim personal injury compensation for my child?

13 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

In most circumstances, when anyone is making a claim for personal injury compensation after an accident that was not their fault, they will deal with it themselves. However, in the case of a son or daughter, elderly parent or any vulnerable person that is unable to cope with such matters alone, people are often unsure as to how to go about pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation on their behalf.

Pursuing a claim for a loved one is much the same as pursuing a claim for yourself. You are simply acting as a responsible adult on behalf of your child regarding the pursuit of the claim. Any parent or legal guardian of a child (under 18 years) can act as a ‘litigation friend’ for them.

Litigation friend

When claiming compensation for a child, the process is the same as when claiming for an adult, save for the fact that a legal guardian (usually a parent of the child) will act in the capacity of a litigation friend on behalf of the child. The litigation friend will give the instructions to the solicitor, sign the paperwork and agreements for the child and along with the solicitor ensure that the client’s interests are protected.

When it comes to the settlement of the claim, you will be asked to sign a parental indemnity form in which you confirm that the settlement received will be retained for the child and that it will not be used by the parent. In most cases, the settlement can be placed in a trust account to mature on the child’s 18th birthday. Your specialist solicitor will be able to help you with the running of your claim and help you to decide how best to manage the settlement.

Claim time limits

The only other difference from children’s claims to those of adults, is the amount of time available in which the claimant has the legal right to make a claim. This period of time is called ‘limitation’. In the circumstances of an adult over the age of 18, the injured party has 3 years from the date of the accident, or the date of diagnosis for an industrial disease, in which they can register their claim in the courts. However, in the case of a minor under the age of 18, the claimant has until their 21st birthday – or 3 years from their 18th birthday – in which to register their claim in the courts. Failure to register your claim within the legal period of limitation will leave you statute barred and unable to pursue your claim.

So although a child injured in an accident on their 1st birthday, has the legal right to leave it 20 years to pursue their claim, it should be noted that leaving such a long period would severely reduce the prospects of successful pursuit of the claim. In such a long period, evidence would be lost and it becomes ever more difficult to trace 3rd parties.

If you have queries about pursuing a potential compensation claim on behalf of your child, contact us so that we can answer your queries or leave a question below.

13 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

Leave a question

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Questions & Answers

  • Michael

    What powers do a potential litigation friend have in regard to acting on the behalf of a protected adult? Can they instruct solicitors to carry out investigations and obtain medical reports on the protected persons legal aid certificate if no assessment of capacity has been completed under the MCA?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      A litigation friend may act for a protected adult in a claim for personal injury if the litigation friend has the legal authority to act for that person. This would usually mean that you would hold legal power of attorney or be the legal guardian of the individual in question.

      Reply
  • Claire

    Can you make a claim against a work injury for them being negligent and moving someone after falling off a horse with a open fracture to the tibia? And they made me go get my daughter after they moved her to take her to hospital without phoning for a ambulance.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is unlikely that the issue you raise can form the basis of a claim. Whilst negligent handling post accident may well have taken place, it is not a matter that would be considered personal injury.

      Reply
  • Sarah

    My daughter had a crushed toe injury under a fire door at an indoor play centre in October 2016 (she is 10 now), she now has a deformed big toe, and possibly needing surgery. Am I able to claim against the company, as the initial injury was 3 years ago. Her toe has obviously grow, and she now has a severe deformity to her big toe.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Children have a claim limitation period that exceeds that afforded to those aged 18 years or over at the time of their accident or injury. In your daughters case, she cam pursue a claim for the injury in October 2016 up and until her 21st Birthday, therefore, she is well within claim limitation.

      To pursue a claim that is more ‘historical’ in terms of accident date, it can be harder but the right remains to pursue such action. If the incident was properly reported and recorded at the time and medical attention was sought, then the correct evidence should remain available to help with any claim.

      Reply
  • Wendy

    My son was injured in 2016 from a jump giants trampoline accident, he fractured his spine which we had logged with our GP etc. When it happened my son had pain killers and I thought he had pulled a muscle and it was not logged in their accident book even though I told the staff who seemed uninterested. My son cannot do lots of things due to this fracture which has left him in pain …. is this something you can help with? My son is now 15 years old.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Your Son has a right to make a claim and his claim limitation period will not expire until he is 21 years of age. Therefore, he is within the legal time to pursue action.

      He would be able to make a spinal injury claim if it can be shown that the cause of the fracture was due to the negligence of the trampoline centre. Perhaps they failed to properly supervise the session or some of the safety measures required were not in place? If so, he may well succeed.

      It would be wise for you to attempt to make a report in writing to the trampoline centre (by email) outlining what happened and that you hadn’t recorded it fully at the time (although you should mention you did make a verbal report to staff members at the time who were uninterested) as it was not known that the injury was so serious.

      We would be happy to discuss this incident and possible claim with you further. Therefore, please use our ‘start a claim’ page to make further contact with us and we can then investigate whether or not we can pursue a claim for your Son.

      Reply
  • Denise Carter

    My 9 year old son had an accident on play equipment at an oceanarium. The company said that they are not at fault and gave us their insurers address if we wanted to persue a claim. We do not know who we should be seeking compensation from; whether it is the company that supplied the spring play equipment that broke or the company who had the said equipment installed in a public area?
    Advice please

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Denise

      The situation you describe is exactly where the benefit of instructing a specialist personal injury solicitor to pursue your claim rests. As a parent you want to do your best to represent your son’s interests and if possible seek compensation for his injuries. However, when it comes to dealing directly with insurers as an individual, it is very easy to get lost in the complexities of their handling of such matters. With us, our specialist injury compensation solicitors know what to do and importantly, have the tools to locate the right insurers and defendants to action claims.

      Of course, whether or not your Son can pursue a claim successfully will depend on what caused his injury and whether negligence can be attached to the defendant. With this in mind, I would suggest that you give us a call on 01225430285 so that we can have a quick chat and discuss this in greater detail. We’re certainly keen to help and have succeeded with a number of similar claims in previous years.

      Reply
  • Mandy farmer

    Hi. I was wondering if I could claim compensation for my 10 year old daughter who tripped on a sign that was on the floor in a supermarket. She hurt her foot she attended the hospital and she had bruised it.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Dear Mandy

      We would be more than happy to discuss this in greater detail with you. We may well be able to help your daughter make a successful claim for personal injury compensation if we can demonstrate that the sign was dangerous, erected in a dangerous situation and as such posed a hazard to shoppers.

      Please contact us so that one of us can call you to discuss this in greater detail. Clearly, we need to know more such as whether or not the accident details were recorded in an accident book, what medical treatment (if any) was needed and how your daughter is now.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      Ian

      Reply
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