Accidents happen! Personal injury claims involving children
If your child has been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, they may be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim. We pursue claims for any accident where a child has been injured through no fault of their own for example, car accidents, slips, trips or falls in public places & accidents at school or nursery.
Normally, personal injury claims must be made within 3 years from the date of the accident. However, where a child has been injured in a non-fault accident, you can bring a claim on their behalf anytime up until their 18th birthday. Thereafter they have 3 years to make a personal injury claim themselves (i.e. until their 21st birthday).
A child cannot pursue a compensation claim in their own right and therefore a claim must be brought by a responsible adult, usually the person with parental responsibility, known as the “next friend”. Medical evidence will be necessary to determine the extent of your child’s injuries and to ascertain the value of the claim. If the party responsible for the accident accepts liability they may make an offer of settlement. In a child’s case any settlement figure agreed between the parties ultimately has to be approved by a Judge. This means that the next friend (and in some circumstances the child) is required to attend court for approval of the settlement offer. If the figure is approved by the Judge, the money is not paid directly to the minor or the next friend but rather it is lodged with the Court Funds office on trust until the child turns 18 years of age.
When the award is received the Courts Funds Office makes an initial assessment of how the funds should be managed. Some of the fund may be invested in government stocks and/or company shares, with a portion of the fund maintained as a cash deposit. The court appointed Guardian of the fund (usually the “next friend”) receives an annual statement of account detailing the current value of investments. It is important that the Court Funds Office is advised of any changes of the minor’s address as they shall write to the child on the day before their 18th birthday with forms to be completed to release the funds.
In certain circumstances the Guardian can request a payment out of the fund before the minor turns 18. The Court Funds Office does not decide if the payment may be granted rather the Guardian must make a formal application to the Court and pay the appropriate court fee. Generally Judges will consider payments out for the educational benefit of the child for example a school trip or computer equipment.
If your child has been injured and you would like to speak with a personal injury solicitor, call us for a free consultation on 028 90770770 or by email email@example.com
Follow us: @hhdsolicitors on twitter