How to make a personal injury claim for a child

Bumps and scrapes are part of growing up, but when a child suffers personal injury through no fault of their own, it can be particularly distressing.

Many people are unsure about how to go about making a claim for a child or even aware that it is possible to do so. However, an adult is able to make a claim on behalf of a child and the process is very straight forward. Here we take a look at some of the most common questions that clients approach us with.

Who can make a claim for a child?

By law, the child is considered a minor until they are 18, meaning that they are unable to bring a claim themselves and need someone to represent them. This is known as a ‘litigation friend’ and will normally be a parent or close family member.

The person acting on behalf of the child must be able to make decisions about the case in a fair and competent way, can have no personal interest in the claim, and any decisions made in relation to it must only be for the benefit of the child.

Will I have to pay a fee?

Here at Emerald Law, we work on a Conditional Fee Agreement, otherwise known as a No Win No Fee basis. Therefore there are no big fees to worry about paying when making a claim, we just take a percentage of your settlement amount if your case is successful.

The solicitor dealing with your case will assess your claim and will only take it on if they feel you have a strong case. If you lose the case, you don’t pay anything.

Is there a time limit?

Yes. For adults, the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim is three years from the date that the accident happened known as the ‘limitation period’.

However, for children it is different and they have from three years from the date they turn 18, meaning that they have until their 21st birthday to claim.

What will my child be compensated for?

The amount of money your child will be awarded in compensation will be calculated by a number of factors including the seriousness of the injury, the impact it has had on their life and whether they will need any kind of treatment in the future.

Your child’s compensation stays protected by the court until they are 18 and is typically invested until they are old enough to be responsible for their own finances.

However, it may be that payments are needed prior to this, possibly to pay for their care and treatment. If this is the case, you should be able to set up a personal injury trust that will give you access to some of the compensation.

How long will it take?

Every case is different so the time it takes to settle can vary. If it is relatively straight forward and the other side admit liability then it can be a matter of months. However, more complex cases or those where there are serious injuries can take longer.

How Emerald Law can help

If your child has been affected by personal injury, we understand how distressing it can be. Our friendly, expert team are on hand to guide you through the process and help you every step of the way. To start your claim today, simply click on the link below and fill out our online form and we will be in touch for a free consultation.