Injuries resulting from an accident caused by another person’s negligence may mean you’re eligible to make a personal injury claim. However, there are times when the injured party may not be able to deal with the claims process alone. In these cases, we’re often asked, “Can I claim compensation for somebody else” and the answer is yes in certain circumstances. This guide will look at how you claim compensation on behalf of somebody else and explain the types of accidents you could claim for.
If you do want to claim compensation on behalf of a friend, relative or child, we can help. Our team will start by ensuring you have the grounds to proceed. They’ll offer free legal advice and, if your claim is strong enough, could connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors. If the claim proceeds, your solicitor will represent the claimant on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that legal fees only have to be paid where there is a successful outcome to the case.
To see if you could claim compensation for somebody else, please call 0800 6524 881 and speak to one of our specialists. Otherwise, please read on to find out more.
Table of contents
- When Can I Claim Compensation For Somebody Else?
- Claiming Compensation On Behalf Of A Child
- Claiming Compensation On Behalf Of Another Adult
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim On Behalf Of Someone Else?
- Evidence To Support A Compensation Claim For Somebody Else
- Time Limits For Making A Claim
- Starting A Compensation Claim For Someone Else
Generally, it’s possible to claim compensation for children under 18 years old or for claimants who don’t have the mental capacity to seek damages themselves. We’ll explain this in more detail shortly.
Our solicitors don’t want to waste anybody’s time so they’ll only accept claims where there is a realistic chance of winning compensation. That means that before taking on a claim, they’ll check whether:
- The claimant was owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- The defendant caused an accident because they were negligent; and
- The claimant sustained personal injuries or was made ill following the accident.
If you decide to claim compensation for somebody else, you’ll need to provide evidence of what happened, who was to blame and how the claimant suffered. After we’ve reviewed the claims process in more detail, we’ll explain the types of evidence that could prove useful.
Legally, a child is a person under 18 years of age. They are not allowed to handle legal matters which means they cannot represent themselves in a personal injury claim. However, a parent, relative or guardian (aged over 18) could become the child’s litigation friend. That allows the child’s representative to deal with solicitors and make decisions on the child’s behalf.
Common personal injury claims made on behalf of children include:
- Road traffic accidents.
- Public authority playground accidents and park accidents.
- Accidents at school.
- Medical negligence and birth injury claims.
- Slips, trips and falls.
If you’d like to claim compensation for a child’s injuries, please let us know and we’ll review the claim with you for free.
The litigation friend process also allows you to claim compensation for adults that lack the mental capacity to manage the claim on their own. As well as applying to become a litigation friend, evidence will also need to be supplied to prove that the claimant lacks the mental capacity to proceed alone in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Common claims made on behalf of those without the mental capacity act include:
- Medical negligence claims.
- Care home negligence claims.
- Slip, trip and fall claims.
- Severe brain injury claims.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claims.
Our solicitors could help with these types of claims and others. If you’d like to claim compensation on behalf of somebody else, please call for an initial consultation today.
As a litigation friend, you’ll need to deal with the claims process on behalf of the child or relative you’re representing. Some of the responsibilities of a litigation friend include:
- Involve the claimant in the claims process as much as possible and try to find out their wishes.
- Dealing with the claimant’s solicitor and making decisions about the claim.
- Providing evidence about how the claim happened to the solicitor.
- Keeping the claimant’s best interests at heart throughout the claims process.
- Provide the claimant with regular updates about any progress.
- Review any compensation offers with the solicitor.
While most personal injury claims do not require court hearings, if the claim is successful, settlement offers made to children and adults represented by a litigation friend do need to be approved by a court.
If the claim is successful and the court agrees to the compensation amount, the settlement will be held in a court trust account. This will be the case until the child turns 18 or the adult regains their mental capacity (if they do). Litigation friends can request that the court releases funds when there is a direct benefit to the claimant.
Please see our guide on the litigation friend process for more information.
Litigation friends should try and ensure that any compensation award covers the claimant’s immediate needs and future needs too. Settlements should be based on suffering (general damages) and associated costs (special damages). This means that you could claim compensation for somebody else to cover:
- Any physical pain the claimant has or will endure.
- Psychological suffering such as depression, distress or anxiety after a car accident.
- Any normal activities, hobbies or family events the claimant will miss out on because of their injuries.
- The cost of a carer. This could include a professional carer or the time a loved one has spent supporting the claimant.
- Medical treatment costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Modifications to the claimant’s home to install ramps, hoists or handrails for example to improve their quality of life.
- Loss of earnings if you’ve stopped working to care for the claimant.
Any compensation settlement claimed on behalf of somebody else will be reviewed by a court to ensure that it is fair. However, we still believe that it’s best to work with a personal injury solicitor to try and improve the chances of winning the claim. If you work with a solicitor from our team, they’ll try to make sure that the claimant is fully compensated for their suffering.
The amount awarded as general damages in a personal injury claim is based on the severity of the claimant’s injuries. Therefore, we can’t say how much compensation you could claim for somebody else until their claim has been reviewed properly. However, you can use our compensation calculator to look at the latest guideline figures for different types of injuries:
To clarify how the claimant has suffered, an independent medical expert will be asked to assess their injuries. This might include an examination, a discussion about how the claimant has suffered and a review of their medical records. The specialist’s prognosis for the claimant will then be forwarded to all parties involved in the claim.
In your role as litigation friend, you may be asked to help your solicitor by providing evidence to support the claim. This will be needed to prove how the claimant suffered, how the accident happened and who was to blame.
The evidence that might help with this process includes:
- X-rays and other medical records from the hospital or medical practice that treated the claimant.
- A copy of the accident report form relating to the accident to prove where and when it happened.
- Accident scene photographs to show the cause of the accident where possible.
- Dashcam or CCTV footage of the accident happening.
- Contact details for anybody who saw the accident occur in case your solicitor needs to collect witness statements.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep hold of receipts, wage slips or other financial documents if you’d like to claim back any expenses.
In normal personal injury claims, there is a 3-year time limit. However, when claiming compensation for a child or adult without the mental capacity to claim, the 3-year time limit does not apply until:
- The child’s 18th birthday; or
- The date the adult claimant regains their mental capacity.
That means that as a litigation friend, you could claim at any point before the dates set out above.
As the claimant could benefit from interim payments before the claim has been processed (to cover care and medical costs for example), it’s best to begin the claims process sooner rather than later.
Please call our free advice centre on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like to claim compensation for somebody else. During your free consultation, you’ll receive free legal advice and your options will be explained.
Remember, neither you nor the claimant will need to pay any legal fees in advance if the claim is taken on as our solicitors operate on a No Win No Fee basis.
To ask any further questions about claiming compensation for somebody else, please connect with one of our live chat advisors.