It’s a fact of life that children have accidents. They happen quite often and are learning experiences for them. However, it’s also true that children aren’t always as careful as adults might be or don’t realise the dangers posed by certain situations. Therefore, in some situations, schools, businesses and other organisations should take extra care to try and keep children safe. If they don’t, and an accident does happen, a parent may be able to claim compensation for their child’s suffering.
In this guide to child injury claims, we’ll look at how the litigation friend process works when claiming compensation for a child, what common accidents lead to compensation claims, and how much compensation might be awarded.
If your child has been injured at school, in a shop, when using a public playground, or any other situation where the accident was caused by somebody else’s negligence, we could help you claim. Our team of claims advisors provide free legal advice during a no-obligation telephone consultation. If there appears to be a reasonable chance of winning the claim, we could pass it to one of our specialist personal injury solicitors, and they’ll represent your child on a No Win No Fee basis if the claim is taken on.
If you believe there are grounds to proceed with legal action because your child has been injured, call us on 0800 6524 881 for a free consultation. If you’d like more advice on how the child injury claims process works before you reach out to us, please read on.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For My Child?
- Evidence To Back Up A Child Injury Claim
- Common Accidents That Can Lead To Child Injury Claims
- Types Of Injuries To Children You Could Claim For
- How Much Compensation For Child Injury Claims?
- Child Compensation Calculator
- How The Litigation Friend Process Works
- Time Limit For Filing Compensation Claims For Children
- Why Claiming Compensation For A Child Using A Solicitor Is Advantageous
We all understand that children are prone to accidents, so to check there was some form of negligence involved for which compensation could be claimed, your solicitor will need to determine that:
- Your child was owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- That duty was breached when a negligent act led to an accident; and
- Your child was made ill or suffered an injury because of the accident.
Schools and businesses have a common duty to protect children by conducting regular risk assessments. Where dangers are identified, they should take steps to reduce them. This could include installing safety barriers, providing training, locking doors, or removing the danger entirely. If safety measures are not taken, you could seek damages if your child is injured as a result.
Even if the defendant admitted liability for your child’s accident at the time it happened, it is a good idea to collect evidence. That’s because once the claim is passed to an insurance company, they’ll want proof of what happened despite what their client said when the accident occurred. If your child is injured in a no-fault accident, evidence that could be used during your child injury claim includes:
- Photos. Taking pictures of the accident scene is a great way to show what happened. Ideally, it is best if you can take a photo on your phone before anything is moved.
- Witness details. If the party responsible for the accident denies liability, having witnesses who saw what happened could help.
- Accident reports. Schools, businesses, and many other organisations must keep an accident report book and document all incidents. Therefore, you should report the accident and ask for a copy of the report.
- Medical notes. You should not only rely on first aid if your child is injured, also visit A&E, your GP, or a minor injuries clinic for an assessment. That way, your child’s injuries will be treated correctly. Later on, copies of their medical records could be requested to prove the extent of their injuries.
- CCTV footage. Where an accident is captured on camera, you should request a copy of CCTV footage. You should do this quickly as CCTV, body-cam and dash-cam files are often deleted quickly.
Depending on the circumstances, it may not always be possible to get all the details that are required. This should not deter you from going ahead and filing a claim. Just take whatever details and information you have been able to gather and get in touch with our experienced personal injury solicitors. They have had vast experience in handling all types of cases and will advise you as to the best way to proceed. They will also help in making further enquiries and obtaining more information.
The ways in which children could get injured are too numerous to list here. However, to give you an idea of what could lead to a child accident claim, we’ve supplied some examples here. They include:
- Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs). If your child is hit by a vehicle while crossing the road, or minor child injured in a car accident as a passenger, a claim might be possible.
- School accidents. Any accident in school that was caused by negligence could result in a personal injury claim. For example, you could claim if your child’s fingers are fractured by a broken chair. Accident claims are also possible for injuries sustained while on a school trip.
- Playground accidents. You could claim against the local authority if your child suffers injuries whilst in a public playground. A claim might be possible if the accident was caused by damaged equipment, broken furniture, or missing safety tiles amongst other things.
- Slips, trips and falls. These can happen just about anywhere. An example might be where injuries are sustained after tripping and falling on loose carpet tiles that should have been repaired.
- Shop accidents. In recent years there have been reports of injuries in shops from signs and furniture falling onto children and causing injuries. In that scenario, you could claim if the falling item was not secured properly.
- Dog bites. Dog bites are unfortunately all too common with children. You could claim compensation if your child has been bitten by a dog due to the owners carelessness or negligence.
These are just a small selection of accidents that could lead to a child injury claim. Whatever has happened to your child, if you’d like to discuss your options with a personal injury solicitor, please don’t hesitate in contacting us today.
Again, there are many different injuries to children that could lead to a claim. We won’t list them all of course but some common examples include:
- Broken bones. Commonly, these can be broken legs, arms, wrists, and fingers.
- Concussions and other head injuries.
- Cuts, lacerations and bruising.
- Soft tissue injuries.
Although children generally get over accidents quite quickly, you could also sue for any psychological damage caused by the accident. For example, if your child was too afraid to go out to the park for a while following the accident, their fear could be considered when calculating compensation.
If we could provide an accurate estimation of how much compensation you could claim for your child’s injuries in this guide we would do so. However, there are so many different injuries that can happen and just as many ways a child can be affected, it simply isn’t possible to do so. Your solicitor would need to know everything that’s happened before they could provide a settlement amount.
When calculating compensation for a child injury claim, there are two main heads of loss that your solicitor will base the settlement on. They are:
- General damages. This focuses on the pain and suffering your child endured. Additionally, loss of amenity can be claimed too. An example might be where your child can’t communicate with friends via their phone or games console because of a broken fingers.
- Special damages. This is where the financial impact of the accident is considered. You could claim for damage to personal property, private medical treatment and any travel expenses.
During the claims process, an independent medical expert will need to assess your child’s injuries. Once their report has been filed, your solicitor will provide a better compensation estimate.
Our guide explaining the differences to general and special damages can be found here.
In our child injury compensation calculator for general damages below, you’ll find a number of injuries and compensation levels that can help personal injury victims get some idea of how much their claim could be worth.
The compensation calculator only accounts for general damages compensation and should therefore be used for guidance only. We cannot guarantee that, should your child injury claim be successful, your child would be awarded the same settlement amounts that are listed.
As children cannot represent themselves legally, claims must be handled by a responsible adult. The litigation friend process allows parents, guardians, relatives, and others to represent a child claimant, if they qualify.
The process requires the litigation friend to make decisions with the child’s best interests at heart. It means that you’ll deal with solicitors and others involved in the claim.
Once you’ve signed the paperwork, the child injury claims process will be handled normally. The main difference is that if any compensation is awarded, the amount paid will be reviewed by a court to ensure it compensates the child fairly.
The funds will be managed by the court until the child turns 18-years old but the litigation friend can write to the court and request money when it will benefit the child.
Compensation claims where children are injured do not have the normal 3-year time limit. You can claim at any point before they turn 18-years old. If the litigation friend process isn’t used, once the child has turned 18 they’ll then have up to their 21st birthday in which to file the claim themselves.
Notwithstanding the statute of limitations, it is always advisable to pursue a compensation claim on your child’s behalf as soon as possible. This is because it’s always easier to clarify events and gather crucial evidence when the details are fresh in not only your memory but those of any witnesses.
If your child was injured at school, in a car accident, in a shop or in a school playground, it’s important to note that any claim is likely to be passed to an insurance company. They will not compensate your child unless it is demonstrated that their client caused the accident and was responsible for your child’s injuries.
We believe that you are more likely to a) win the claim and b) be compensated fairly if you have a personal injury solicitor on your side.
Our personal injury solicitors will do all they can to achieve the maximum level of compensation for your child if the claim is taken on. They’ll manage all communication with the insurer for you, provide regular updates, and answer any questions you think of while the claim is being processed.
If you’d like to talk to us about starting a claim, call us today on 0800 6524 881. Your case will be reviewed right away and you’ll receive free legal options. Remember, any child injury claim that’s taken on will be managed by a No Win No Fee solicitor.
Thanks for visiting today to read our guide on child injury claims.