Child Injury Compensation Claims - How much is our claim worth?
Accidents involving children are always distressing, especially when another person is involved. Finding out that your child has been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence is incredibly upsetting.
If your child has been involved in an accident that was caused by the negligent behaviour of another individual, you may be able to claim compensation.
How common are child accidents?
More than two million children aged 15 and under are involved in accidents every year. The majority of accidents occur in the home, with falls being the biggest cause of accidents.
Accidents that occur outside of the home, such as in a nursery or school setting, are much more likely to be somebody's responsibility. Slipping on a wet floor, coming to harm during playtime, or falling ill after eating poorly prepared foods are all examples of accidents that are caused by negligence. Inadequate supervision of a child is the leading cause of accidents amongst children aged 0-4. In a nursery or preschool, this could involve not watching a child on the stairs, or leaving a cupboard open within a child's reach.
Accidents involving toys are also very common, affecting hundreds of children every year. Many of these accidents can be traced back to errors made by the toys' manufacturers. Every year, thousands of products are recalled due to issues with their production; inadvertently allowing your child to play with a faulty toy could cause injury. Similarly, toys that are incorrectly market to age groups that the toy is inappropriate for have the potential to cause injuries such as choking.
Whatever the circumstances of your child's accident, contact our team of friendly solicitors and will be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Unlike adults, children aren't considered capable of looking out for their own safety, meaning it's highly likely that an accident involving a child will be found to be someone's responsibility.
How do I make a claim?
As your child's parent or legal guardian, you have the right to make a claim on your child's behalf immediately after the accident. If you choose to make a claim for your child, you will act as your child's 'litigation friend', working with your solicitor to come up with a compensation figure that best reflects your child's suffering and representing your child's interest in court. If you don't claim on your child's behalf, your child will have to wait until they turn 18 to take the case to court themselves.
How much compensation will my child receive?
The amount of compensation your child will be given will depend entirely on the unique circumstances of your child's accident. Compensation amounts vary considerably and are influenced by a number of factors including the type of accident, the severity of its impact and the child, and whether the family have had to suffer financially because of the accident. The judge will consider your child's case carefully to come up with an amount that best suits the circumstances. Attention will be paid to witness statements and medical examinations.
To try to give you an idea of how much money your child could be entitled to, we have developed a child accident compensation calculator. Like the court, the calculator will consider the details of your case and suggest an amount that is appropriate to your circumstances.
When will we be able to access the compensation?
Although parents can make personal injury claims on their children's behalf, they cannot access any of the money that is ultimately granted. After a case is won, any compensation money is transferred directly to the court and is kept in a court bank account until the child reaches 18 years of age. It is possible for parents and children to petition the courts to release funds early, but this will only ever be done if the petitioner can prove that the child will benefit from the money being released. Requests are usually only granted to help with medical bills or education costs that the family cannot cover.
What is the time limit for making a child accident claim?
The standard time limit for making a personal injury claim is three years, but the rules are a little different for child accident cases. In cases involving children, the parents of the child have the right to make a claim on their child's behalf at any point after the accident until the child turns 18 years of age. If the parents decide against making a claim, the child will have from three years from their 18th birthday to bring their case to court. If you are deciding whether or not you should take your child's case to court on their behalf, bear in mind that it's always better to make a claim sooner rather than later. The sooner is a claim is made, the fresher the evidence will be, and the easier it will be to prove someone's liability.