By Danielle Griffin. Last Updated 27th July 2023. If your child suffers an injury it can quite rightly cause upset and distress. In some cases, they may have suffered because of the failings of someone else. In this guide, we look at child personal injury claims and the steps you can take to recover compensation.
Below, we look at the criteria for making a claim. We also explain how our expert No Win No Fee solicitors can help you claim compensation on behalf of your child.
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Select a Section
- The Criteria In Child Personal Injury Claims
- Can I Claim On Behalf Of My Child?
- Can I Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Examples Of Accidents Involving Children
- What Happens To Children’s Compensation Once Awarded?
- Useful Evidence In Child Personal Injury Claims
- Examples Of Compensation Payouts In Personal Injury Claims
- Make A Child Personal Injury Claim Today
If you are seeking personal injury compensation on behalf of your child, certain eligibility criteria must be met. You must be able to prove that third-party negligence occurred. This means that you must show that:
- Your child was owed a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- Their injuries were caused by this breach.
For example, while out in public you are owed a duty of care by whoever is in control of that space under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This means that the controller of the public place must ensure your reasonable safety. Children are owed this same duty of care. If your child were to break their leg due to faulty equipment in a public park, a claim might be able to be brought forward on their behalf.
However, all child injury claims need to be supported with sufficient evidence. This needs to prove liability as well as their injuries. We’ll look at examples of evidence further into this guide.
If you have any questions about child personal injury claims, get in contact with one of the advisors from our team.
Time Limits In Child Personal Injury Claims
When claiming accident compensation through a personal injury claim, there is generally a time limit in which the claim must be started. Usually, the limitation period for a personal injury claim is three years from the date of the accident. However, this is different for child accident claims.
As anyone under the age of 18 is a minor, they are barred from representing themselves in legal proceedings. Because of this, the time limit is frozen until the claimant’s 18th birthday, at which point they have the usual 3 years to start a claim if one is not already underway. This is per the Limitation Act 1980.
However, during this suspended period, a litigation friend can be appointed to start a claim on the child’s behalf. This can be any adult who can act fairly and make decisions with the best interests of the child at heart.
If your child suffered an injury and you would like to make a claim, we recommend seeking the assistance of a child injury lawyer. They can help you through every step of the claims process.
In the UK, the law states that a minor is unable to make a personal injury claim themselves. In order to make a claim, a person who is aged over 18 is required to act on behalf of the child. This person could be a parent or someone who is responsible for the child. They are usually known as a “litigation friend”.
It is their job to act on behalf of a child for child accident claims. That’s because it’s deemed they will not have the required legal capacity to be able to fully comprehend everything that is involved in the claims process. In terms of what happens to children’s compensation if no one claims, your child could claim on their own behalf once they turn 18.
Becoming a Litigation Friend To Assist With Child Accident Claims
It is important that you fulfil the following criteria in order to become a litigation friend in order to claim accident compensation for a child.
According to the government, to be eligible to apply, you would need to:
- Be able to make decisions about child accident claims in a competent and fair manner
- Make sure your interests weren’t in conflict with theirs
If you are applying to be a litigation friend, you must complete a certificate of suitability to attest to this.
Your duties as a litigation friend would include:
- Making decisions in the child’s best interests
- Explain as much as possible to them what is happening, and obtain insight into their wishes and feelings wherever possible.
- Speak to their child injury lawyer to get advice and updates, and instruct them in the child’s best interests.
If you would like further information on getting help from a child injury lawyer when claimant accident compensation for a child, please call us. We would be happy to discuss the process with you in further detail.
The majority of personal injury compensation claim cases, including those for child injury compensation cases, are supported by either a conditional fee agreement or via a No Win No Fee arrangement. These types of arrangements allow those people who have been the victims of personal injury to pursue a compensation claim in situations where the injury has occurred that was not their fault.
Our free initial consultation is available to anyone who believes that their injuries have occurred because of someone else’s negligence. This consultation offers the opportunity to consider all the details of your child accident claims and consider what the likely outcome might be. If we believe that there is indeed a case for a personal injury claim, we will be able to suggest a Conditional Fee Agreement. You are free to ask us anything about what happens to children’s compensation during this time.
There are many ways a child could be injured, and as such, it may seem daunting trying to find out what kind of personal injury claim to make. We’ve compiled a list of child accident claims and who could be eligible to make them in order to try and make this process a bit easier:
- Accident Claims Relating to Car Accidents – Road traffic accidents occur all the time, and minors are just as likely to be injured as adults. A child who has been injured as a result of a traffic collision has the right to pursue a claim for an injury to a child. These claims can be made by a parent or any adult who is responsible for the child who will act in the capacity of a litigation friend.
- Whiplash Claim – Child accident claims of this nature can commonly be because of a traffic incident. So, child whiplash claims can result from a road traffic accident and could affect anyone who has been involved in the accident. Any victims of an accident that results in a whiplash injury can make a claim for compensation if the fault does not lie with them.
- Injury at School Compensation Claims – You may be concerned about children who are injured at school because of the improper implementation of safety measures. If your child is injured at school, you are likely to have questions, such as ‘can you sue a school for negligence?’. The Health and Safety Executive say that the most common causes of workplace injuries are slips and trips. This includes all education premises. Depending on the pain and the suffering that a child has been put through with their injuries child injury compensation at school can vary.
Let’s take a look at some other examples of accidents that you could claim for.
Injury At A Nursery
Small children in a nursery setting can be injured for a number of different reasons, such as lack of appropriate supervision. In these circumstances, it could be hard to get an explanation. The Childcare Act 2006 states that, no matter what their age or the setting, children should be afforded a duty of care. It is important that children in these settings are kept safe at all times. If a child is injured due to negligence on the part of the nursery or its staff, then their parents are well within their rights to pursue a claim for injury compensation.
Injury At A Play Centre
Soft play areas and play centres seem to be becoming more popular. But, it is important that these areas remain safe as they are used by all ages of children. With the potential for hot drinks to spill, unmaintained equipment causing damage and even the possibility of slips, trips and falls accidents can all too easily happen in these places. If the equipment is not properly maintained and proper attention is not paid to health and safety, then children could be injured.
Accident In A Public Place
Children, just like adults, can easily be hurt in a public location, for example tripping on a damaged pavement, falling in the park or slipping in a café, restaurant or in a shop.
If you have any questions on this section, whether it is to ask about what happens to children’s compensation, what is health and safety for children’s playgrounds, or if a child suffers a broken arm at school, who pays the compensation, simply call us and we will be glad to explain more about child injury claims.
If you’re asking ‘what happens to children’s compensation?’, settlements for personal injury involving children are required to undergo an “Infant Approval Hearing”.
This is different from the way in which adult injury compensation claims are dealt with. The hearing takes place in a court that is local to you, this is so that the judge can make sure that the injured child is getting appropriate compensation for their injuries.
In the UK, all child injury settlements are required to proceed to a hearing so they can be passed.
If child accident claims are settled prior to the child turning 18, the funds would be put into a Court Funds Office account.
Litigation friends would need to keep contact details up to date during this period. They can also, in some cases, request for funds to be released. However, this is usually only possible where the funds are considered to be needed for benefits to the child.
Making a compensation claim can seem daunting, so we’ve compiled some tips on making child personal injury claims. If your child is injured in an accident caused by somebody else, you can make the claims process easier by gathering evidence. This needs to show who was responsible for the accident, how it took place and what injuries were sustained. To help achieve this you could:
- Collect photographs or videos of the scene of the accident. Ideally, this should happen as soon as possible and before anything has been moved away.
- Collect contact details of any witnesses who saw what happened. They could help verify your claims as to what happened.
- Ensure your child is treated by a GP or at a hospital as soon as possible. Their medical records are a great way of showing what injuries were sustained.
- Where the accident happened at a school, park or another public place, report it. By law, an accident report form should be filled in. A copy of this could be used to help confirm the date, location and time the accident occurred.
- Photograph any visible injuries. Continue to do so during your child’s recovery.
Once you have as much evidence as possible, you could ask our advisors to review your case for you. We review child accident claims on a No Win No Fee basis and could appoint a personal injury solicitor to your case. If they accept the claim, your child will be represented on a No Win No Fee basis.
When legal professionals calculate a personal injury claim payout, they need to look at the specific facts and circumstances of each case. They could take into account the physical, mental and financial damage that the injured child has experienced.
An accident compensation claim settlement could result in different types of damages being awarded. These are known as general damages and special damages. General damages could compensate the injured party for the suffering and pain (both mental and physical) of their injury, as well as loss of amenity which is the impact on their quality of life. Special damages could compensate for out-of-pocket financial expenses caused by the injury, such as medical expenses or care costs.
When calculating the general damages part of a child accident compensation claim, you might look at a child injury compensation calculator to get an estimate.
However, we’ve opted to give you insight from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that legal professionals could use to help them calculate a personal injury claim settlement for cases in England and Wales.
The table below includes figures from this publication. It could be a good alternative to using a child injury compensation calculator. However, these are only illustrative figures, and each settlement is made on a case-by-case basis, so this may not reflect what settlement your child would receive.
|Body Part||Severity||Amount of Compensation|
|Damage to the Brain||Very serious||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Injury to the Leg||Extremely serious||£96,250 to £135,920|
|Injury to the Leg||Fracture to the tibia, fibula or damage to soft tissue||Up to £11,840|
|Injury to the Arm||Serious||£96,160 to £130,930|
|Injury to the Arm||Modest||Up to £19,200|
|Injury to the Foot||Serious||£41,970 to £70,030|
|Injury to the Foot||Modest||Up to £13,740|
|Injury to the Shoulder||Very serious||£19,200 to £48,030|
|Injury to the Shoulder||Slight||Up to £7,890|
|Injury to the Hand||Slight||Up to £4,750|
Should you wish to get personalised advice and guidance on child accident compensation, why not call our team?
If you work with us, one of our advisors could first assess your case. This is to ensure that you have a valid claim. If your claim has a good chance of success, then you could be connected to one of the No Win No Fee solicitors.
To get in touch with us, you can:
Our advisors are accessible at any time of the day to assist you. They can also give you free legal advice about the childhood accident claims process.
Learn More About Personal Injury Claims
Below, you can find more useful resources on personal injury claims.
Baby and Pregnancy Accidents – NHS What to Do – The NHS provides lots of very helpful information on what you should do in the event of an accident happening to your child. It covers a variety of different accidents and also the type of medical assistance that might be required.
Safety List for Classrooms – This checklist from the Health and Safety Executive details all the aspects of classroom safety that should be taken into consideration to help prevent an accident from occurring.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Knee Injury? – Did someone else’s negligence result in your child’s knee injury? Read our guide for in-depth answers.
Whiplash Compensation Claims Calculator – If you or your child experienced whiplash at a theme park or in a road traffic accident, read our guide.
A Guide to Nursery and School Accident Claims – You can read our guide to find out more about claiming when your child was hurt in a caregiving or educational setting. We also explain what happens to children’s compensation.
What Is A Glass Related Injury? – Find out how to claim if you have been injured by glass.
If you need any more help or advice on child personal injury claims, please get in touch.