By Jo Jeffries. Last Updated 21st April 2022. Welcome to our guide to making a claim for compensation for a family member as a litigation friend. Below, we explain who can be a litigation friend under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), and answer questions such as “What powers does a litigation friend have?” and “What is the purpose of a litigation friend?”
Making A Claim As A Litigation Friend
Can I claim compensation for a family member? If someone you love has suffered an injury and it was not his or her fault, you may be able to help him or her to make a claim. This is only the case if the person cannot make the claim him or herself. There are two circumstances whereby this would be the case. The first would be if the individual was not deemed mentally capable of launching their own claim. The second would be if a child were under the age of 18-years-old when they were injured. Here at Accident Claims UK, we have lots of experience in helping family members claim for their loved ones. You can reach us on 0800 073 8801. But before you give us a call, read on to discover more.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Family Member
- What Is A Claim On Behalf Of A Family Member?
- Claiming Compensation For A Family Member Under The Age Of Eighteen
- Claims For Family Members Considered A Protected Party
- When Can A Litigation Friend Claim Compensation For A Family Member?
- What Are The Responsibilities Of A Litigation Friend For A Family Member?
- Personal Injury Claim Time Limits When Claiming For A Family Member
- What Could I Claim For When Acting On Behalf Of A Family Member?
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Family Member?
- No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For A Family Member
- How We Can Help You To Claim Compensation For A Family Member
- Contact Our Team Today
- Additional Resources
If someone you love has been injured, you may need to make a claim on their behalf. This could be the case if the person does not have the mental capacity to do so themselves or if the person was under the age of 18-years-old when the accident happened. In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know about making a claim for compensation on the behalf of someone else. This includes information on who can make a claim for someone else, how you go about it, what damages you could secure for the other person, and the level of compensation personal injury claims UK wide like these tend to bring in. If you have any queries by the time you get to the end of the guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will be more than happy to assist you in any way we can.
You can claim on the behalf of a family member if he or she is not able to do so themselves. This could be because the accident itself was so severe. It could also be because the injured person is a child or if they are not mentally well enough.
According to the law in the United Kingdom, it is not possible for a child to make their own claim. This includes any child, no matter the circumstances, who is under the age of 18-years-old. If a child is injured in any type of incident that was caused by another individual, a claim can be made on their behalf via a parent, guardian, or any other type of family member. Once the child reaches 18-years-old, though, they will then be able to launch a claim themselves, and this is something they have three years to do – so they must file the claim prior to their 21st birthday.
What is a litigation friend?
When someone represents a child in order to make a claim, they are known as a litigation friend. This individual will take on the full responsibility of making certain that the rights of the injured child are protected and that they get the payout they are owned. The responsibilities of the litigation friend can range from making all of the decisions associated with the case to communicating with the lawyers.
In certain scenarios, a third party is able to file a claim for the adult who has been injured. This is the case when that injured adult is deemed what is known as a protected party. This is a person who is mentally impaired, and therefore, he or she does not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions. If this is the case, the term ‘litigation friend’ is used to describe the person who represents the individual with an injury. In the vast majority of cases, a close relative, for example, a sibling or a parent, will take on the role of litigation friend. If the person who has been injured does not have someone they can count on to be their litigation friend, an Official Solicitor could be appointed through the court who will act as the person’s professional litigation friend.
You could be appointed someone’s litigation friend to make decisions regarding court cases for either a child or an adult who does not have the required mental capacity in order to deal with their own court case, either with a solicitor or without one. A court case could be a Court Protection case, a family case, or a civil case, but not a tribunal. If there is a hearing, you will have to go to the court. Nevertheless, you are not able to act as the lawyer of the individual.
Who could be a litigation friend?
You may be wondering how you can be appointed as a litigation friend. There are two options here. You could be appointed by the court if a person involved in the case asks them to appoint a litigation friend. Alternatively, you can make an application to be someone’s litigation friend. After this, your suitability will be checked by the court. As soon as the case starts, you can be appointed, or you could be appointed during the case. If someone is not suitable or able/willing to be a litigation friend, the court could then require an Official Solicitor to fulfil the role. Your appointment is going to end once the child turns 18-years-old or once the case has ended. In some cases, you may have to apply if you wish to stop acting as a litigation friend.
Anyone can become a litigation friend. The following are some examples…
- A parent or guardian
- Someone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney
- A Court of Protection deputy
- A professional advocate, for example, an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
- A lawyer
- A friend or family member
To determine whether you are suitable to act in this capacity, the court will check to make certain that you can make decisions about the case in a competent and fair way. They will also make sure that your interests do not conflict with the person’s interests who has been injured. If you do apply to be a litigation friend for someone, you will need to fill in a certificate of suitability.
A litigation friend is the term that is used to describe an individual who is representing an injured child, i.e. someone under the age of 18-years-old, or an adult who does not have the mental capability to make his or her own decisions. A litigation friend will make sure that the person who has been injured gets their due rights.As a litigation friend, there are a number of responsibilities you may have. This includes the following…
- Looking for a personal injury solicitor to represent the injured person
- Updating the lawyer with all of the relevant information whenever necessary
- Keeping a record of all of the costs that are related directly to the injury, for example, structure changes required to a vehicle or the person’s home, as well as equipment to facilitate mobility
- Keeping all of the receipts that are related to travelling to and from the hospital and receipts for medical treatment
- Providing all of the medical documentation and evidence to the personal injury lawyer
- Presenting the personal injury lawyer with all of the facts and instructing them to conduct court proceedings on their behalf
- Getting the phone numbers of witnesses and getting in touch with them so that they can testify
- Filing a case with the nearest police station if required
- Gathering evidence from the scene if they were there and are able to
- Making sure the injured person gets the medical treatment they need
As per the law, a litigation friend must have no personal interest in the claim and they must ensure court proceedings are conducted in a competent and friendly manner. All of the decisions the litigation friend takes must be made solely for seeking justice for the protected person or the child, and they must be the sole beneficiaries of the payout.
The personal injury claims time limit is not straightforward when it comes to these cases. The limits are governed by the Limitations Act 1980, and they can be very complicated. This is why it is so important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. The last thing you want is for a loved one to miss out on compensation because of a technicality. Generally, though, the Act states that there is a three-year time limit on personal injury cases. However, there are a number of exceptions when it comes to protected persons and children. For example, when it comes to children, the time limit does not begin until the child turns 18-years-old. Therefore, you can claim on behalf of the child, or the child then has three years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to make a claim.
When it comes to a protected individual who does not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, the statute of limitations also differs. In this circumstance, a case must be launched within three years from the date that the individual recovers from their mental disability. Of course, there is always the chance that the person may never regain their mental capacity. If that does happen, there is no time limit. This means that you can initiate court proceedings, as the litigation friend, any time after the injury. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that it is generally a lot easier to claim the sooner you do so.
Every day accidents occur. From road traffic incidents, to workplace accidents, to slips and trips… the list is endless! If someone you love has been involved in an incident that was not their fault, there is every chance that you will be able to claim compensation on their behalf. A lot of people do not realise that compensation is split into two parts. Not only will your loved one receive money for their suffering, i.e. general damages, but you can claim for special damages on their behalf as well.
What are special damages? This is basically compensation for any costs that have been encountered as a direct result of your family member’s injuries. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at some examples of special damages that you may want to claim for when making a personal injury claim.
Medical Costs – If your family member has sustained an injury, it is obviously likely that they will experience some medical expenses, such as the cost of a prescription or treatment. You will definitely be able to claim for this.
Loss Of Income – Has your loved one’s injury left him or her unable to work? For a lot of people this can leave them in a bad position financially. After all, not everyone gets sick pay and then you have those that are self-employed as well. Nonetheless, you can claim for loss of earnings as part of your special damages when making an accident claim.
Repair Costs – If your family member has been involved in a road traffic accident, for example, and their car has been damaged, you will be able to claim for the repair costs.
Childcare Expenses – A lot of people find themselves in a position where they need to pay for childcare, as they are unable to look after their kids whilst they recover. This also counts as a special damage.
Travel Expenses – This includes everything from hospital parking expenses to the cost of having to sort out alternative methods of transport.
Other Treatments – Finally, the damage of an injury is not always physical. A lot of people find themselves needing counselling to help them get over the situation. This will also be covered when you make an accident claim.
One thing you and your loved one will want to know is how much compensation they are going to be able to receive. Naturally, this depends on a number of different things. We know that you can use personal injury claims calculator tools on the web, but we really do not recommend this, as they are more of a marketing ploy and they never give accurate amounts. After all, it is simply not possible to give you a 100 per cent accurate figure because cases are assessed on an individual basis.
Your solicitor will not be able to give you an exact figure either. However, they will be able to give you a good indication of how much you could end up receiving. The level of compensation depends on two things. Firstly, you are compensated for your injuries, and this is based on the severity of them and the impact it is having on your life. Secondly, you will be compensated for any out of pocket expenses you have suffered because of your injuries. For more information on the level of compensation your loved one could receive, we have put together a table of average payouts below.
|Average payout awarded
|Injuries resulting in death
|Can be as high as £300,000 plus if extras are included for example future loss of earnings.
|Scarring/burns/marks to parts of the body
|The vast majority of payouts for one scar that is disfiguring or laceration scars that are noticeable fall into this category.
|£7,350 to £21,330
|Severe pain disorder
|Where symptoms are ongoing, albeit of lesser degree than above.
|£39,530 to £59,110
|Severe psychological injuries
|The person will have severe issues with work, relationships, vulnerability and treatment won’t help. There will be a very poor prognosis.
|£51,460 to £108,620
|Fractures of Cheekbones
|Serious fractures requiring surgery
|£9,570 to £14,810
|Numerous Fractures of Facial Bones
|There will be some facial deformity of a life-long nature.
|£13,970 to £22,470
|Severe Knee Injuries
|Serious knee injury where there has been disruption of the joint.
|£65,440 to £90,290
Associated with incomplete paraplegia or
resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis.
|In the region of £139,210
If you cannot see the type of injury your loved one has suffered in the table above, please give us a call to get a better understanding regarding how much compensation for a family member you may get.
When you are starting the process of making a compensation claim, there are lots of things you need to consider. However, the most important step is finding a quality solicitor who can give you the greatest chance of getting the full payout you deserve. Nevertheless, there is one problem with this, and this is the fact that a lot of solicitors charge extortionate rates, which most people simply cannot afford. If you are worried about the potential cost of a personal injury lawyer, you don’t need to worry with Accident Claims UK.
If you take a look online, there is no denying the fact that you will come across some extortionate quotes when it comes to solicitors’ fees. However, you will probably notice that this tends to relate to solicitors that charge by the hour. When you go down this route, there is always the chance that you are going to end up paying an excessive sum. Most people end up stung with expensive and unexpected bills because their solicitor bills them for every conversation, even if it’s a quick two-minute catch-up over the phone.
You Don’t Pay Upfront With No Win No Fee Claims
When you take this into account, it is not difficult to see why there are so many people who miss out on compensation simply because they do not want to spend such huge rates on getting a solicitor, or they do not have a choice because they cannot afford it in any case. The good news is that it does not have to be this way. There is another solution available to you, and it is one that does not involve anywhere near as much risk. We are, of course, talking about No Win, No Fee solicitors.
There are so many benefits associated with going down this route. First and foremost, you are only going to need to pay legal fees if the solicitor manages to secure compensation for you, and, therefore, you will have your payout to cover the costs. This minimises monetary risk by a significant degree. Moreover, you know that the solicitor’s pay is performance related, and so this increases your chance of a successful service because the person working on your case is going to do everything in their power to secure compensation for you. Here at Accident Claims UK, all of our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
When you take the points that have been mentioned into account in the former section, it is not difficult to see why a No Win, No Fee personal injury solicitor is the ideal solution. This is why we offer a one hundred per cent No Win, No Fee service at Accident Claims UK. We know that this is a fantastic option for all of our clients. Nevertheless, what sets us apart from other companies offering this service?
- Our advice is free. Call us at any time of the day, any day of the week, on our legal advice helpline. We will answer any questions you may have, assist you with your case, and talk you through the whole process. The all-important number you need is 0800 073 8801.
- We have a wealth of experience. We were set up numerous years ago, and have successfully helped thousands of personal injury victims since then.
- We have expertise in numerous accident types. This encompasses everything from construction accidents to untraced or uninsured driver claims. Therefore, you can be confident we can handle your case, no matter how unique it is.
- We have an incredible track record. Why not take a look at what our previous clients have had to say?
Here at Accident Claims UK, all of our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis, and you can be confident of an exceptional service when you choose us. We have been successfully helping personal injury victims for many years. Will you be next? You can be sure that we will have handled many cases similar to yours, and once you take a look at our website you will be in no doubt that our service is the best. Not only do we have an outstanding reputation but we make our service as convenient as possible too.
So, if you have any questions or would like to begin the process of making a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can give us a call on 0800 073 8801 today. Or, if you would prefer, you can leave your details on our website and we will call you at the earliest opportunity. There are plenty of other ways to get in touch too, for example, you can send an email or you can use the live chat feature on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.
Claiming Compensation For A Family Member – FAQs
Can I claim compensation for a family member?
If a child is injured, a parent or responsible adult is able to claim on their behalf by becoming their litigation friend. The same is true if an adult doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim for themselves. The litigation friend will act in the interests of the claimant and deal with solicitors on their behalf.
What happens to compensation if it is awarded on behalf of a family member?
Under the litigation friend process, any compensation awarded to a child or adult who doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim is checked by a court. They will ensure the award is fair. Then the funds will be placed in a trust fund and managed by the court. Child injury claim funds can be requested in writing by the litigation friend who must show how they will benefit the claimant.
What if I don’t claim on behalf of my child?
You can be a litigation friend for your child at any point before their 18th birthday. If you don’t pursue a claim on their behalf, your child will have 3-years to make their own claim from the date they turn 18.
What is the purpose of a litigation friend?
An application can be made to act as a litigation friend and pursue a claim on behalf of someone else. This could be for someone under the age of 18, such as a child injured in a no-fault car accident, or someone with a reduced mental capacity to claim.
Who can be a litigation friend under CPR?
If you’re wondering who can be a litigation friend under the Civil Procedure Rules, we can look to the government’s website. According to information on the government page, a person would need to meet the relevant criteria in order to be appointed as a litigation friend. Examples could include a solicitor, a professional advocate, a parent or guardian, a friend or family member.
What powers does a litigation friend have?
The powers a litigation friend has are quite important. They could include the power to:
- Attend court on behalf of the affected party
- Meet with a solicitor and get legal advice on the case
- Direct the solicitor to act on certain aspects of the case
What happens if a suitable litigation friend cannot be identified?
If a suitable litigation friend cannot be identified, a court could appoint one for you.
Recovering – What you need to know – Recovery can be complex – find out more here.
FAQs – Claiming FAQ and their answers here.
Head Injury – A common injury, find out more about claiming here.
Thanks for reading our guide about how to claim compensation for a family member.