A Guide to Nursery and School Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 4th March 2023. Welcome to our guide on school accident compensation claims and nursery accident claims. Here, we will explore the subject of nursery accident compensation claims and school accident claims. When you send your children to school or nursery, you are essentially trusting that they will be looked after and kept from harm not just educated. Leaving your children in the care of teachers, nursery workers and staff is a big step for parents, and the last thing you expect to happen is your child becomes a victim of an accident or injury.

Your child suffering an injury at nursery or school is obviously heartbreaking. Once you know your child’s injury has been attended to, you may want to consider a school or nursery accident compensation claim. Compensation for a child’s accident at school or nursery can help to fund future treatment, special equipment your child may require and also reimburse you as a parent for any work you may have had to miss in order to care for your child. You may also spark a policy change that will ensure no other child is hurt in the same manner.

This guide will look at the circumstances in which you can claim compensation for an accident or injury at a nursery or school and the process of making school accident compensation claims and child accident claims.

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Nursery Accident Claims Guide

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When Could You Make A Nursery Accident Claim?

Those in control of public places, such as nurseries, owe a duty of care to members of the public who are visiting that space. This duty is set out under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, and states that those in control of public spaces must take steps to ensure the reasonable safety of those using their premises for its intended purpose.

If your child has been injured while at nursery, to be able to make a nursery accident claim, the following eligibility criteria will need to be met:

  1. Your child was owed a duty of care.
  2. This duty was breached.
  3. Due to this breach, your child suffered an injury.

Additionally, when making a claim for nursery accident compensation, you will need to be aware of the time limits in place. Generally, for personal injury claims, this time limit is set out as 3 years from the date of the accident under the Limitation Act 1980.

However, for those injured under the age of 18, such as your child, they will be unable to start their own claim until they turn 18. From this date, they will then have 3 years to begin the claiming process. Alternatively, a litigation friend could start a child injury claim for them prior to this date. A litigation friend needs to be someone who will act in the best interests of the injured party and may be a parent or solicitor, for example.

To learn more about the other exceptions that apply to the personal injury claims time limit, or to check the validity of your child’s claim, contact our advisors.

How Could A Nursery Accident Occur?

While there are many reasons why a parent/guardian/carer may claim compensation following a child’s accident at school or nursery, here is a list of incidents in a nursery or school that could lead to a claim:

  • Unsafe environment- if your child’s school or nursery exposed your child to an unsafe environment that leads to their slip,trip or fall accident or another type of accident then this is certainly one of the incidents that may occur in a nursery or school that could lead to nursery or school accident claims. Examples of unsafe environments include exposed sharp edges and corners on surfaces in a nursery, old, rusty, damages and unsafe play equipment in gyms or playgrounds and unrestricted access to deep water, roads or pubic pathways.
  • Inadequate staff training or inadequate staffing levels- all nurseries should outline their child-to-staff ratio in their policies as they are regulated by law as to how many children of a certain age one staff member can look after as too few staff can cause children to be unsupervised which is when many accidents occur. There should also be adequately trained senior staff on premises at all times as well as at least one first aid trained member of staff. If any of these issues were present at the time of your child’s accident, then you have grounds for a compensation claim.
  • Staff negligence- if your child’s accident or injury was caused by the staff at their school or nursery neglecting their duties or their incompetence in regard to their role, then you have good grounds for a compensation claim if your child is injured at school in the UK.

Almost every accident in a school or nursery will have one of these causes at its root. If you are unsure whether any of these causes relate to you, then why not call us for some free legal advice. We can answer any query you may have about nursery accident claims and can help you kickstart your case today.

Nursery Accident Compensation Payouts

If a successful accident at nursery or accident at school claim is made, then general damages will be awarded. This is the first of two kinds of compensation that can be awarded after a successful claim. 

General damages cover the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity that your child experiences as a result of their injuries. This includes both physical and/or mental injuries. When this head of claim is calculated, professionals often take help from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

The JCG is a document that provides guideline compensation brackets corresponding to different severities of multiple injury types. In the table below, we’ve included some examples of the brackets found in this document. Please note that these amounts are guidelines only, and the first entry has not been taken from the JCG.

Judicial College Guideline Brackets 

The reason for claiming compensationThe typical payout amountSome extra comments
Multiple serious injuries resulting in pain, suffering and financial loss.Up to £1,000,000+Combinations of serious injuries that lead to significant pain and financial losses, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses and care costs, for example.
Back injury- severe (a) £74,160 to £160,980From disc fractures up to the very worst nerve root and spinal cord damage.
Back injury-moderate (i)£27,760 to £38,780Including soft tissue injuries, muscle and ligament injuries causing, residual disability.
Ankle injury- very severe (a)£50,060 to £69,700Examples could include transmalleolar fractures with including extensive soft tissue damage.
Ankle injury- severe (b)£31,310 to £50,060If plates and pins need to be inserted, or the injured party has spent a lot of time in a plaster, or required treatment over a long period of time.
Ankle injury- moderate (c)£13,740 to £26,590Including ligament tear or ankle fracture. It might leave the person finding it difficult to walk across ground that is not even.
Wrist injury- very severe (a)£47,620 to £59,860Involving total loss of function in the wrist.
Wrist injury-moderate (c)£12,590 to £39,170Persistant pain and stiffness but to a lesser degree than more serious injuries.
Elbow injuries (a)£39,170 to £54,830 Severely disabling injuries to the elbow.

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages are the second head of claim that could be awarded and compensates for the financial losses caused by any injuries suffered. For example, if you need to take time off work to care for your child as they recover, this could result in lost earnings. You could potentially claim these back under special damages.

What Happens To Compensation For Children?

When you make a successful claim on behalf of a child, their compensation does not go straight to you. Instead, it is held in a trust account by the Court Funds Office (CFA). 

You can make withdrawals from this account in certain situations, but you have to make an application to do so. You also need to be able to prove that you are taking the money out of the account for the benefit of your child. For example, you may need to prove that the money is for medical treatment by providing a letter from the treating physician.

To learn more about compensation in child injury claims, get in touch with our team of advisors.

No Win No Fee Nursery Accident Claims

If you are eligible to start a child injury claim on behalf of your child for their nursery, you may wish to instruct legal help. A solicitor could help you with gathering evidence to support your case, and help with negotiating a fair nursery accident compensation settlement.

If you contact our advisors and discuss your case, they may connect you with one of our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors. By offering their services to you under a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will not be required to pay them for their work upfront, during the claim process or if it ends unsuccessfully.

Should they succeed with your nursery accident claim, a success fee will be taken out of the compensation awarded to you. The percentage that this fee can be is limited under the law.

Contact one of our advisors today to discuss your case and see if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors. They can be reached by:

Helpful Links Relating To Nursery Accident Claims

In this final section of our guide to nursery accident claims for nursery accident compensation we’ve included some links to more resources you may find useful.

Thank you for reading our guide on school accident compensation claims and nursery accident compensation claims. We hope you have learned a lot about nursery accident claims and school accident claims.