Children and Personal Injury Claims
Accidents can happen to anyone at any time and when you are an adult you can bring a claim against the person or company that may be a fault and because of their negligence caused an injury, but what if the person injured is a child, do they have the capacity to start a claim, who makes the legal decision required and what happens to any award that is given by the Courts?
The law treats a person below the age of 18 as a minor, meaning that they although a child can bring a claim, they must be represented by what is known as a “litigation friend”. A litigation friend is normally the minor’s parent or grandparent.
It is the litigation friend who instructs the solicitor and makes the decision required to run a case through to settlement.
Any settlement that is reached between the Parties, must be approved by the Court at what is called a “child approval hearing” which is generally heard at the injured persons local Court.
Should the Court approve the settlement then it will consider how any compensation is to be handled on behalf of the child. The Court has the discretion to order the compensation in full to be paid into court so it can be paid out to the child on their 18th birthday, for the compensation to be paid into an ISA or for part of the sum to be paid out to the litigation friend for the benefit of the child.
If you would like to make a Personal Injury Claim on behalf of a minor, contact Ringrose Law’s Personal Injury team who will advise you whether you can make a claim. If we believe you have a valid claim, we will meet you face to face at your local office to explain the procedure to you and advise you of the next steps.