Child Accident and Injury Claims
Children will have accidents – that’s just part of growing up. They’ll fall over, bump into things and receive a scratch or two. Thankfully, they usually pick themselves up and brush it off. However, sometimes these accidents result in more serious injury and, while all accidents can be terrifying, those involving children can be particularly harrowing.
Due to their age and developmental stage, accidents involving children can often result in lifelong consequences – both in terms of physical and psychological symptoms. Making a compensation claim may therefore be in their best interests and may help secure their financial future or support the cost of any treatment or rehabilitation they may require.
At Crimmins Howard we understand that dealing with children requires that extra degree of expertise and sensitivity. Thankfully our team of expert child accident solicitors are on hand to listen carefully to your story and ensure that your child and your family receives the compensation they deserve.
The ‘Next Friend’
From experience, we know that parents and guardians are often unsure as to whether or not they can take a claim on their child’s behalf.
Since minors under the age of 18 are unable to make a *personal injuries claim on their own behalf, the law allows a parent, guardian or other family member to take a claim on the child’s behalf. The person who takes this claim is known as the ‘Next Friend’. If you have any questions about becoming your child’s ‘Next Friend’ call our team of expert child accident solicitors.
The majority of *personal injury claims must be made within two years from the date of the injury. However, child accident claims are different. The proverbial clock does not start ticking until the child reaches the age of 18.
Children can therefore make a child accident claim at any time up to their 20th birthday for accidents that occurred before they were 18. Until the child reaches the age of 18, an adult can make the claim for them if they so wish.
Types of *personal injuries
We have experience in dealing with claims such as:
- Accidents at creche, pre-school or school.
- Accidents on school trips or excursions.
- Accidents in public or private playgrounds.
- Road traffic accidents.
- Trips, slip and fall accidents.
- Accidents at fairs.
- Workplace accidents (e.g. TY work experience).
- Cycling accidents.
- Child neglect & abuse cases.
- Defective product claims.
- Animal attacks.
- Farm accidents.
- Medical or clinical negligence.
- Fatal accidents.
The process of making a claim
To protect children who have suffered child accidents and bring claims for compensation, certain special rules and procedures are in place to ensure that their case and compensation is a fair reflection of their injury and needs. If your child has been injured and you decide to bring a claim on their behalf, it is therefore important to instruct a specialist child accident solicitor who is familiar with this procedure.
Crimmins Howard is that firm. We’ll handle every aspect of the process – from gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to negotiating settlements and representing your child’s interests in court. Our vast experience in dealing with the various steps in child accident claims and our excellent relationship with other lawyers and insurance companies, will also ensure the best possible outcome to your child’s claim.
Step One – Talk To Us
If your child suffered an injury through no fault of their own, seeking the advice of a professional and experienced solicitor is in their best interests. The first step is to call our experienced team of child accident solicitors. We’ll provide practical legal advice, making the experience as informative and as straight forward as possible.
Step Two – Medical Report
All *personal injuries claims will require a medical report from either your child’s GP or the doctor who treated them after their accident. A medical report confirms that an injury has been sustained and that it is consistent with their accident. We will arrange to have this medical report drawn up.
Step Three – The *Personal Injuries Assessment Board
Most *personal injuries claims must first be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). Once an application has been submitted, PIAB will contact the person you are taking that claim against with a view to resolving the matter there and then. Crimmins Howard can help make this step easy and stress free. We will complete and send the application on your child’s behalf and represent their interests at all times.
Step Four – Court Hearing
This step is unique to child accident claims. Any settlement or PIAB award must be approved by the Court. A judge will review the medical report and will decide whether or not the settlement amount or assessment of compensation is sufficient and in the child’s best interest.
If the assessment is approved by the Court and you, as the Next Friend, are happy with it, an Order to Pay will issue and the money will be released to your child once they turn 18. If the assessment is not approved by the judge or you are satisfied with the assessment, court proceedings may be issued on behalf of the child.
Step Five – Court Proceedings
If the person you are taking the claim against declines to have the claim dealt with by PIAB, PIAB themselves decide not to assess the claim, the Court deems the assessment to be too low, or if you, as Next Friend, are not satisfied with the assessment, you can then bring court proceedings. This prospect often seems daunting and insurmountable, but we can assure that it is not.
We understand that the decision to initiate legal action can be quite intimidating, but you will be doing so in knowledge that we will be there to represent and guide you through process – every step of the way. We will explain the risks and the rewards and we will fight for a just and fair outcome for your child.
Get in touch
Many of us at Crimmins Howard are parents ourselves and that’s why we understand and empathise with how stressful it is for those whose children have been involved accidents. With Crimmins Howard, you can be certain that we have the knowledge, experience, and drive to ensure that your child receives the compensation they deserve.
So, if your child has been involved in an accident and you wish to take a claim on their behalf, call our friendly legal team and expert child accident solicitors for a free, no obligation consultation.