As we well know, it is always important to keep an eye on your child as they are at risk of injuring themselves. Sometimes our child can be involved in an unfortunate accident, which is no fault of their own. Under these circumstances, claims involving children can be very distressing, not only for the child, but also the parents.
If the accident was the fault of someone else, then there is a possibility that you may bring a claim for compensation on behalf of the child against the third-party.
In the eyes of the law, a child is a person who is under the age of 18 years. They will be known as a minor and will not be able to bring a claim for compensation themselves. The time limit for a minor filing a claim slightly differs from an adult. An adult has 3 years from the date of accident to start the claim process. However, the 3-year limitation period begins after the child’s 18th birthday. In other words, the child has until the age of 21 to start the process.
For a child to bring a claim for compensation they will need to have a Litigation Friend appointed. A Litigation Friend is usually one of the parents of the child involved in the accident or a close family member who must be competent.
The main duties of a Litigation Friend are:
- To conduct the claim fairly and completely on behalf of the child.
- To have no personal interest in the claim, which is averse to that of the child.
- To take all steps and decisions in the claim only for the benefit of the child.
When settlement has been agreed by both parties involved, it is a requirement that the Court must approve the agreed settlement in something known as an infant approval hearing. As without the Courts approval, your child will not receive any compensation.
During the infant approval hearing, the Judge will consider your child’s medical evidence or medical report of their injuries, and it is for the Judge to determine if the amount agreed is fair and reasonable.
Once the Judge approves the settlement then an Order will be made that the party responsible for the accident and injuries must pay the compensation into something known as the Court Funds Office. The child’s settlement will be held until they reach the age of 18 when it will be released to them. If your child has been involved in an accident and would like to speak to one of our Personal Injury specialists, please contact us on 0207 870 4870 today.