Katie Sheasby looks at claiming compensation for children
Personal injury claims are not limited to adults. If a child suffers injury as a result of an accident that was due to the fault of someone else, they may be entitled to bring a claim for personal injury compensation. Our specialist personal injury lawyers regularly assist with claiming compensation for children and can do so on a No Win – No Fee basis.
Who brings the claim?
Children cannot deal with legal claims themselves. They will require what is known as a ‘litigation friend’ to deal with matters on their behalf. The litigation friend, usually a parent or guardian, makes decisions in the best interest of the child during the claim. Where there is a conflict of interest between the child and the parent/guardian, another family member or friend can be appointed. In circumstances where there is no suitable litigation friend, the court can appoint The Official Solicitor to act as litigation friend.
What will be expected of the litigation friend?
As litigation friend, you will be expected to make decisions on behalf of and in the best interest of the child. You will liaise with the child’s lawyer on the day-to-day running of the claim and provide updates on the child’s injuries.
You will likely be required to attend assessments with medical experts to ascertain the extent of the injuries and assist with valuing the claim prior to settlement.
Will the litigation friend need to attend court?
When claiming compensation for children we always try to negotiate an out of court settlement. However, should a claim proceed to trial, the litigation friend would need to attend with the child if the court requires it.
All negotiated settlements involving children must be approved by the court to ensure that the child has been fully and fairly compensated. The litigation friend is expected to attend the settlement approval hearing.
Will claiming compensation for a child leave me out of pocket if the claim is lost?
We deal with childrens’ claims on a No Win – No Fee basis. We do not require payment of any fees or expenses upfront or during of the claim. We defer our costs until the end of the claim and seek to recover them from the opponent if the claim is successful. If the claim is unsuccessful we waive our fees, and you are not required to pay our costs.
Contact our free legal helpline to see if we can assist you with making a claim on behalf of a child. Call free on 0333 888 0404 or by email at [email protected]