Child Injury Compensation Claims
If you are the parent or guardian of an injured child, or if you were injured when you were under 18, we can help.
If the injuries were caused by someone else, such as a road user, a business owner or a medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a claim on behalf of a child at any time up to their 18th birthday. An injured child then has another 3 years, until the date of their 21st birthday, to make own claim if they choose. A personal injury solicitor can help you make a claim for compensation.
Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused the injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible.
Based on the severity of the injuries and other expenses, the solicitor will work out how much money can be claimed.
We can help you make an injury claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article:
How common are child injuries?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) say that accidents involving children are under-reported. Around 35,000 children are injured in education every year. The majority of these school injuries are slips, trips and falls.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) estimates that many more children are injured on Britain's roads, after exposure to environmental hazards, or as the result of defective products.
Do you or your child have an injury claim?
If you were injured or made ill as a child and someone else was at fault, it should be possible to claim financial compensation if:
- The party responsible for the accident owed the child a duty of care (e.g. teachers owe a duty of care to their students)
- The accident resulted from a breach of that duty
- The accident caused the child's injuries
What if the child was trespassing or injured as a result of their own actions?
A claim for compensation can still succeed if accountability for the injury or accident is shared by both sides.
Children do not always appreciate possible risks or consequences when faced with danger. They are not expected to foresee and avoid injury to the same degree that an adult would.
With occupier's liability claims, following an accident on someone else's property, the defendant is held to a higher standard when a compensation claim involves a child.
What are the chances of winning a claim?
For a claim to be successful, it must be shown that another party was the cause of the injury. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the liable (responsible) party might be the owner or operator of a business, the manufacturer or distributor of a defective product, a driver or road user, a local authority or NHS trust.
If the other party (defendant) admits liability, the claim should should be successful.
If liability is contested, or only partly accepted, the claim will be mere challenging. However, if the evidence supports your version of events then the claim is likely to succeed.
Can I make a child injury claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a child injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
What is the time limit for claiming compensation as a child?
The standard 3 year 'limitation period' does not apply to minors (under 18s).
With injured children, a compensation claim can be made:
- by a parent, guardian or litigation friend on behalf of the child at any time up to their 18th birthday
- by the injured child up to their 21st birthday
What is a 'litigation friend'?
Children cannot make a compensation claim on their own behalf.
To make a claim on a child's behalf, an adult must be appointed as a litigation friend.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors and making decisions in respect of the claim.
A litigation friend can be a:
- parent or guardian
- family member
- friend or other adult
- doctor or medical professional
At the start of the claim, the personal injury solicitor will consider the many ways the injury has affected, or could affect the child's life.
Calculating the correct amount of compensation will depend on:
- the seriousness of the injury, and
- any financial losses or costs incurred as a result of the injury.
This compensation calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation amount?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
How can compensation help me or my child?
A compensation award or settlement cannot change the past, but it can assist with treatment and ongoing care costs.
Compensation can be claimed on behalf of a minor for:
- their medical treatment and care costs
- anticipated future treatment and care
- other expenses including travel costs
- damage to personal possessions
- loss or reduction of mental or physical capacity
- general pain and suffering
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the child injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
Calculating injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you or your child can claim can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you or your child may have a claim, how much compensation could be awarded, and what can be claimed for:
How long will a child injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a child accident claim can vary considerably.
If the defendant accepts liability, a claim might be concluded in 3 - 4 months. If liability is contested, however, it could take considerably longer.
On average child injury claims take around 4 to 9 months.
Caring and sensitive support
A solicitor will handle the claim from initial consultation with you (or the litigation friend), through to the financial settlement. The solicitor will work with other specialists to help with:
- Access to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
- Advice on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Financial support, including interim payments if you are unable to work when looking after an injured child.
We recognise that claiming compensation on behalf of a child requires the utmost care, sensitivity and professionalism.
Parents and guardians often prefer to discuss the options with a specialist before proceeding with a claim. For a FREE consultation, call 0800 376 1001, or arrange a callback from a friendly, legally-trained advisor.
Who pays for this specialist help?
The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.
How has Quittance helped others?
Our panel of solicitors has acted on behalf of children injured in a wide range of circumstances. We can assist with claims including:
- accidents and injury at school or on school trips
- accidents on public property
- injuries sustained on poorly-maintained parks and playgrounds
- birth injuries and other clinical negligence
- injury or illness sustained as a result of discarded waste or harmful substances
We can help you focus on your child's treatment, care and recovery, giving clear advice in plain English throughout the process.
Will the claim have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk to you or your child, when making an injury claim.
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If the injury claim is not successful then you or your child won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. The standard way of funding a no win, no fee claim, is for a solicitor to take out specialist insurance that ensures that you will have nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you or your child. The highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a callback from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
What if the child was partly responsible for the injury?
It may still be able to claim compensation even, if you or your child contributed to the accident.
However, if there was blame on both sides (known as contributory negligence), the compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will it be necessary to visit the solicitor's offices?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you or your child suffer financial hardship as a result of the injury, it may be possible claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on the final compensation settlement. The interim payments would be deducted from your final settlement.
Can the claimant's identity be protected?
Yes. An application can be made on behalf of the claimant to have their identity protected. 'Anonymising' the proceedings ensures that the claimant's privacy is respected and that potentially vulnerable claimants are not put at risk of future harassment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.