It is every parent's worst nightmare - your child being hurt or injured as the result of an accident. But childhood injuries are surprisingly common and can vary greatly in their severity. They can range from playground slips, trips and falls to broken bones or head injuries.

People are often unclear as to whether the law offers them the same kind of protection as it does to adults when it comes to making a claim over an injury suffered by your child.

You will be interested to know that this specialist area of personal injury law has specific Court rules that apply during the compensation process and we at Manners Pimblett pride ourselves in being experts within it. Read on to find out more...

What are the laws surrounding child claims? Who can claim?

The rules for child injury compensation claims state that if anyone under the age of 18 is involved in an accident they wish to make a personal injury claim for, they must be represented by a parent or guardian, who will make the claim on their behalf.

What if the accident happened a few years ago? How long do I have to claim?

As a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a child, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim form. However, a child will have three years from the day they turn 18 to issue a claim form, which means that if a claimant was under the age of 18, or even a baby or toddler at the time of the accident, they do not have to start legal proceedings until their 21st birthday. This is because in some cases it is not always possible to assess the full extent of any damage (physical or psychological) while the child is still growing.

However this is not advisable, as is the case with all personal injury claims, it is recommended you seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity as it increases your chances of a successful claim.

I'm concerned that my child may have been partially to blame for the accident - does that affect my claim?

At Manners Pimblett we understand that children are naturally inquisitive and may not have the same skills as adults when it comes to anticipating danger. It is understandable that some people feel the blame or responsibility to be less clear-cut that in adult cases. But don't worry, the law also recognises this.

Each case is different so don't be afraid to contact our experts, no matter how trivial you think it could be, and we will quickly be able to tell you if your child has been involved in an accident that you may be able to make a claim against.

If I am successful in my claim, does the money go straight to my child?

If your personal injury claim is successful, compensation in child cases is usually invested into a court-approved fund until they reach the age of 18. This can be flexible should the child require urgent or expensive medical treatment, although the money will still be placed into a trust fund, it can be released early by the trustees, as and when it is needed.

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