We know that for a parent, your child being hurt or falling ill is one of the worst feelings there is. But when someone else is to blame, you can do something about it. The compensation process for children’s accidents is similar to those involving adults, but there are key differences you have to know.
No matter how careful you are, and how often you remind your little ones to stay safe, sometimes things just happen. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), over one million children are involved in mishaps in and around the home which lead to visits to A&E units in the UK, so they really can affect anyone.
What are children’s accidents?
They're injuries or illnesses which affect anyone who's 16 or younger. Some of the most common accidents are:
- Whiplash if they’re a passenger in a road traffic accident
- Slips, trips or falls in schools, playgrounds or parks
- Medical problems, such as misdiagnosis or faulty medication
Although in some instances children may recover quickly, more serious accidents can result in lifelong conditions which make everyday life a struggle. In either case, you'll be pleased to know there are things that can be done.
Who can I claim against?
If the child is 16 or under a parent or guardian will need to claim on their behalf. If the accident happened at school, then the school will be responsible as it is meant to ensure all its pupils’ well-being. For accidents in parks and playgrounds, the local council will be at fault, because it is responsible for the upkeep of these public spaces. If it has happened because of a product it's the manufacturer itself that needs to be held to account.
For minor knee injuries, often sustained after tripping up in school or outdoors, compensation of up to £4,200 could be awarded. Meanwhile, any traumatic injury to the chest, lungs or heart could mean around £71,850 is paid, depending on severity.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Child injury claims are more complicated where time limits are concerned. A parent or guardian can claim on the behalf of their child, and it’s recommended they do so as early as possible so the incident is fresh in the mind of all parties. However, before a child reaches 21 they can still claim for an accident before that date that wasn’t their fault, should a parent have never pursued the case.
My child has suffered an accident. What should I do?
Your priority should be to ensure they seek the right medical attention and make a record of the accident. Once you’re ready, get in touch with First4lawyers and we will take care of your claim. During our initial assessment, we will talk you through the claims process and assess the impact the injury has had on your life. Your case will then be managed by the appropriate specialist who will seek compensation for your injury and any other losses, as well as helping you seek the treatment you need to make a full recovery.