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Personal injury claims for children and protected parties

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Can I make a claim for my injured child?

If you have a child or family member who is not capable of looking after their own affairs and has been injured as a result of an accident, you may be unsure as to whether you can bring a claim. The answer to this is, yes, you can bring a claim on their behalf.

The claim would be conducted in a similar way to any other personal injury claim, the only difference is that any compensation awarded would need to be approved by a court at the conclusion of the claim, and any monies awarded would need to be invested in a special fund e.g. Court Funds Office or ISA account, for the benefit of the child/protected party. This is designed so that the child/protected party’s interest are looked after by the court.

Who will represent the child/protected party?

They will need a litigation friend to represent them. This is generally an adult next of kin but could be anyone who can be trusted to look after the affairs of the child/protected party.

The role of the litigation friend is to provide instructions in relation to the progression of the claim, and to ensure that the injured child/protected party attends any medical appointments and also to sign legal documents on their behalf. The litigation friend is effectively running the claim on behalf of the child/protected party.


Once all medical evidence is finalised then either a barrister or the specialist solicitor instructed will value the claim. This advice will then be placed before the court at the hearing when formal approval of the settlement takes place.

Court proceedings

On settlement of the claim the court’s approval will then be required. The judge will need to be confident that the child/protected party has either made a full recovery from the injuries sustained in the accident or, if it is a more serious injury claim where a full recovery is not possible, needs to be certain what the prognosis will be going forward and that the settlement is enough to fully compensate the child for their injuries and any ongoing financial needs they have, such as a requirement for care or equipment.

The judge will take into account the valuation advice provided by the barrister/specialist solicitor when considering the approval, and if the judge is satisfied that the settlement is reasonable, they will proceed to approve it.

Investment of damages awarded

If the judge has approved settlement of a child’s case and it is a relatively small amount, then it is possible to request that the payment be made into a child trust fund or junior ISA which cannot be accessed until the child turns 18, at which time the full amount plus accrued interest will be paid to the injured party.

Any claims where the settlement reached is a more significant sum or for protected parties, the money will usually be paid into the Court Funds Office or the Court of Protection and will be invested suitably and interest will accrue on the sum. If any monies out of the sum invested are required for the benefit of the child or protected party for medical/educational reasons, they can be requested by way of an application to the court, and only if the court considers the request reasonable will the payment be released.

The system of court-approved settlements for a child or protected party has been designed to safeguard that the monies are invested and used for the benefit of the relevant person.

If you know a child/protected party who has been unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident and would like some advice then our specialist personal injury solicitors are on hand to guide you through the process of making a claim, call us on 0161 696 6235 or complete our online enquiry form.

By Kathryn Horton, paralegal