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What should I do if my child has an accident that was someone else's fault?

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Can I make a claim for my injured child?

For any parent whose child has been involved in an accident it will be a traumatic experience, and if injuries are sustained as a result of the accident this can have a major impact on the child’s well-being and long-term quality of life. Accidents are a part of normal life, however, if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence and your child was injured, you may be able to claim compensation on your child’s behalf.

Childrens’ accident claims can take a variety of forms, and the most common types of accident involving children are:

  • Slip, trip or fall at school, for example in a playground, classroom or canteen
  • Sports injuries at school, for example during a PE lesson, football or rugby match
  • Injury at school caused by another pupil
  • Accidents in public parks or playgrounds
  • Slip, trip or fall in a shop, restaurant or leisure facilities
  • Trips and falls as a result of defective paving
  • Road traffic accidents, including when cycling or crossing the road
  • Dog bites; and
  • Accidents on package holidays.

Should your child have been involved in one of the above, or another type of accident, your primary concern will, of course, be the health and welfare of your child. However there are certain things that must be done straightaway in order to give yourself the best chance of bringing a successful claim on behalf of your child, which are:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your child, even if they seem fine as not all injuries are obvious or visible to the untrained eye, and it is important to have your child assessed by a medical professional in order to get the right treatment.   
  • Report the incident to the person responsible, for example school, nursery, or manager, and make sure that it is logged in the accident book so that there is an official record of what happened.
  • If the incident took place in a public place, if possible, take clear photographs of what caused the accident and the location where it happened. If there are any witnesses, approach them to obtain their contact details as a statement may be needed from them at a later date.

What can you claim?

If your child is under 18 years of age, then the claim must be made by a parent/guardian on behalf of the child. Your child will be able to recover general damages to account for their pain, suffering and loss of amenities. For any serious life-altering injuries, they may also be able to claim towards the costs of future treatments, care and loss of future earnings. The amount of damages awarded will depend on the severity of the injury sustained and the time taken to recover, and independent medical evidence will be crucial in ascertaining the extent of the child’s injury.

Parents/guardians may also be able to recover special damages to account for additional financial losses incurred as a result of the child’s injury. This includes any loss of earnings, medical costs, travel costs, and care and assistance provided.

If your child has been unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident and you would like some advice on pursuing a personal injury claim, 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