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We understand how frightening it can be if your child sustains a serious injury. Your child may not have the future that you hoped for them and they may need long-term care and support.
There are many ways serious injuries can happen and many different kinds of injuries. Brain and head injury, spinal injury, amputation and loss of limbs, multiple fractures, severe burns and other serious injuries – can all have a significant impact on your child’s life both now and in the future. Medical negligence can also sometimes result in serious injury.
If your child has suffered a serious injury caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence, as their parent of legal guardian, you may be able to make a claim for compensation on their behalf.
Our specialist personal injury solicitors are experts in securing the maximum compensation for individuals of all ages who have suffered serious, life-changing injuries. Our serious injury team has helped hundreds of families whose lives have been turned upside down by accidents and injuries such as:
- road traffic accidents
- sports accidents
- cycling accidents
- horse riding accidents
- medical negligence
- accidents in public or private places
- accidents in playgrounds
- accidents in schools
Public Inquiries for injuries to children
If your child has sustained a very serious or life-changing injury in a major incident that involves a public inquiry or inquest, we have the in-depth specialist knowledge and experience to represent you and your family.
Novum Law has been supporting the parents of baby Elizabeth (‘Lizzie’) Dixon who suffered brain damage after hospital failings resulted in her high blood pressure (hypertension) not being monitored or treated. Tragically she died nearly a year later after community care mistakes involving the blockage of her tracheostomy tube. Dr Bill Kirkup headed up the Dixon Inquiry to investigate what happened to Elizabeth. Click here for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know the thought of talking to a personal injury solicitor about making a serious injury claim on behalf of your child can be daunting. But it could be the first step you take to supporting your child’s recovery, and to a more financially stable future.
If your child has suffered a serious injury, as their parent or legal guardian, you may be entitled to make a claim on their behalf.
Here is what you need to know:
- The first step is to get in touch with us. Call our specialist personal injury team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no obligation chat.
- We will ask for the details of your child’s injuries and how they were sustained. Based on this information, we will assess their case and advise if we believe there to be a reasonable prospect of success. We can often help even if you’ve been turned down by other law firms.
- We will gather evidence on the circumstances of your child’s injury to identify who the claim should be brought against. We will also investigate the extent of your child’s injuries, the impact on their life and their immediate needs. This will include liaising with healthcare providers and teachers to access their medical records and school reports.
- After we have investigated your claim and obtained appropriate expert evidence we will contact the insurers of those responsible for your child’s injury and put the claim to them. If negligence is admitted, then it is likely we’ll be able to settle the claim.
- We will arrange for an independent medical professional to assess your child’s injuries and advise what treatment, rehabilitation or care and support they need. This will help us to accurately calculate the level of compensation required. Sometimes this means waiting until your child has grown a bit more, to accurately assess the full extent of their injuries and the level of compensation they require. It is also likely that the defendant’s solicitor will request your child sees independent experts they’ve instructed to make their own assessments. We will be there to guide and support you and your child at every stage of the process.
- To support your child during their claim, we will work to secure interim payments so they have access to vital rehabilitation including medical treatment, care and support while their claim is ongoing. We work with leading rehabilitation specialists, case managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and care providers to aid your child’s recovery and make daily life easier.
- If liability is not accepted, we may have to go to court and a judge will decide the outcome. Even if your case does go to court, many claims settle before the trial begins. If court proceedings start, our expert child injury team will be with you every step of the way and will work hard secure maximum compensation. We will keep you updated throughout the compensation process and explain every stage as it happens.
The amount of compensation your child will receive depends on the severity of their injuries and the impact on their life both now and in the future. It is likely that significant, life-changing injuries will result in increased awards to provide funding for medical treatment, rehabilitation, care and support, adaptations to the home and other financial losses such as loss of earnings and pension. Click here to read more about compensation.
If your child’s claim is successful, before they reach the age of 18 their compensation will be paid into the court where it will be invested on their behalf until they turn 18. As the child’s parent or legal guardian, it is possible to apply directly to the court to release money to pay for things such as medical treatment or education support which will only be authorised if the court is satisfied that it is necessary. Any amount awarded to your child has to be agreed to in an infant approval hearing, before any amount can be paid out. Your child may need to attend this hearing or you may be able to attend on their behalf, depending upon their age and the severity of their injuries. Click here to read more about infant approval hearings.
If your child has the capacity to make their own decisions, once they reach the age of 18 they will be paid their compensation in full together with any interest that has accrued over time.
If they lack capacity to manage their finances, their funds will be managed by the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection is a legal body dedicated to helping those who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. The Court of Protection will appoint a ‘Deputy’ who will manage the compensation that has been awarded to your child, to make sure their finances are properly taken care of and the award lasts for their life time. Parents and family members can be Deputies for their children but often professional Deputies are appointed to provide expert and dedicated support to the individual. So long as the lack of capacity has been caused by the injury suffered, the cost of a professional Deputy can be recovered through the claim itself.
When dealing with such claims we frequently partner with our sister firm Hyphen Law, which specialises in helping to manage the property and financial affairs of those whose lives have been affected by a brain injury or similar impairment and lack the capacity to make their own decisions. They can offer Professional Deputyship services as well as advice on other ways to protect your child’s compensation, such as personal injury trusts. Click here to visit Hyphen Law’s website and learn more or, alternatively, contact us on FREEPHONE 0800 884 0777. One of our team will be able to provide you with more information.
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of the injury to start court proceedings or – if you are an adult retrospectively claiming for an injury – the date when you realised the injury you sustained as a child may have been caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence.
If you are claiming on behalf of a child, you can start court proceedings at any time until the child turns 18. When the child turns 18, they can bring a claim in their own right but the three year time limit will then apply and they will have until they are 21 to do so.
If you’re claiming on behalf of a child who died due to a serious injury, you’ll either have three years from the date of their death or three years from the date of you realised that their death may have been caused by medical negligence to start court proceedings.
There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, there is no time limit for people who don’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions and different time limits apply for some injuries or illnesses sustained abroad.
Time can be a critical factor in serious injury claims, so it’s important to get in touch with our specialist team as soon as possible for expert advice and support.
There are no upfront or hidden costs when you make a compensation claim with Novum Law…read more
Most cases are settled without going to court. It is often necessary to issue court proceedings…read more
Yes, if your loved one died and someone else was to blame, you may be able…read more
If you are making a compensation claim and you’re unhappy with the service or advice you are…read more
If you have a question that is not listed above, please visit our FAQs page. Alternatively, please call our specialist team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation chat.