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What to do when your child has an accident that was someone else’s fault?

19th May 2021

It is a traumatic experience for any parent if your child has been involved in an accident. Injuries resulting from an accident can have a major impact on the child’s wellbeing and long-term quality of life for the entire family. Of course, childhood accidents are a part of normal life. However, if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence and your child suffered an injury as a result, you may be able to claim for compensation on your child’s behalf.

Child accident claims are a type of personal injury claim, and they can take a variety of forms. The most common types of accidents involving children occur as

  • Slip, trip or fall accidents at school, for instance in the classroom, playground or canteen
  • Sports injuries at school, for instance during a PE class, football training or rugby match
  • Injury at school caused by another pupil
  • Accidents in public parks or playgrounds
  • Slip, trip or fall accidents in shops, restaurants or leisure facilities
  • Trips and falls as a result of defects on pavements
  • Road traffic accidents

What you need to do first

When an accident has occurred involving your child, it is difficult not to become overwhelmed with emotion. Your primary concern for the health of your child notwithstanding, there are certain things that must be done straightaway, to give yourself the best chance of bringing a successful personal injury claim.

  • Get immediate medical attention for your child, even if they seem OK. Not all injuries are obvious or visible to the untrained eye, and it is important to have your child assessed by a trained medical professional in order to get the right treatment. Whiplash injuries, in particular, are notoriously hard to spot if your child is too young to tell you how they are feeling.
  • Report the incident to the person responsible (e.g. at nursery or school) and ensure that it is logged in an accident book, so that there is an official record of what happened. Also make sure that your child’s teachers are aware that an accident occurred.
  • If the accident took place in a public space, wherever possible take photos of whatever caused the accident and the location where it happened. If there were any witnesses present, approach them and get their contact details – they may need to give a statement later on.
  • Keep hold of any invoices or receipts for payments you made as a result of your child’s accident. They may be needed as evidence of expenses that you may be able to recover as part of the claim.
  • It is worth taking legal advice at this early stage. Even if you are not sure whether a claim for compensation can be brought, the experienced and approachable personal injury team at George Ide can help you understand the process of making a child accident claim, offering solid advice to help you get the best possible outcome.

What can you claim for?

Child accident claims must be made by a parent or guardian on behalf of the child if they are under 18 years of age. In terms of the compensation claim, your child will be able to recover general damages to account for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. For serious, life-altering injuries, they may also be able to claim towards the cost of future treatments, care and loss of future earnings. Clearly, the amount of damages awarded will depend on the type and severity of the injury sustained and the time it will take to recover, and an independent medical report will be crucial in ascertains the extent of the child’s injury.

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

How George Ide can help

At George Ide, our personal injury team is recognised among the best in the country, with a successful track record of achieving maximum compensation for negligence claims. If your child should become injured at nursery or school, on a supervised outing or on holiday, or in a shop or car accident, we can help you claim compensation on their behalf. Please get in touch for advice as soon as possible.

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