Can I bring a claim for my child if they have suffered a personal injury?
I am sometimes contacted by parents who want to know can they bring a claim to recover the loss that their child has suffered as a result of personal injuries.
The short answer is yes of course you can.
There is very little difference in the way you would proceed with a claim for a person under the age of 18 than that pursued for an adult. There are some minor procedural differences.
The first thing is that the person under the age of 18 is deemed at law to be suffering from a disability and what this means is that time does not run against the child until such time as they turn 18. At the same time it is important that you don’t delay in bringing proceedings to recover the loss suffered by your child and the reason being is that important evidence might be lost with the passage of time and of course delay can always be used as a defence by the other side.
Now before your child can proceed with their claim they need a responsible adult to act on their behalf and this is most often one of the parents who we describe as the next friend of the child. The matter is then proceeded with through the Injuries Board in the normal way with the exception that firstly the costs of employing a solicitor to bring the claim on behalf of your child can be recovered from the other side through the Injuries Board and also if an assessment is made that assessment must then be transferred to the Court for a Judge in one of the Courts to decide whether the assessment is acceptable. Again, the legal costs of this are recoverable from the other side.