Limitation of Time

Parents Should Claim for Child Injuries Quickly

In an accident claim involving an  injury to an adult (a person 18 years and over) the normal rule  is that the injured person must issue court proceedings within 3 years from the date of the accident.  However, where a child has been injured following an accident, the child does not, in law have the capacity to have the relevant knowledge to take court action before the child is 18 years of age.  Therefore, the normal 3 year time period only begins to run when the child reaches its 18th Birthday.  To bring an accident injury claim in time, the claim must be issued at court before the then child’s 21st birthday.  If court action is not taken by the child injuries and accident solicitors before the child’s 21st birthday the court may strike out the claim.  Is therefore very important to instruct a child injury specialist solicitor as soon after the accident so that all the necessary preparation and investigations can be undertaken by the solicitor.

Note that once the child reaches the age of 18 years of age, the child becomes an adult and no longer needs to act through the litigation friend i.e. usually the parent of guardian of the child.  The former child will be classed as an adult and be able to instruct his/her accident solicitors directly.  Any compensation payable for injuries following the accident when the former child is over 18 years of age can be payable directly and does not have to be invested at court.  If compensation is payable on behalf of a child, then the court must approve the compensation amount and then the money is invested by the court funds office until the child reaches 18 years of age.

Why Instruct a Child Injury Solicitor Quickly?

Whist parents may consider that there is plenty of time instruct a solicitor before the child’s 21st birthday what they must consider carefully is that it is important to obtain evidence quickly following the child accident because witnesses may move and over a period of time their memories may fade and be unreliable.  Further more if there is a defect in the playground, trampoline, school equipment etc if photographs, sketch plans or a site inspection are not undertook or obtained shortly after the child’s accident the important evidence may be lost.  Therefore proving a claim for child injuries compensation may be very difficult or impossible.  for the above reasons and many more, it is important to instruct child injuries solicitors as soon after the accident as possible .  The fact that you can leave it until the child is 21 years to issue court proceedings is very dangerous.  The child injury solicitors may not have enough time to prepare the case properly which could result in the accident claim being prejudiced.

Summary of Child Injury Time Limits

As a responsible parent or guardian, you must instruct a child injuries accident solicitor as quickly as possible so that the solicitors can prepare the case quickly and gather relevant evidence to help support the claim.  In complex child injury claims where the injuries are serious, it is important that the child injuries accident solicitors are given as much time as possible to prepare the case to take it to court if required.  Do not leave it too late.


CLICK HERE for Child Injuries to Head and Facial Injuries

CLICK HERE for Child Injuries to Back, Neck, Body & Internal Organs

CLICK HERE for Child Injuries to Upper Limbs – Arms, hands, fingers

CLICK HERE for Child Injuries to Lower Limbs – Legs, knees, ankles, feet, foot, toes


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