Children are often involved in accidents around the house, at school or while out and about. Thankfully, more often than not the accident is forgotten about and no injuries are sustained. However, there are occasions where children sustain painful injuries through no fault of their own.
The personal injury experts here at Howells Solicitors can help you get what your child deserves.
The Most Common Child Accidents and Injuries
There are many types of accidents children can be involved in and the injuries that result from them can vary too.
Types of accidents:
• Road traffic accident – on a bike or scooter, as a pedestrian or in a vehicle
• Accidents at school – injuries in the playground or in the class room
• Slips and trips – in a shop, on the pavement or in the playground / park
Types of injuries:
• Whiplash – soft tissue injuries to neck, shoulders or back
• Wounds – cuts, grazes, lacerations and scars
• Psychological damage – changes in behaviour, anxiety, worry of future injury, situational anxiety (where a child become anxious in a particular situation, i.e. around swimming pools, in parks, in hospitals – usually a place associated with the accident or the immediate aftermath of an accident)
What to do if Your Child Has Been in an Accident
We appreciate that when your child has an accident, it is difficult to know what to do. Here are the first things you should do when an accident happens:
1. Determine the severity of the injuries and, if necessary, call an ambulance
2. Report the accident –
a) if it is a road traffic accident the police should be informed
b) if the accident occurs in a shop then the Store Manager should complete an accident report
3. If the accident has been caused by a defect or spillage, take photographs
4. Take the driver’s name, address and vehicle registration number where the accident involves a vehicle
What Can You Claim for Your Child?
It is known to most people that a claim can be made to compensate a person for the pain and suffering they went through following an injury. However, there are many other things we can claim for that can sometimes be worth much more than the injury itself. This includes:-
• Loss of earnings – this could be where a parent has taken time off work to care for a child, or where the child has loss of earnings themselves (often for those aged 16 and over).
• Treatment – physiotherapy for physical injuries or therapy/counselling for psychological trauma.
• Care and assistance – while it is expected that a parent cares for their child, often after an accident, the level of care required increases. This could be helping with carrying, helping dressing, tying shoe laces where the child has an injury to the hand, wrist or fingers, or even extra time attending GP appointments, hospital appointments or physiotherapy sessions.
1. We have recently settled a case for a young girl who was involved in an accident while on holiday with her family. She cut her knee on a broken tile in a swimming pool that was situated on the caravan park.
She was taken to the local hospital and her wound was treated, but the accident left her with a large, noticeable scar on her knee which was likely to be permanent. She also developed situational anxiety around hospital staff and clinical settings.
The treatment the injury required at the hospital after the accident had traumatised her and caused her to develop a fear of doctors, nurses and hospitals.
We arranged specialist, private treatment to help combat her situational anxiety, as well as agreeing compensation in the sum of £30,000 for the pain and suffering she endured.
2. We acted for a 17 year old girl following an accident at work. She was in the first week of her new job in a kitchen and suffered burn injuries as a result of a lack of training. The burns to her arm were not serious and the pain resolved over a few months. However, the burns did leave small pale scars.
In addition to the compensation for the injuries, we also secured an award for her to buy camouflage makeup to conceal the scars on her arm. The employer paid an additional £12,500 to cover the cost of the make-up.
Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims for Children?
The usual limitation for bringing a personal injury claim is 3 years. However, if a child under the age of 18 has an accident, the limitation clock does not start until the child’s 18th birthday. This means that children have until their 21st birthday to bring a personal injury claim.
However, bringing a claim as soon as possible after the accident is important. This is because memories are fresh and we can track the recovery of the child and assist with rehabilitation such as physiotherapy.
How Much Will a Personal Injury Claim Cost?
While most firms take a success fee for dealing with a personal injury claim involving a child, at Howells Solicitors we do not. If the claim is for a child under the age of 18, we will not take a success fee and we will not request any payments up front.
If you would like to learn more about child personal injury claims, or any other aspect of the law, please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team of personal injury solicitors. They’re always happy to help.