As a parent, we know that the safety and wellbeing of your children is of the utmost importance. That’s why it can be a scary experience for both parent and child when your child is involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence.
If you find yourself in this circumstance, we recommend that you get in touch with one of our solicitors today. It is important to determine from the outset if you can initiate a claim and the process of recovering compensation to help your little one get back on track.
Who is a minor?
The law regards a minor as anyone under the age of 18. This means that a minor’s personal injury claim must be brought by an adult, who is referred to as the minor’s ‘next friend’ and is usually a parent or legal guardian. The adult in this position acts in the best interests of the child and engages with a solicitor who runs their case. If any award of financial damages is granted to the minor, the Court holds same until the minor reaches the age of 18.
Types of minor personal injuries
There may have arisen a time where a minor has suffered injuries due to the negligence of another individual or party, and as such the minor’s next friend may wish to seek legal remedies. Examples of minor personal injury claims are:
- Accidents at schools or playgrounds;
- Accidents in public places;
- Road traffic accidents;
- Slip/Trip and Falls;
- Accidents that occurred during the minor’s birth.
The minor’s next friend may seek to a solicitor on the minor’s behalf to understand what remedies are available. If this path is taken, an application may be made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). This is an independent supervisory body that oversees personal injury claims in Ireland. From here, a medical report will be completed which sets out the scope of injuries inflicted due to the accident/incident, and the Injuries Board may go on to make an assessment on the matter.
If the respondent in the claim denies or ignores the Injuries Board’s assessment, an authorisation to issue legal proceedings may be issued. The solicitor may then, upon the advice of counsel, commence legal proceedings. Whether claims are resolved through the Injuries Board process or through proceedings, a child’s compensation award must be approved by a Judge in what is known as an ‘Infant Ruling’.
Personal Injury time limits for Child Injury Claims:
The Statute of Limitations in personal injury cases for adults stands at 2 years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge. In the case of minors the law affords plaintiffs extra time by allowing the ‘date of knowledge’ of the injury to coincide with the minor reaching adulthood. In this situation the 2 years begins from the minors eighteenth birthday.
The Statute of Limitations in personal injury cases for adults stands at 2 years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge. In the case of minors, the law affords you extra time by allowing the ‘date of knowledge’ of the injury to begin at the minor’s 18th birthday.
What to do if your child has experienced a personal injury
If your child has suffered a personal injury, we recommend that you do the following:
- Seek medical attention;
- Take photographs of the injury;
- Report the accident;
- Contact a solicitor to talk you through your options.