My son sustained hip injuries after he slipped upon a floor in a restaurant – how do I make a restaurant accident injury compensation claim on his behalf?
While it is possible to claim restaurant accident injury compensation on behalf of a child, it should be noted that the procedure for doing so will be different. The restaurant in question owed your child a duty of care and neither he nor any of the other customers should expect to sustain an injury in a restaurant while on the premises. In this circumstance, a claim for a restaurant accident could be made against the insurance policy of the restaurant in question if they are considered to have been responsible for your son’s accident. However before you make a claim for an accident in a restaurant you are first advised to consult a personal injury solicitor to assess your claim, who can advise you on whether your claim is worth pursuing further.
Under Irish law, a claim for restaurant accident injury compensation cannot be initiated by a child until he or she reaches the age of eighteen, after which they will have until their twentieth birthday in which to make a claim. However compensation could be required before then for medical or educational needs and for this reason a claim for an accident in a restaurant can be made by a parent or guardian as a “next friend” at any point between the accident itself and the child’s eighteenth birthday. While this may appear to be plentiful time in which to make a claim for a restaurant accident, you are advised to initiate a claim sooner rather than later as memories can fade in time and evidence can become misplaced. Because of this, you are advised to seek legal advice as soon as possible following your child’s injury in a restaurant.
Before seeking restaurant accident injury compensation on behalf of a child, a next friend must seek approval from a judge to represent the child and cannot have a conflict of interest in the claim (for instance, if the parent or guardian is partially liable). A litigation friend must also be prepared to accept financial liability should the child’s claim for an accident in a restaurant be unsuccessful. In the situation that the claim for a restaurant accident is successful, the compensation will not be awarded immediately as it must first be approved by the judge, then paid into court funds where it will remain until the child’s eighteenth birthday. However compensation may be needed for immediate educational or medical requirements as a result of your son’s injury in a restaurant and for this reason some compensation can be released upon application to the court.
After your son has been injured in an accident in a restaurant, you may be too focussed on his recovery to even consider pursuing compensation for his injuries. However a claim for a restaurant accident should be pursued as it may assist in your son’s medical treatment for his injury and help him readjust to his life following his accident. As no two claims are exactly alike, you are advised to consult a solicitor to assess your son’s injury in a restaurant at the earliest opportunity. By doing so, you are significantly improving the likelihood that your son will receive his full entitlement to restaurant accident injury compensation.