My son recently sustained back injuries after slipping on the road outside our home, what is the process for road slips injury compensation for a child?
Road slips injury compensation may be possible provided that your son has suffered an injury for which he is not to blame. When walking upon the road, your son should not expect to sustain an injury after slipping on the road as he falls under the duty of care of those responsible for safely maintaining the road surface (for example, the local council). If it can be determined that the council had been negligent in performing this duty of care and a road slip accident occurred as a result, you may be entitled to pursue compensation on your child’s behalf. However it should be remembered that a claim for slipping on the road will be different when done on behalf of a child, and for this reason a personal injury solicitor should always be consulted before a claim is pursued.
Under Irish law, a legal minor – those under the age of eighteen – are unable to initiate road slips injury compensation claims, and cannot instruct a solicitor to initiate a claim on their behalf. A child can initiate their own claim once they turn eighteen years of age – after which they have two years to pursue compensation for a road slip accident. However there is a possibility that by the time this occurs, a claim for slipping on the road may become more difficult if evidence and memories are no longer reliable. Because a child may require compensation after suffering an injury after slipping on the road, it is possible for a parent or guardian is able to pursue compensation on behalf of their child as a “next friend”.
Before pursuing road slips injury compensation as a next friend, the person acting on behalf of the child must first be approved by a judge and cannot have a conflict of interest in the child’s claim to compensation (for instance, if the parent was the negligent party). It is also important to note that should the claim for slipping on the road be unsuccessful, the next friend will be liable for any litigation costs which may arise as a result. Should the claim for an injury after slipping on the road be successful, the compensation awarded – upon being approved by the judge – will be paid into court funds where they will remain until the child reaches their eighteenth birthday. However if funds from the road slip accident compensation are required before then for medical or educational needs, this may be released upon application to the court.
A claim for slipping on the road made on behalf of a child can be more difficult, especially considering the immediate shock after your child has been injured. As a different and unfamiliar process will be required after the road slip accident, the expertise of a personal injury solicitor will be of great benefit to your claim. Your solicitor will assess your claim for slipping on the road, determine its strength, calculate the amount of compensation you may be entitled to claim and advise on whether it is worth pursuing further. The strength of your road slips injury compensation claim on behalf of your child can depend upon the preparation that goes into it, and for this reason you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.