When children are injured it can be an extremely difficult time for their families. If a child is injured in an accident which is not their fault they may be entitled to bring a case for redress.
An individual is considered to be a minor under Irish law until his or her eighteenth birthday, and it is not legally possible for minors to bring a case in their own right. However, a parent or guardian, acting as ‘next friend’ in law, can represent their child and bring a personal injury case on his or her behalf.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT injury cases INVOLVING CHILDREN:
- There are time limits. When an individual reaches the age of eighteen, he or she then has a two-year period in which to make a claim that relates to injury suffered in childhood. Claims made by a ‘next friend’ can be made while the child is still a minor.
- Evidence gathering can be difficult. If a claim is not made until an individual reaches adulthood, it can be difficult to collect relevant evidence to support a claim of personal injury during childhood. It is important, therefore, to bring the case as soon as possible after the injury occurs and when it is easier to gather the necessary documentation and evidence.
- Consult a Solicitor. A personal injury solicitor will be familiar with claims of this type, and will be able to guide you through the process of bringing a case on behalf of a child.
- Financial redress can be essential. It is always upsetting when a child suffers an injury, and the child’s health and welfare will always be the highest priority for parents and guardians. It is prudent, however, to investigate whether your child may be entitled to financial redress. Financial support can give your child life changing options that might not be otherwise available, especially if he or she has a permanent injury.
- You may be offered a settlement. On occasion, you may receive an offer of settlement directly from the insurance company of the negligent person or party in question. You should discuss any such offers with your solicitor to establish whether acceptance is the best option for you, or whether you may be entitled to a more realistic sum if you pursue a personal injury claim.
S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors, 6, Bindon Street, Ennis, Co.Clare.
Telephone: 065 – 6820620. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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