What is the process for claiming compensation for child knocked down by car?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Although children under the age of eighteen (minors) are not permitted to initiate legal action in their own right or engage a solicitor under Irish law, it may still be possible to claim compensation for child knocked down by car before the child reaches their majority, if their parent of guardian acts as their “next friend”.

Before a claim for child injured by car can be commenced, the “next friend” must seek approval from the District Court and has to accept any financial liability for bringing forth the claim should it be unsuccessful. Additionally, any settlement of a claim for knocked down by car child compensation in Ireland has to be approved by a court before payment is made – then it will be held in court on the child’s behalf until he or she reaches the age of eighteen.

There is the option of waiting until the child reaches their majority when he or she can become responsible for their own claim for child injured by car, whereupon he or she has two years from their eighteenth birthday in which to recover compensation. However, it would probably be unwise for a claim to be delayed and pursued personally by the victim as a protracted delay would certainly make the process much more complicated. One of the many reasons for this is that it is highly necessary to gather evidence to prove that the driver to blame for the accident was negligent and the statements of any eye-witnesses must be taken without haste before memories begin to fade.

When compensation for child knocked down by car is pursued early, a solicitor will be able to assemble evidence in support of the claim much more efficiently. Your child may be in the position where compensation funds are needed to provide medical and educational support – funds which can be released from court on application.

You are strongly recommended to contact a solicitor as soon as possible who can provide essential legal advice about claiming for knocked down by car child compensation. After a thorough assessment of all aspects of the child’s case, an experienced solicitor would be able to advice on the strength of the child’s claim and would be able to assist in the collection of any evidence required to prove the driver’s negligence. A solicitor is required for all child accident claims as a judge must examine the details of the case in court and approve the settlement. In Ireland, the courts are used to guarantee that the child’s rights are fully protected.

You should also be aware that it is likely that the child’s compensation for child knocked down by car claim will have to be initially submitted to the Injuries Board and even if the Injuries Board assessment is deemed acceptable, the settlement will still have to be approved in court. Your solicitor can advise you if the settlement offer proposed by the Injuries Board is worth accepting.