My child was involved in an accident at school and was injured with a fractured arm. I would like to know how the Statute of Limitations for Minors could affect his claim for personal injury compensation and how to go about making a claim.
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
Broadly speaking, the Statute of Limitations refers to the time limit a person has to make a claim for personal injury compensation, however; the Statute of Limitations for minors is an exception to the general rule.
For an adult’s case, the Statute of Limitations of two years would begin from the “Date of Knowledge”, which in most cases, is the date the injury was sustained or correctly diagnosed. However, in the case of a minor (a child who is under the age of eighteen), the date of knowledge is in fact the child’s eighteenth birthday – or legally stated, when he or she reaches their majority. This means that the Statute of Limitations Minors does not begin to run until the child’s eighteenth birthday, and the injured party, no longer a minor, has two years from that date to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland or to issue proceedings in court.
For convenience, it is possible to pursue a compensation claim for a child before his or her eighteenth birthday if a parent or guardian represents them as a “next friend”. It would be a good idea to speak with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity possible after your child has sustained an injury in an accident for which they were not to blame. A solicitor will be able to assist you with all aspects of your child’s personal injury claim but the added benefit of starting proceedings as early as possible is that the solicitor will be in a good position to gather evidence to support your child’s compensation claim.
It is important to note that no two cases are identical – even when injuries sustained are the same – as a lot depends on the child’s personal situation, however; the Statute of Limitations for minors should not affect your child’s claim if you engage with a solicitor as soon as possible.