Child injury claim
Around 9m pupils attend schools in the UK.
Schools are busy places and inevitably accidents will happen. In fact, as any parent knows, children are accident prone. It is part of a child’s natural development to fall over now and then. Luckily, children recover very well from minor injuries.
However, occasionally more serious injuries occur and if that happens to your child at school, you may want to know if you can make a claim for your child.
Our personal injury solicitors have vast experience and have handled many child injury claims. If your child has an accident due to someone else’s fault, we can advise you on whether or not you can make a claim on their behalf
Can I claim for my child’s accident at school
An injury sustained by a child at school, does not itself lead to a claim for compensation. As with most other claims it is necessary to show that the school has breached their duty to the child. The duty of the school is the same as a parent. In fact, a Latin phrase, in loco parentis is often used to refer to this. The school are literally acting in place of the parent.
If the school premises itself was safe and no teacher or parent could have prevented the injury, then there is no claim that can be made. An example of this would be if two children bumped into each other in the playground or during a sports lesson. On the other hand, you would expect a school to have rules in place for everyone’s safety.
So, for example, if during a PE lesson, the teacher failed to supervise a child properly when he our she was using gym equipment the school might be liable. Similarly, the premises and equipment must be well maintained and risk assessments should be made for activities. Such as science lessons involving chemicals and school trips.
Schools are also liable for any physical or sexual abuse of a child by a member of staff.
When to claim for a child’s accident
Children can make claims at any time up to their 21st birthday for accidents that occurred before they were 18. Until the child is 18 an adult to make the claim for them. Once the child is 18, he or she can pursue the claim him or herself. There are some exceptions to this with some cases and it is not a good idea to wait before making a claim as evidence may no longer be easily obtainable. Take advice as soon as you reasonably can after your child’s accident.
Common injuries that occur at school, include:-
- Leg and arm fractures.
- Finger and hand fractures.
- Soft tissue injures.
- Head and brain injuries.
What to do after
The school should contact the parent of any child who has had an accident. Every parent dreads such a call. If you receive such a call, stay calm and listen carefully to what you are told.
When you have seen your child, you will naturally ask them what happened, but depending on their age, it may be difficult of them to give you a clear account of what happened.
The school should also keep are record of what happened including any record of first aid that was given.
You entitled to a copy of these documents.
If the injury was serious, the school should make a full investigation, and you are entitled to a copy of any report they prepare.
You might also want to have a meeting with the head teacher to discuss what happened.
We recommend that you contact us quickly after the incident so that we can advise you on what action to take.
How much my claim is worth?
The amount your child’s claim can be worth depends on the evidence as to what injuries he or she suffered and also what financial losses occurred.
There will be a claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity which is determined from the medical evidence.
Other claims that can be made include the cost of treatment, travel costs and loss of earnings of a parent who had to take time off work to look after the child.
Each case is decided on its facts and we will advise you in detail on what can be claimed.
Time limits to make a claim
Children can make claims at any time up to their 21st birthday for accidents that occurred before they were 18. Until the child is 18 an adult must act on their behalf to instruct us to make the claim for them. Once the child is 18, he or she can pursue the claim him or herself. There are some exceptions to this with some cases and it is not a good idea to wait before making a claim as evidence may no longer be easily obtainable.
You should contact us for a free initial consultation as soon as possible.
How long does the compensation claim process take
A typical claim of this type will take 12-18 months. If injuries were serious, the claim can take longer.
When claims are settled, the settlement has to be approved by the court. We will only recommend that the court approves settlement when we have clear evidence and the settlement is in the child’s best interest.
Why choose Levenes?
We work diligently for our clients to help them put their lives back together and at the same time obtain the maximum compensation. With us on your side, you can expect:
- Over 100 years of combined experience – We have proven results; we are lawyers who fight for you with a record of success.
- Strong litigators – We are not afraid to take your case to court if we have to. We stand up for the rights of the injured and not for the rights of the big corporations.
- Empathy – We pride ourselves on our compassion and understanding and we are easy to talk to. We always put your interest first and we treat you as our family.
- A personal approach – Your case will be handled directly by one our partners with support from our team of lawyers.
- A tailor-made approach – Every client is treated individually and not as a number, to achieve the best possible result that you deserve.
- Clear communication – We talk to you in a down to earth way. We avoid legal jargon unless it cannot be avoided, and if so, we explain things clearly and simply.
- Maximum compensation – We have the courage to fight for what you are entitled to.
- Full attention – We have the resources to focus on every detail of the case and consider every angle. We do not spread ourselves too thinly – you deserve our full attention.