If your child sustains an injury due to an accident, you might be eligible to pursue compensation for the pain, suffering, and distress they endured. In case inadequate safety precautions were taken, resulting in your child’s injury, it is advisable to get in touch with a solicitor. They can evaluate the validity of your child accident claim.
To gain further insight into children’s accident claims, including the required evidence and the potential amount of compensation you may receive, please continue reading.
How Do Child Accidents Happen?
Child accidents can occur due to various factors and circumstances, often stemming from a combination of environmental, developmental, and behavioural factors. Understanding how child accidents happen is crucial for parents, caregivers, and society as a whole in order to prevent and mitigate their occurrence. Let’s delve into some common causes and contributing factors behind child accidents:
- Lack of Adult Supervision – Insufficient adult supervision is a leading cause of child accidents. Young children, especially those with limited understanding of potential dangers, require constant supervision to ensure their safety. Accidents can happen when adults are distracted, absent, or fail to anticipate potential hazards.
- Falls – Falling is a prevalent cause of accidents among children, particularly in the early years. Infants learning to crawl or walk are prone to tumbles, while older children may fall from heights such as playground equipment, furniture, or stairs. Lack of safety measures like stair gates, secure window guards, or age-appropriate safety equipment can increase the risk of falls.
- Road Accidents – Children are vulnerable pedestrians and passengers, making them susceptible to road accidents. Factors contributing to these incidents include careless driving, inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, lack of adherence to traffic rules, and insufficient safety measures like child restraints in vehicles.
- Burns and Scalds – Young children are at a higher risk of burns and scalds due to their limited ability to assess danger and their curiosity. Hot liquids, open flames, hot surfaces, and improperly stored chemicals or electrical appliances pose significant hazards if not appropriately managed or secured.
- Choking and Suffocation – Young children often explore their environment by putting objects into their mouths, increasing the risk of choking or suffocation. Small toys, food items, plastic bags, or objects with small parts can obstruct their airways, leading to serious consequences if immediate intervention is not provided.
- Drowning – Water-related accidents, such as drowning, are a significant concern for child safety. Unsupervised access to swimming pools, bathtubs, ponds, or other bodies of water can have tragic consequences. Insufficient pool fencing, lack of swimming skills, and absence of life-saving equipment contribute to these accidents.
- Poisoning – Ingestion of household chemicals, medications, or toxic substances is a significant threat to child safety. Insufficient childproofing measures, improper storage of hazardous substances, or accidental access to potentially harmful items can result in poisoning incidents.
How Can Children Contract Diseases?
When it comes to diseases that children could contract, it’s important to note that claiming compensation for such cases can be a complex and context-specific matter. However, there are certain circumstances where compensation claims may be pursued if it can be established that the disease was a result of negligence, misconduct, or failure to fulfil duty of care. Here are some examples of diseases where compensation claims might be considered:
- Vaccine-Preventable Diseases – In some instances, children may contract vaccine-preventable diseases due to errors or failures in the administration of vaccines. If it can be demonstrated that the disease was a direct consequence of such errors, there might be grounds for a compensation claim.
- Occupational Diseases – Children who are engaged in certain industries or activities may be at risk of contracting diseases due to hazardous working conditions. Examples include exposure to toxic substances or poor air quality that leads to respiratory illnesses, skin conditions, or other occupational diseases. In such cases, if it can be proven that appropriate safety measures were not implemented or proper protective equipment was not provided, compensation claims might be pursued.
- Medical Negligence – Children may contract diseases as a result of medical negligence or errors in diagnosis, treatment, or post-operative care. This can include infections acquired in hospitals, misdiagnosis leading to delayed treatment, or medication errors that result in adverse health outcomes. Compensation claims may be sought if it can be demonstrated that the medical professionals involved deviated from the accepted standard of care, leading to harm or exacerbation of the child’s condition.
- Environmental Exposure – Children exposed to harmful environmental conditions may develop diseases as a result. This can include exposure to toxic substances like lead, asbestos, or contaminated water sources, leading to conditions such as lead poisoning, respiratory disorders, or developmental issues. Compensation claims might be pursued if it can be established that responsible parties, such as property owners or corporations, failed to address or disclose the risks associated with the environment.
Is It Possible To Claim Compensation On Behalf Of My Child?
In England and Wales, when considering making a claim on behalf of a child, there are several important criteria to be aware of. It’s essential to understand these criteria to navigate the legal process effectively. Here are the key factors involved in making a claim on behalf of a child:
- Legal Capacity – As children are considered minors, they lack legal capacity to bring a claim themselves. A parent or guardian must act as a “litigation friend” and make the claim on their behalf. The litigation friend is responsible for acting in the child’s best interests throughout the legal proceedings.
- Time Limit – Similar to claims made by adults, there is a time limit for filing a claim on behalf of a child. In most cases, this time limit is within three years from the date the child turns 18, known as the “limitation period.” However, there are exceptions and specific rules for different types of claims, such as medical negligence claims, so seeking legal advice is crucial to determine the applicable time limit.
- Establishing Liability – To pursue a successful claim, it’s necessary to establish that someone else was at fault for the child’s injury or illness. This involves demonstrating that the responsible party (individual, organization, or institution) breached their duty of care owed to the child, resulting in harm. It’s important to gather relevant evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions, to support the claim.
- Child’s Best Interests – The court’s primary consideration in child injury claims is the child’s best interests. This involves assessing the long-term effects of the injury, including physical, emotional, and financial implications. The compensation awarded should aim to provide appropriate support for the child’s current and future needs, including medical treatment, rehabilitation, educational support, and any necessary accommodations.
- Settlement Approval – Any settlement or compensation amount proposed in a child injury claim must be approved by the court. This ensures that the child’s interests are protected and that the settlement is fair and reasonable. The court will assess the proposed settlement and consider factors such as the child’s age, the severity of the injury, the impact on future earnings, and the cost of care required.
Children Living With Inherited Metabolic Diseases
Inherited metabolic diseases (IMDs) refer to a collection of different genetic conditions that can cause disruption in normal bodily chemical reactions. They usually affect the process of converting or using energy, such as breaking down food and converting foods into waste.
Examples of IMDs include Hunter syndrome and Krabbe disease, as well as Wilson’s disease. There are, in fact, hundreds of different disorders that a person could inherit.
Sufferers can experience tough physical symptoms, such as muscle weakness, vision problems, lethargy, excessive sleepiness and in some cases, seizures. For more information on metabolic diseases in children, see this guide.
It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a qualified solicitor with expertise in personal injury or medical negligence claims involving children. They can guide you through the legal process, ensure compliance with the necessary requirements, gather evidence, liaise with relevant parties, and represent the child’s interests effectively.
If you need any more help and advice, please get in touch.