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Serious Injury

Making a personal injury claim on behalf of children or vulnerable adults

Everything you need to know

Victoria Price

by Victoria Price

calendar_month 14 Jun 23

schedule 4 min read

Vulnerable individuals, such as children, the elderly, the chronically sick, adults who lack mental capacity and those with limited communication skills may find it difficult to make their voices heard when they have suffered physical or psychological injuries. They are entitled to bring claims for harm that has been done to them but for any number of reasons they can be overlooked. In order to access the legal system these people need the help and support of others.

Can I claim compensation on behalf of a family member?

Family members, friends, professionals such as social workers, clinicians or carers can be the crucial link between the injured person and legal advisers. They can provide the access to the legal system that injured vulnerable people need. Just because an injured party cannot personally instruct solicitors it does not mean they cannot bring a compensation claim.

Making a claim on behalf of a vulnerable adult

Sometimes vulnerable adults living at home, in hospital or in a care facility can often be injured or harmed but nothing is done about a compensation claim. There can be many reasons for this: perhaps no one is sure who should take the lead and contact lawyers, perhaps the focus is solely to get medical help and recovery, perhaps people think the injured person is already well looked after financially and they don’t need any compensation, or that a claim will cause problems with an existing treatment or care regime. Sometimes there is an internal investigation into how the injury occurred and once that is finished the matter finished there.

If there is a possibility of a claim, then this should be pursued as soon as possible. Someone should make a decision on the injured person’s behalf and contact lawyers for them, giving them a voice and helping them to access the legal system as any other adult can. The compensation can be used to provide treatment or better support and facilities or leisure opportunities. Any financial award will be protected and managed on the vulnerable adult’s behalf so that it is used for solely for their benefit*.

Personal injury claims for a child

Claims on behalf of children can present their own particular issues, for example, the child may be unable to explain the circumstances of the accident, they might need protecting from the facts about what has happened, they might need additional support at school and at home. The adults and professionals that are closest to them should seek legal advice about what steps to take on their behalf and get the claim underway.

If a claim is successful, any compensation that is awarded will be invested for the child until they reach the age of 18. No one else can benefit from this fund. Once the child is 18, they will receive the money and they can use it as they wish.

The time to act

If people wait until a child becomes an adult or a vulnerable adult who lacks capacity recovers before they bring a claim, then the passage of time can have a detrimental effect on that claim. The delay can cause crucial documentary evidence to be lost, witnesses can forget facts, memories fade and the claim could be compromised. Claims are best investigated as soon as possible so that the injured party has the best chance of success.

Separate legal procedure rules apply to these types of claims and they can be complex. The legal process uses safeguards to protect children and vulnerable adults and your specialist lawyer will be aware of all of these and guide the claim through these.

We are here to help

At Price Slater Gawne, we have a team of specialist lawyers who can provide legal representation for children and vulnerable adults in personal injury cases. We understand the importance of effective communication, and we work closely with our clients, their families and their representatives to ensure that their voices are heard, and that they have access to justice.

In conclusion, making a personal injury claim on behalf of a child or vulnerable person requires quick thinking and expert legal representation. If you or someone close to you has suffered physical or psychological injuries and may be eligible for compensation, Price Slater Gawne can help. Our team of specialist lawyers has the necessary expertise to guide you through the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to discuss your case.

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