In the law, every person below 18 is a minor. Therefore, they are unable to make legal claims for themselves. Thus, the child must need an adult to file a personal injury claim for the child involved in the accident.
The adult that does this is usually called the next friend or litigation friend, who is typically the guardian or parent of the child. Other family members can sometimes stand up and help make a claim.
If you want to make a personal injury claim for your child, there are various things that you should be aware of. They include:
Seek medical care for your child
Your priority after your child is involved in any personal injury is to seek medical aid for your child. Though some injuries might appear minor, you should still take your child to the hospital.
Minor injuries could also cause more extensive health issues if left unchecked. Taking your child involved in an accident ensures that every potential worry is alleviated.
Select the next friend
According to government law, every child below 18 is not allowed to make decisions on legal proceedings; instead, a ‘next friend’ is appointed. This could be the parent, a close family friend, a family member, or even a guardian.
What is essential is that the next friend usually acts in the child’s best interest and would take on the responsibility of completing paperwork prepared by the solicitor and making decisions relevant to their claim.
Contact the solicitor
Before proceeding with a personal injury claim, it is advisable to get a solicitor. When you do so, the lawyer would ask them to record essential and relevant information.
Some of this information will include the exact time of the accident, details regarding witnesses, circumstances leading to the injury, photos of the accident scene, and a report of the next friend filed with relevant authorities.
If you can’t find a solicitor, the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff: personal injury attorneys are a good pick; if you are not sure of a solicitor to contact.
Attend the short court hearing
For your child to receive their compensation, they and their next friend would have to visit the court for an approval hearing. The Judge would consider the medical reports submitted and check if the child has recovered.
You can prepare your child for the hearing by explaining the details of the private hearing to them. It would only last a few minutes and with a single Judge in the room.
The Judge might ask your child about their recovery if they are old enough to answer. However, you can be assured that this is usually done in a friendly and kind manner.
That’s A Wrap
The general rule of child personal injuries claims is that you should pursue them early. It will ensure that the lawyer can quickly gather every evidence needed.
This is why you should consult with your lawyer as soon as possible. Hiring a capable solicitor ensures that your case is managed correctly, and a successful compensation claim is made.