A Guide to Claiming Compensation if Your Child Has Been Hit by a Car

Author:
Simon Stanfield
Partner, Head of Road Traffic Accidents
Date:
31/12/2021

The news is filled with horrific stories about children getting hit by cars while they’re on their way to school, out riding their bikes, or just walking to the shops.

That’s because it happens a lot. Research shows that around 37 children are involved in some kind of road traffic accident every single week.

We know that seeing your child in pain following an accident like this must be one of the worst things you can go through as a parent. Especially if they’ve been hurt badly and are suffering from something serious that could affect them for the rest of their lives. Something like brain damage, a spinal injury, or broken bones for example.

And, although winning compensation for the accident doesn’t make everything ok again, it can give you the help and support you need to get the best medical attention available and give your child the best possible care and support for their road back to recovery.

So, whether your child has been hit by a car recently, or you just want to know what to do if it ever did happen, we’re here to help you understand how to claim compensation if your child gets hit by a car.

Call us on 0808 239 6443 or request a callback

What compensation can you get if your child is hit by a car? 

If your child is hit by a car, then they have as much right as you or me to claim compensation for any injuries that they suffer. The claims process just works a bit differently if they’re under 18 because you’ll have to act on their behalf, as a litigation friend.

How do you know if you can make a compensation claim? 

People often think that they can’t get the compensation their child deserves because of myths like these:

Myth 1: The accident happened a few years ago, it’s too late to make a claim. 

If the accident happened within the last three years, you can still make a claim.

Myth 2: The accident was my child’s fault, so I wouldn’t get any compensation. 

Even if you think the accident was your child’s fault, you could still make a claim. Your child could be partly responsible, called contributory negligence, so they would have a deduction in their compensation but it wouldn’t stop them from claiming. So, it’s always worth checking with a free consultation.

Myth 3: The police haven’t charged the driver with a criminal offence, so I can’t make a claim. 

People think that if the driver wasn’t charged with a criminal offence, their child won’t be entitled to compensation. But just because the driver didn’t commit a crime, doesn’t mean they weren’t negligent.

Myth 4: The accident was a hit-and-run, there’s no point in trying to make a claim.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run collisions happen more often than you’d think. But if your child was hit, and the driver drove off, you can still claim for compensation from the Motor Insurers Bureau under something called the Untraced Drivers Agreement.

How can you claim compensation if your child gets hit by a car? 

Before we go over the compensation claims process, there are a few things you should try to do as soon as you can, after the accident:

Write everything down - accidents happen so fast, and you’ll be going through so much immediately after it happens. So, as soon as you can, try and write down:

  • Where it happened
  • What time it happened
  • What happened before
  • What happened after
  • What you think the cause of the accident was
  • Details of any witnesses
  • The vehicle type, car registration and the names of the driver/drivers involved

Take photos - this might be difficult to do but try and take photos of your child’s injuries. It’ll help to show how much pain and suffering they’re going through when it comes to making your claim.

Keep track of your expenses - keep a record of all the costs you’ve had to pay because of your child’s accident. So, things like the cost of travelling to and from the hospital, paying for childcare, or even loss of earnings if you’ve had to take time off work. Again, this information will be used to calculate how much compensation you could get to help your child.

The compensation claims process explained 

Starting a compensation claim can be overwhelming because lawyers and solicitors are famous for talking in a completely different language.

The Road Traffic Accident team at Simpson Millar makes a point of making the whole claims process as simple and as easy as possible for you. We know how awful it must be to have a child that’s been hurt in an accident, the last thing you need is to wade through a load of legal jargon to try and work out what we mean.

So, here’s an overview of what you can expect when you start your compensation claim with us:

Step 1: We’ll give you a free consultation.

We’ll sit down with you, discuss the accident and make sure that you can make a compensation claim for your child.

Step 2: We’ll gather evidence. Once we’ve taken your claim on, we’ll then start to gather evidence relating to the accident.

This is where the details you wrote down, the photos you took, the medical report and the list of your expenses will help.

Step 3: We’ll carry out a full investigation.

Once we have all the evidence, we can then find out who was responsible for the accident and your child’s injuries.

Step 4: We’ll arrange for a medical report.

To make sure we have all the information we need to get you the maximum amount of compensation, we’ll arrange for a medical report to outline your child’s injuries. This will tell us how their injuries have affected their life, what sort of rehabilitation or ongoing treatment they need and if they require any additional care or support.

Step 5: We’ll calculate the compensation amount.

At this stage, we’ll have all the information we need to work out how much compensation your child should get.

Step 6: We’ll secure your compensation.

If the other side accepts responsibility for the accident, then we’ll apply for an ‘Interim Payment’. This will allow us to secure some of your compensation so that you can start paying for your child’s medical treatment and any support while we wait for the case to be settled. If the other side doesn’t accept responsibility, then we’ll take your claim to court.

Only around 1% of claims ever make it to court, so don’t worry about this too much. If we do need to go to trial though, we’ll do our best to negotiate an out-of-court settlement for you. And, if we still need to go to court, then we’ll be there with you, every step of the way.

And don’t forget: If we don’t win, you won’t need to pay us a penny on a No Win, No Fee agreement.

You can focus on what matters - getting your child better whilst we do all the heavy lifting throughout the claims process.

For free legal advice call our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors

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