Can I Claim for a Holiday Accident on Behalf of a Child?

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Yes. By law in England and Wales, a child needs a responsible adult to pursue a compensation claim on their behalf, such as a parent, guardian or any appropriate adult.

Known as a litigation friend, they’ll act in proceedings in the child’s best interests, as long as they themselves aren’t considered as potentially to blame.

In holiday accident claims a claim can potentially be made against a hotel, their insurance company and/or your tour operator. If the child was injured in an accident on a package holiday, the tour operator can be held responsible for any negligence that’s proven to result in injury.

When a child is hurt, it can just be the result of “children being children”. But youngsters are arguably even more likely to be injured because of someone else’s negligence than adults. In fact, we’d say that in many circumstances, children are owed a greater level of care than adults because of their lack of appreciation of danger.

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Common Holiday Accidents

We’ve handled many holiday claims involving children who’ve been injured in:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Trips and slips on hotel grounds, such as trips on defective paving slabs or wet surfaces
  • Swimming pool accidents, for example being hurt on sharp tiles in or around pools, or cut by glass in the pool itself

What to Do If Your Child Has an Accident on Holiday

If your child is injured in an accident on holiday, there are several steps you should take:

  • Report the accident to the hotel or whoever is responsible for the area where the accident happened, and the police if necessary
  • If you’re on a package holiday, tell your holiday rep what’s happened, and report the accident on your return home
  • Ask for copies of accident report forms
  • Mention the accident if the hotel or travel company asks you to fill in feedback forms

  • Document all medical treatment given to your child, bring records back home with you if possible; and keep receipts for any related out-of-pocket expenses such as paracetamol
  • Take your child to the GP after arriving back home, or the hospital if necessary
  • If the accident was caused by a hazardous defect such as a raised paving slab, take a photo of it before the defect can be repaired, as this could be useful evidence in a compensation claim
  • Take as many relevant photos as you can, for example of a hotel staff emptying a swimming pool and removing glass

All these measures can easily be overlooked after a child has had an accident on holiday. But taking these steps can provide valuable evidence that can significantly boost your chances of making a successful claim on your child’s behalf.

What Happens to Compensation Awarded to a Child?

When a compensation claim is successfully settled, the child will receive the money themselves if they are aged 18 or over.

If they’re still aged under 18, there will be a short Court Hearing, either in person or on the phone, for a judge to check that the amount of compensation is correct. The Court will then usually order that the money is invested until the child turns 18.

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