Can I Claim Compensation for My Child if They're Hit by a Car?

Posted on: 3 mins read
Susan Vanden

Partner, Road Traffic Accident Technical Manager

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Yes, you can claim compensation on behalf of your child if they have been hit by a car.

Even if the driver hasn’t been prosecuted or can’t be traced, it’s still possible to make a claim, so your child can get any care, support and rehabilitation they may need.

We understand that dealing with the consequences of your child suffering an injury can be very stressful and upsetting. But our friendly team of specialist Car Accident Lawyers are here for you.

Call us for a free claims assessment and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, and let you know how we can help you. Ask us if we can help you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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Can I Claim if the Driver Hasn’t Been Prosecuted?

Yes, you can. Just because a driver isn’t prosecuted for a motoring offence doesn’t mean that a civil claim would be unsuccessful. 

The test in a civil claim is different to that in a criminal prosecution. In a civil claim, we have to prove that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ (that is more than 51%), the driver was negligent, whereas in a criminal prosecution it has to be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

What if the Driver Can’t Be Traced?

If your child has been injured in a hit and run road accident, the injured child can seek compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement.

The MIB is an organisation which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers, and means your child can get the justice they deserve even if the driver can be identified.

But there are certain conditions if you’re making an MIB claim. For example, you should report the road accident to the police as soon as you can, cooperate with any police enquiries or investigations, and give the MIB as much help as they need as they investigate your claim.

Making an MIB claim can be complex when compared with a straightforward road accident claim where the circumstances of the accident and who’s responsible are clear.

So it’s important to get legal advice from a specialist Road Accident Solicitor as soon as you can. We can discuss your options with you in your initial claims assessment.

Will the Court Accept Evidence from a Child?

Some people believe that because they are a child, the Court won’t accept evidence from a child, but this isn’t correct.

Sometimes, the child is the only witness to the accident. If a child is over 14, then they would normally give evidence, but they can still give evidence if they are younger.

What the Highway Code Says about Children

There are many reasons why a child might have been involved in a road traffic accident, and sometimes it may be presumed that the child was at fault.

But there are several sections of the Highway Code which could support a claim for compensation.

For example, paragraph 205 says the driver should consider if “there is a risk of pedestrians, especially children, stepping unexpectedly into the road. You should drive with the safety of children in mind at a speed suitable for the conditions”.

The Highway Code always states that drivers should drive carefully and slowly if they’re driving past bus and tram stops, as pedestrians may “emerge suddenly into the road”.

Finally, it points out that vulnerable pedestrians, which includes children, may “not be able to judge your speed and could step into the road in front of you”.

If it can be proven that the driver that caused the accident didn’t do any of the above, this could increase your chance of making a successful compensation claim.

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