Personal Injury Compensation Claims for Children

Published 08 Feb 2018

If your child is injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to make a claim on their behalf for personal injury.

Children do not have a legal capacity to bring a claim in their own right and so, you as their parent or guardian, would act as ‘Tutor’ to bring the claim on their behalf.

Examples of Types of Accidents

  • Car Accidents – as a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist
  • \Nervous shock;
  • Dog attacks;
  • Faulty toy or product;
  • Injuries at a park or play centre that was not fit for use;
  • Medical negligence;
  • Accidents at school or child care if not adequately supervised;
  • Work accidents if working and under the age of 18 years.

If your child has been injured in any of the above examples, there may be a claim for compensation available, depending on the circumstances of the accident and whether it was due to the negligence of someone else.

What Can Be Claimed

Depending on the severity of the accident, some injuries may have long standing effects on your child. If a claim is available, then compensation could be claimed for the following:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past loss of income if working and under the age of 18 years;
  • Future loss of income depending on the severity of the injury;
  • The need for additional care.

Time Limits for Lodging a Claim

In New South Wales, there are time limits within which to bring a claim. A claim must be brought within the following periods, whichever is first to expire:

For motor vehicle accidents:

  1. The accident must be reported to the police within 28 days of the accident;
  2. A Personal Injury Claim Form must be lodged with the insurer of the at fault driver within 6 months of the date of the accident; and
  3. The claim must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the accident.

For other claims:

  1. Generally 3 years from the date the cause of action is “discoverable” – see below explanation; OR
  2. 12 years from the date of the accident – for example, if your child has suffered brain damage and this was diagnosed 5 years after the date of the accident and a doctor has confirmed that it was caused by that accident.

A cause of action is “discoverable” by a person on the first date the person knows or ought to know each of the following:

(a) that the injury has occurred;

(b) that the injury was caused by the fault of the defendant; and

(c) that the injury was sufficiently serious to justify bringing an action.

If the claim is successful how and when your child receives the compensation

If the claim resolves by way of a settlement, the settlement sum must first be approved by the Court. The money is then generally paid to the NSW Trustee & Guardian or a Private Trustee to hold in trust until your child attains 18 years of age.

How Gerard Malouf & Partners can help you

Call our office on 1800 004 878 and book an appointment to speak to one of our experienced solicitors to see if you may be able to make a claim for your child.