From the Wires
Settling a Compensation Claim for a Child
Infant Settlements of an Agreed Amount of Compensation
By: Marketwired .
Nov. 14, 2012 07:14 AM
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Compensation for a minor (anyone under the age of 18) involved in an accident can be dealt with in 2 ways, Parental Indemnity or Court Approval. In both cases the minor must have an appointed Litigation Friend; an adult providing instructions on behalf of the minor, normally a parent or guardian. This person must act in the child's best interests when agreeing to the settlement of any damages claim. This would be the case for all personal injury compensation claims for children, such as when you make a road accident claim.
Parental Indemnity is where the minor's Litigation Friend (Parent/Guardian) signs a parental indemnity form accepting a settlement figure on behalf of the child which then discharges the third party's and his insurers from all future liability. The Litigation Friend accepts the award in full and final settlement and the award will be paid out immediately to the Litigation Friend. This is only recommended for very minor injuries which attract low awards.
This is the preferred method of dealing with settlement in cases involving minors and is where the settlement for the minor is authorised by the Court. Prior to making an application to the Court for an award to be approved, the solicitors instructed will obtain a barrister's opinion in relation to the value of the claim. The barrister's opinion will refer to case law and Court guidelines to show how much the claim is worth.
If an award has been agreed and is in line with the barrister's opinion, Court proceedings will be issued in the child's local Court for the award to be approved by a Judge. The Court will list the claim for an Infant Approval Hearing. The child and the Litigation Friend, together with their legal representative, will attend Court. The hearing is an informal procedure to confirm that the child has recovered and to ensure that the settlement amount agreed is acceptable.
At the Infant Approval hearing, the Judge will read the medical report and review the evidence for any claim for other losses and expenses. The Judge will also review the advice by the barrister. Once the evidence has been reviewed by the Judge, the Judge may ask the litigation friend and the child some questions about the injury or injuries, how the accident has affected the child and if the child is still having any problems with the injuries. If the child is still suffering, then the award will not be approved at that stage and further medical evidence will be required.
Only once the Judge is satisfied that the child has recovered and the amount on offer is reasonable for the child's injuries, will they approve the award.
If the amount awarded is approved by the Judge he will make the appropriate order and the settlement monies will be invested in the Court Funds Office until the child reaches their 18th birthday.
About First Personal Injury
First Personal Injury is a leading firm of specialist personal injury solicitors based in the North West and acting on behalf of Claimants nationwide.
First Personal Injury has a wealth of experience in dealing with personal injury matters such as medical negligence and how to get whiplash compensation and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. First Personal Injury is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel and is also a panel member of Headway, the brain injury charity. First Personal Injury is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
For further information, to use online tools such as the work accident compensation calculator, or to find out if you can make a claim, please contact First Personal Injury free and confidentially at www.firstpersonalinjury.co.uk or on 0800 014 1629.
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