Claiming for a child under 18
We understand what it's like when our children are unwell
The law considers anyone under the age of 18 as being a minor. Obviously a new born baby or young child would always need someone to represent them, but even a teenager would legally need someone to act on their behalf. However, pursuing a case on behalf of a child is very straightforward.
About your claim
Who will represent the child?
The first stage is to decide who will represent them. This is usually a parent or guardian, although it can be anyone you trust that is over the age of 18, be it a grandparent, family friend etc. This person is known as a “litigation friend” and will be the child’s representative throughout the course of the case. They will sign documents on the child’s behalf and together with the legal team, help make decisions during the case with the best interests of the child at the heart of them.
Cases where injuries to the child are sustained during childbirth
Many of the cases we deal with arise from injuries to the child sustained during birth. In these cases, the mother is still perfectly fine to represent the child during the claim. It is entirely their decision. Sometimes families prefer to have someone else deal with the claim, especially if the birth was traumatic or if the mother potentially has a separate case herself. This is something our team are happy to discuss with you.
A family process
It is important to note that the child’s representative is not the only person we can talk to during the case. Providing the representative gives authority, we can deal with any family member or family friend, allowing everyone to be involved in the process if necessary. Again, this is entirely a family decision.
Who can make an enquiry on behalf of the child?
Finally, any family member or friend can contact us to make an enquiry on behalf of the child. It is only once we have established that there is a potential case that a formal representative needs to be picked. However, people often discuss this as a family first and it can save time if you have already selected a representative before contacting us.
First steps to a claim
- Decide on who will be the child’s formal representative (we are happy to discuss this if unsure).
- Contact us and provide us with information for us to assess whether or not there is a potential case. If in doubt, contact us and if we require any further information we will let you know. We will then confirm whether or not there is a case.
- If there is a potential case, we always send someone out to go through the paperwork with you. It’s a 10-15 minute appointment that we arrange at a convenient time (including evenings or weekends) and place (doesn’t have to be your own home). It’s preferable that the child is at the appointment, although not essential (for example, if the child is currently in hospital). It is fine to have any family and friends there too.
- The chosen representative will need to sign all the initial paperwork on behalf of the child. If requested, we can get their authority to deal with other family members/friends as well, but the representative will always be the final decision maker and sign off on things during the case.
- We always work on a no win no fee basis, and guarantee that if the case is not successful then you will not have to pay a penny. This is the same whether the claim is for yourself or on behalf of someone else. It costs nothing to find out if there is a case.