Can my son make a compensation claim for a bicycle accident a child, as he suffered a severe injury after being hit by a car?
A compensation claim for a bicycle accident is possible on behalf of a child — however it should be noted that a different procedure will be required when claiming for a legal minor. Drivers have a duty of care to fulfil to others, who should not expect to sustain an injury from a bicycle accident while on the road. If a driver has been negligent in their duty of care and an accident on a bicycle occurs as a result, a claim could be possible against that driver’s insurance policy. However as claiming bicycle accident compensation on behalf of a child may require a different procedure, you are strongly advised to pursue the claim with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.
Under Irish law, a compensation claim for a bicycle accident cannot be initiated by a legal minor (those under the age of eighteen), nor can they instruct a solicitor to initiate a claim on their behalf. While a claim can be initiated once the child turns eighteen (giving them until their twentieth birthday to seek compensation), compensation may be required much sooner in case of a serious injury from a bicycle accident. For this reason, a bicycle accident compensation claim can be pursued by a parent or guardian acting as a “next friend” on behalf of the child. This claim for an accident on a bicycle can be initiated at any point between the child’s accident and their eighteenth birthday, although it is recommended that a claim is made sooner rather than later.
Before acting as a next friend in a compensation claim for a bicycle accident, it is necessary that you are first aware of the responsibilities required. A next friend must first be approved by a judge, and cannot have a conflict of interest (for example, a next friend cannot be a parent whose negligence caused the child’s injury from a bicycle accident). Should the claim for bicycle accident compensation be unsuccessful, a next friend must also be prepared to accept liability for the litigation costs of the court. Once a claim for an accident on a bicycle has been settled and compensation has been offered the amount awarded must first be approved by the judge and then paid into court funds where they will remain until the child turns eighteen — although some funds may be released upon application for medical and education costs.
The fact that your son had sustained an injury from a bicycle accident may already be an upsetting scenario to contend with and you may not have even considered a claim for compensation. However bicycle accident compensation should be considered to ease the burden of medical costs and to ensure that your child’s recovery is as swift as possible. It is highly recommended that a solicitor is contacted at the earliest opportunity following your child’s accident on a bicycle, as their expertise will be of great benefit when pursuing a claim. A solicitor can guide you through the process for making a compensation claim for a bicycle accident and ensure that your child receives the maximum amount of compensation to which he is entitled.