Can I make a compensation claim for HGV accident on behalf of a child, as my daughter suffered severe whiplash after a truck rear-ended our car?
A compensation claim for HGV accident will be possible on behalf of a child if they have sustained an injury for which they are not to blame. The driver of the HGV has a duty of care towards all others on the road — including your daughter as a passenger — and since they suffered an accident by a HGV a compensation claim should be possible against the insurance policy of the HGV driver or their insurance company. Making a claim for HGV accident compensation on behalf of a child will require a slightly different process, because of which a personal injury solicitor should be contacted regarding a potential claim. A solicitor will assess your daughter’s accident injury from a HGV accident and offer advice on how to proceed with a claim.
Under Irish law, a compensation claim for HGV 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. However if your child has suffered a severe injury, HGV accident compensation may be required to provide for your child’s educational and medical requirements before then. For this reason, a parent or guardian can initiate a claim on behalf of a child as a “next friend” at any stage between the accident by a HGV and until the child reaches the age of eighteen. This means a claim for a child’s injury can be made at any point between the injury from a HGV accident being sustained and when the child reaches their twentieth birthday.
When making a compensation claim for HGV accident on behalf of a child, a “next friend” must first receive approval from the court and cannot hold a conflict of interest in the child’s claim — for instance, a parent cannot claim against their own insurance policy. In the event that the claim for an accident by a HGV is unsuccessful, the next friend will need to be prepared to accept liability for any expenses which may arise as a result. If a claim is successful the HGV accident compensation which is awarded will first need to be approved by a judge before it is paid into court funds, where they will remain until the child’s eighteenth birthday. If funding is required before then for education or the medical treatment of your daughter’s injury from a HGV accident, this can be released on application to the court.
To ensure that your daughter receives fair compensation for her injury from a HGV accident, you are advised to pursue a claim with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor. While a parent could pursue HGV accident compensation without legal assistance, the expertise of a solicitor will be invaluable when making a claim. Without the help of a solicitor, there is a danger that your daughter may not receive sufficient compensation after her accident by a HGV which cannot be renegotiated at a later stage. For this reason, you are advised to contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to build the strongest possible compensation claim for HGV accident.