Accidents to Children
Compensation Claims for Children
Children can be very accident-prone and many parents just accept this as being part and parcel of their child growing up. However, it may be possible to obtain compensation for children who are involved in certain types of accident.
The most obvious example is where a child is a passenger in a vehicle. The child is obviously blameless and will therefore be entitled to compensation.
Many accidents to children occur as the result of being knocked over while crossing the road or riding a bike. If it can be proved that someone else is responsible for the accident then the child may be eligible for compensation.
Accidents to children can also occur in shops, community centres, play areas etc. If it can be shown that the occupier has not taken reasonable care to ensure the safety of the child then it may also be possible to obtain compensation.
The law accepts that children will do foolish and things and society should accept this. In the case of Hughes v the Lord Advocate a child entered an unguarded trench, knocked over a paraffin lamp and caused a gas explosion. These were actions which in law were not reasonably foreseeable but the Judge still awarded compensation.
The case of Jolley v Southward LBC involved a 14-year old boy and his friends trying to repair an abandoned boat amongst derelict vehicles, in a grassy area in the inner city. In order to repair the boat they jacked it up. The House of Lords decided that it was reasonably foreseeable for children to mimic the actions of adults and awarded compensation.
Even in cases where a known danger is fenced off, but the child overcomes the precaution; the child may be eligible for compensation.
In the case of Dawson v Scottish Power Plc an 11-year-old boy was playing football next to an electricity sub-station. His ball went into the substation. The boy managed to climb a spike fence and retrieved the ball.
When he was on his way in he slipped and injured his hand. The Court awarded the boy compensation and deducted 1/3 of the damages in respect of the boy being responsible.
Compensation Claim Form