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Parental Indemnity: Is this the proper way to accept compensation on behalf of my child following a road traffic accident when I am his litigation friend?

Parental indemnity: I was waiting in Cardiff at a set of traffic lights in my car with my wife and 5 year old child as a passenger when we were hit from behind by another driver. The other driver's insurer accepted liability and have paid my wife and me compensation. I am the litigation friend for my child and the insurer have suggested settling his claim using a parental indemnity form. Is this the proper way to conclude his claim?

Solicitor Response: Parental indemnity is not the proper way to conclude your child's claim even when liability is accepted by the guilty driver's insurer.

Parental indemnity

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The correct way is to have any offer of compensation approved by a court in what is known as a minor settlement hearing or an infant approval hearing. There are significant advantages to you in adopting this approach:

1. At the minor settlement hearing the court will act in the interest of your child

The judge will ensure that medical evidence of your child's injury is complete, a barrister's advice as to the correct level of compensation is provided in evidence and the judge is satisfied that level of compensation is sufficient to conclude the claim.

If the evidence is that your son should receive more compensation - the judge will require the guilty party (known as the defendant)to increase their offer before your son's claim can be concluded.

2. The judge at a minor settlement will require the compensation monies to be invested in court until your child reaches the age of 18 years

The court appreciates that children are not old enough to spend money wisely until they are adults and parents of the child might not necessarily know how best to invest their child's money so at the end of an infant approval hearing the judge will invest any compensation in the court funds office until your child reaches the age of 18 years.

The court funds office pools together many children's compensation and so can attract a much higher interest rate than if normally invested which will mean by the time your son is 18 years old his compensation will have increased in value substantially.

Click child accident parental indemnity to see how the court invests your child's compensation monies.

3. Claim your legal costs of using a solicitor to represent you at a court hearing

As part of your compensation claim you can recover from the guilty party any legal costs you may incur in making a child accident claim - this will be in addition to the compensation paid on your child's behalf.

Click traffic accident compensation to see the types of compensation you can claim including your legal fees.

4. The advantages of using a personal injury solicitor to make your child's claim

An accident lawyer will ensure the evidence is complete on your child's behalf, including having top medical expert reports describing both physical and psychological injury, and obtain a barrister's opinion to ensure nothing is missed in ensuring the maximum amount of compensation is obtained on your child's behalf.

This will make the process of obtaining compensation much faster and ensure the correct amount of compensation is paid and remember the guilty driver's insurer will pay your legal costs so there is a distinct advantage in using an expert solicitor.

5. A parental indemnity may lead to problems later on

If it is found that the compensation accepted by way of parental indemnity was insufficient or that money is miss spent you may be answerable in law to your child when he is an adult for concluding his claim in an improper manner.

6. Free Online legal help

Click child accident claim / parental indemnity for free online legal help in making a compensation claim or in choosing a top lawyer to help you with your child's compensation claim and avoid the need for parental indemnity.