How to find out where a child’s compensation is held following a car accident claim and how to access the money from the Court Funds Office when the child becomes an adult at the age of 18.
Child car accident compensation claim question
Myself & my seven-year-old son was involved in a car accident. As I was the driver my wife dealt with his compensation claim and my son was awarded compensation. A few years later my wife passed away. And we moved address. My son is now 19 years old. How do I find out where the money has been held for him and how can he access it?
Personal injury solicitor response
As your son at the time was a minor (under the age of 18 years) the court would have been involved by way of a minor settlement hearing. At this hearing the figure for his compensation is agreed and his compensation monies paid into the Court Funds Office – where the money would be kept until the your son reached the age of 18 years.
At this stage it would be typical that your son could request payment of the compensation money (this will be far larger than the original compensation money as interest is added and compounded over the years).
Your wife would have been your son’s litigation friend providing instructions on your son’s behalf. It is usual that a driver would not be the litigation friend for a passenger just in case the driver is found in someway at fault for the accident and therefore allow a conflict of interest to exist.
Given your wife has since passed and you have changed address it is likely that any communication from the Court Funds Office might have gone astray.
Accessing money in the Court Fund Office
Your best approach to find out how to access this money are twofold:
1. Try to find any correspondence from the Courts Funds Office with contact and reference numbers.
2. Contact the solicitor that had conduct of your son’s claim. Your partner would have been a litigation friend (providing instructions), but the claim was still your son’s.
3. Click government guidance to see what guidance the Court Funds Office can give you themselves.
4. Click court money held for children to see the official guidance given to a litigation friend in managing a child’s compensation account held in the Court Funds Office. Including keeping the address up to date and managing statements.