Child Compensation: Payment Of Compensation Monies To Children Following A Fatal Accident
Solicitor explains how old you must be to be considered a child in the eyes of the law; the process that should be followed when a child receives compensation following a fatal accident; the need for a court to decide which compensation monies can be paid immediately for the care of the child and which should be retained at court.
How old do you have to be to be classed as a child?
Different parts of the United Kingdom have slightly different laws relating to the age you need to be to be classed as a child.
For example – In England and Wales a child becomes an adult at the age of 18 years and in Scotland becomes an adult at the age of 16 years. The age a child becomes an adult is known as the age of majority.
How does payment of child compensation differ to payment of adult compensation in a personal injury claim?
In a general personal injury claim (such as a road accident) which does not involve a fatality – children may be awarded compensation for pain and suffering and financial loss and expense.
If a claim is made for an adult, compensation payments are made as soon as the claim concludes whereas the child compensation is paid into court until the child reaches the age of majority (turns into an adult).
See our child accident claims process article for an explanation of the child compensation claims process when the child themselves suffer injury.
Importantly – a child compensation claim cannot conclude without a hearing before a judge in a minor settlement hearing / infant approval hearing with a litigation friend providing the instructions on behalf of the child at the hearing.
The determination of who should be the litigation friend is set out in in Part 21 Of Civil Procedure Rules.
During this hearing the judge also authorises and invests the child’s compensation money in the Court Funds Office.
How does payment of child compensation differ when there is a fatal accident?
These types of loss are not claimed in a personal injury claim where no death occurs. Importantly following the death of a provider – some of the child’s compensation (notably part of the dependency claim) is needed immediately to assist with caring for the child as he/she grows up.
Consequently, a minor settlement / infant approval hearing again takes place, but the judge decides an apportionment – how much is paid into the Court Funds Office (until the child is 18 years old) and how much is released to the carer to spend on the child until reaching adulthood.
Specialist Fatal Accident Solicitor Child Compensation Claim Free Help
Fatal accidents generally are complex – claims involving child claimants recovering compensation for the death of a parent or other relatives even more so. We offer specialist solicitor free online & telephone assistance should you wish to discuss a fatal accident, including payment of compensation for children.