Byrne Carolan Cunningham Solicitors are proud of their extensive reputation for renowned excellence in successfully litigating personal injury claims. We are equally proud of our outstanding reputation in successfully litigating personal injury claims on behalf of minors i.e. children under the age of eighteen years, and also on behalf of young adults who suffered personal injuries as a child.
Personal injury compensation claims for minors are managed differently to those of an adult. A minor is not permitted to engage a solicitor or initiate legal action in their own right. Accordingly, minors seeking compensation for a personal injury must be represented by a parent or guardian who may instruct a solicitor on their behalf. The adult acting on their behalf is known, for the purpose of legal proceedings, as a “next friend”.
The statute which sets out time limits in which a person can bring a personal injury action in Ireland is called the Statute of Limitations. This statute imposes a strict rule in that a personal injury action must be instituted within two years of the event causing the personal injury or within two years of the date of knowledge of such event. This strict rule however differs in the case of a child suffering a personal injury in that the time limit does not commence until the child reaches the age of majority on their eighteenth birthday. Therefore, a minor has two years from their eighteenth birthday in which to claim compensation for the injury they suffered as a child. Alternatively, in the event of a child suffering a personal injury their parent or guardian may initiate the personal injury action on their behalf before the child reaches eighteen years.
It is often advantageous to pursue a personal injury claim on behalf of a child sooner rather than later as it may prove problematic to gather evidence supporting the claim if one waits several years to pursue the personal injury action.
In the event of a successful outcome, funds received from the personal injury compensation claim will be paid to the court. The funds will be retained on the child’s behalf until the child reaches the age of eighteen. If funds are urgently required before the child reaches eighteen, for example for educational or medical purposes, then an application may be made to court seeking the early release of funds.
If you are under the age of twenty years and sustained a personal injury as a child, or if your child was recently injured in an accident, please call us today for advice. Our expert team of Solicitors will be happy to advise you on a confidential, no obligation basis.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.