baby sleeping in car seat

Children’s Car Accident Claims Explained

April 23, 2024

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident involving children can be profoundly distressing, but when it comes to legal matters, understanding how to proceed with child accident claims is crucial for ensuring the well-being and rights of the youngest victims are adequately protected. This blog provides a comprehensive overview of the necessary steps and considerations for handling these sensitive claims. Let’s take a look.

Understanding Children’s Car Accident Claims

If your child has been involved in a car accident, grasping the basics of child accident claims is the first step towards advocating for their rights. Unlike claims for adults, those for minors require special attention and procedures to ensure that the compensation covers their long-term recovery needs. These claims are not just about immediate medical expenses but also consider future rehabilitation costs, educational needs if the child's learning capabilities have been impacted, and emotional distress.

The Legal Process for Filing a Claim

Embarking on the legal journey to secure a claim for your child might seem daunting. The process typically involves filing a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company, a task often managed by the guardian or parent. Since children cannot legally represent themselves, an adult must act on their behalf. This representative must ensure that all documentation, from medical records to accident reports, is meticulously gathered and presented to support the claim effectively.

Types of Damages and Compensation Available for Children

When pursuing child accident claims, the types of compensation you can seek extend beyond immediate physical injuries. It's vital to consider both economic damages, such as medical expenses and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Future considerations, such as costs for psychological counselling or special education services, should also be factored into the claim to address the full scope of the impact on the child’s life.

The Role of Insurance Companies

Parent helping her child perform first aid knee injury after she has been an accident

Insurance companies play a pivotal role in the settlement of child accident claims. Navigating these waters can be tricky, as insurers often aim to settle claims quickly and economically. It's important for guardians to understand that initial offers might not fully cover the extensive needs of a child post-accident. Patience and persistence in negotiations, backed by solid evidence and, if necessary, legal support, are key to obtaining a fair settlement.

Legal Representation and Support

Securing knowledgeable legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of a child accident claim. A skilled lawyer who specialises in personal injury and child welfare laws will provide the necessary guidance through the complexities of legal proceedings and ensure that the child’s rights and future are vigorously defended. This legal ally can advocate for the fullest compensation possible and stand up to insurance companies that may attempt to undervalue the claim.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself overseeing a child’s recovery from an accident, understanding how to navigate child accident claims is your first step to getting the financial compensation you deserve. And with the right information and support, you can make informed decisions that prioritise your child’s long-term health and happiness.

Remember, while the road to recovery can be long and fraught with challenges, securing comprehensive compensation can provide a smoother path forward, both mentally and financially. Embrace the support of qualified professionals to guide you through this trying time, ensuring that your child’s needs are fully met both now and in the future.


What is the statute of limitations for filing a child accident claim?

For many legal claims, there is a statute of limitations—a specific time limit within which you must file a claim. However, for child accident claims, this time limit often does not begin until the child reaches the age of majority (typically 18 years old). This means that a child or their family generally has until the child’s 18th birthday plus the standard time limit period (which varies by jurisdiction) to file a claim. This extension is designed to protect the rights of minors until they are legally capable of making such decisions themselves.

How is liability determined in accidents involving children?

Determining liability in accidents involving children can be more complex than with adults. For instance, if a child is struck by a car while riding a bike, the investigation will consider factors such as the driver's adherence to road laws, the presence and functionality of crosswalks or bike lanes, and whether the child was under adequate supervision or was following traffic rules applicable to cyclists. Each party's actions leading up to the accident will be scrutinised to establish negligence and liability.

Can a child receive compensation for emotional trauma after an accident?

Yes, children are eligible to receive compensation for emotional trauma following an accident, which is categorised under non-economic damages. This compensation recognizes the psychological impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress, which may affect the child's daily functioning and overall quality of life. To claim these damages, documentation from psychological evaluations, therapist notes, and testimony from mental health professionals can support the child's case for emotional distress compensation.