As parents, there is a lot of responsibility for the care and protection of your child, both physically, psychologically and legally. When a child is involved in an accident be it a car accident, fall, consumption of a poisonous substance or choking, it is the responsibility of the parent to bring a claim on their child’s behalf and ensure their welfare is paramount.
The parent or guardian is referred to as the “next friend” and must make the decisions on behalf of the child. The child themselves have more time to bring the case, with a parent or guardian acting on their behalf if they are under age. The child can wait to bring the claim when he/she reaches the legal age of 18 at which point they have 2 years to bring the claim themselves. Therefore, the child, if an infant when the accident occurs, has a total of 18 years plus two to bring a claim.
However, it is not advised that a child pursue the claim at 18. Usually, if a claim brought by a parent or guardian on behalf of the child is successful while the child is a minor any compensation awarded will be paid to the court and held in an interest holding account until the child is 18 years of age. Therefore, the child will receive the money directly after their 18th birthday. However, at the discretion of the judge some of the money can be paid directly prior to the age of 18 if there is an emergency need for it for medical purposes, education or general well being of the child.