Road traffic accidents
At Bolt Burdon Kemp, we have been representing injured children since 1986. For over 35 years, we have dealt with every scenario imaginable from head-on collisions to rear shunts.
When children are involved in road accidents the consequences can be devastating, particularly if they have suffered a brain injury. As the parent or carer of a child who has suffered a brain injury in a road accident, you need to feel confident that you have instructed a solicitor who understands the unique features of the law relating to children and road accidents.
Many of our clients in the child brain injury team are children who have been hit by a car whilst crossing the road. Sadly, this is a common occurrence. In cases involving child pedestrians, it is common for the driver to say the accident was the child’s fault. Even if your child ran into the road without looking, there were no witnesses, and the driver was driving within the speed limit, we may be able to help.
Children are classed as vulnerable road users because they are unable to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles and may misunderstand the intention of drivers. They can be easily distracted and at risk of running into the road without looking. As a result, drivers are required to take extra care and to drive with the safety of children in mind at a speed suitable for the conditions (Highway Code Rule 205). Drivers must drive carefully and slowly when passing parked vehicles including ice cream vans, bus stops and schools (Highway Code Rule 206).
If your child was a passenger and suffered a brain injury in a road traffic accident, they will be usually be entitled to claim compensation from the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling, or the driver of another vehicle who caused the accident. The child can still make a claim if their parent/carer caused the accident. In this situation, the parent/carer’s insurance company would pay the child’s compensation.
Children on bicycles are particularly vulnerable to head and brain injuries. Accidents involving child cyclists are often the result of the child playing or losing control. Although cycle helmets are advisable, they are not compulsory in the UK, therefore if your child suffered a brain injury in a cycling accident, we may be able to help even if they were not wearing a cycling helmet.
Children on scooters
Scooters are a fun and efficient way for children to travel to and from school, however, accidents can occur while crossing the road or when passing driveways despite parental supervision. In the last few years e-scooter use has increased on our roads and pavements and they are proving ever more popular with children. If your child has suffered a brain injury in a road accident while riding a scooter or an e-scooter, talk to us as you may be able to claim compensation for them whether or not they were wearing a helmet.
Sadly, the number of uninsured drivers on our roads has been on the increase in recent years. If your child suffered a brain injury in a road accident involving an uninsured driver, he/she may still be able to claim compensation through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Other accidents which lead to children suffering brain injuries
Accidents outside the home
Unfortunately, the number of scenarios in which a child could suffer a brain injury are numerous. Here are a few examples of the types of accidents that our child brain injury solicitors have experience of dealing with:
- Accidents due to lack of supervision by staff whilst at school/nursery
- Accidents in public places, such as supermarkets, shopping centres, leisure centres, parks, playgrounds or play centres
- Accidents due to defective equipment or premises
- Accidents suffered while playing sport
Accidents inside your rented home
If your child suffers a brain injury due to an accident at home and you rent your home from a private landlord or local authority/housing association you may be able to claim compensation for your child’s injuries if they were caused by dangerous or defective/faulty equipment or premises. This can include falls, for example, where windows do not lock properly or are broken.
Carbon monoxide exposure
Exposure to carbon monoxide fumes can cause brain injury. If you suspect your child has suffered a brain injury due to exposure to carbon monoxide fumes from faulty gas appliances, speak to one of our child brain injury solicitors today to see whether your child is entitled to claim compensation.