My son was burned by a firework during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the town centre, is he eligible to make a compensation claim for an injury from a fireworks display?
Under the UK Statute of Limitations a child is not permitted to appoint a solicitor or initiate a claim for compensation, therefore if you wish to claim for an injury from a fireworks display, you have two choices, wait until the child turns 18 years of age and is legally recognised as an adult or appoint a litigation friend to act on behalf of the child.
A litigation friend must be approved by the court and there cannot be a conflict of interest. For example, if a particular person is believed to be the negligent party, they cannot represent the child.
Other than appointing a litigation friend, the procedure for claiming compensation is quite similar to that of an adult. If it was a public fireworks display in the town centre, it is likely the council is responsible for the display and the public’s safety, therefore in order for your child to successfully claim compensation for their injuries, it must be demonstrated that the council’s negligence led to the accident and consequently the child’s injuries.
If it was a burns injury it is likely you’ve sought professional medical care already, this is important as you must protect the health of the child first before seeking compensation. It will also ensure that you will be able to substantiate the claim for injury with a medical record detailing the severity of the injuries sustained.
In order to support a claim for an injury from a fireworks display, you are also advised to gather all the evidence you can find. Photographs of the injury, testimonies from people who witnessed the accident as well as CCTV footage could all prove very useful. As it was a New Year’s Eve event, it is likely many people had a video camera with them; therefore it would be worth investigating if any other member of the public has footage of the incident.
Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, you are advised to speak with a personal injury solicitor as they will be able to best advise you whether you should pursue your claim for compensation or not once they have evaluated the circumstances surrounding your child’s claim for an injury from a fireworks display.