piChildren or Protected Parties

Claiming on behalf of children or protected parties.

The law provides special protection to children or protected parties (someone who in law is considered unable to manage their own affairs) who have suffered an injury and wish to bring a claim.  This would include someone who has been so seriously injured in an accident that they are unable to provide instructions themselves.

Time Limits to Claim:

The general rule that a claim must be commenced at Court within 3 years from the date of the injury, does not begin to apply until the child has reached 18 years of age.  In the case of a protected party the 3 year limit does not begin to run until they cease to be under a disability and are deemed to be capable of managing their own affairs.

Litigation Friend:

A child or protected party must bring a claim through someone known as a Litigation Friend. The Litigation Friend must be an adult and be able to act ‘fairly and competently' and have no conflict of interest with that of the protected party. All decisions in respect of the claim are taken by the Litigation Friend on behalf of and for the benefit of the child or protected party. Usually the Litigation Friend is a parent or close relative of the Claimant but in some cases the Court can appoint a professional person to act, such as a solicitor.


To protect the interests of the child or protected party no settlement of their claim can be agreed without the prior authority of the Court.  Even if the parties are able to negotiate a settlement which the Litigation Friend considers to be reasonable, the Court's approval is still required. This ensures that any proposed settlement is reasonable and is in the best interests of the Claimant.

Once the settlement has been approved by the Court in most cases the compensation money will be paid in to Court and invested in a special account where it will accrue interest. This money will then be released to the child on their 18th birthday.  It is possible to apply for money to be released from the funds held in Court if they are to be used for necessary expenses for example medical treatment, education etc.

In the case of a protected party the money will continue to be invested for the rest of their life or until they become capable of managing their own affairs. Please see the section on Court of Protection.

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