When a small child suffers any sort of injury at nursery, it can be extremely stressful for all concerned. The first and foremost important thing is to make sure your child receives the necessary medical treatment for the injuries they sustained. Once this has been done, you may want to consider filing a child injury at nursery claim for compensation which could help fund any treatment and future medical care your child may require.
To find out more on how to file a child injury at nursery claim and what evidence would be required, please read on.
Would My Child Injury at Nursery Claim be Valid?
There are a number of reasons why as a parent, a guardian or a carer, you would want to claim for compensation if your child is injured in a nursery accident. Should any of the follow apply to your case, it could entitle you to make a personal injury claim against the negligent third party:
- The nursery environment was unsafe – should your child have been exposed to an unsafe area and as a consequence suffered injuries, then you could file for compensation. Examples of unsafe environments would include things like sharp corners or edges on surfaces that are found in the nursery or unsafe, badly maintained equipment in playgrounds
- Staff being insufficiently trained or inadequate levels of staffing – nurseries are regulated under UK law which dictates how many younger children of a specific age can be cared for by one member of staff. It is also necessary for a specific number of trained senior staff are on the premises at any given time and there should also be one designated first aid trained member of staff present at all times
- Negligence on the part of a member of staff at the nursery
If your child was injured when they were at a nursery, you could contact a solicitor who could assess your case by offering you a no obligation, free, initial consultation before advising you on how to pursue your claim against a third party.
What Could I Include in a Child Injury at Nursery Claim?
When filing a personal injury claim for compensation for a child who suffered an injury while at nursery, there are specific things that can be included in the claim which are as follows:
- You would be entitled to claim for damages which your child sustained as well as damages you endured as a parent. This would come under general damages which are awarded for the injuries sustained both physical and psychological
- You would also be entitled to claim special damages although these are less commonly awarded in child injury at nursery claims unless the child involved in the accident lost out on work they had as a child actor or child model. However, as a parent, guardian or carer, you could claim for any of your loss of earnings which you incurred because you had to look after your injured child and therefore you were unable to work during their recovery. Special damages are also awarded to compensate you for all your out of pocket expenses which includes medical and travel costs that can be directly linked to the injuries your child sustained
Special damages would be awarded to compensate you for the following too:
- Home adaptations should these be necessary
- Ongoing, long-term treatment or therapy that your child may require
- Care costs should your child need constant looking after
- Psychiatric care if your child’s injuries are such that they are left with having to cope with long-term psychological trauma
Who Could be Held Responsible for a Child Injury at Nursery?
It is the nursery that your child attends who would be responsible for the health and safety of all the young children in their care. Should your child be injured when they are in the nursery and it can be proved that the establishment was negligent in their duty, you would be entitled to seek compensation by filing a child nursery injury claim against them. The nursery should have an accident health and safety policy in place which should make very clear what has to be done when a child is injured whilst in their care.
The majority of nursery accidents typically happen through negligence whether it is staff who fails to perform their duties correctly or because the establishment fails to provide a safe environment for young children to be in. With this said, should your child be injured in a nursery by another child, claiming compensation can be more complicated because UK law protects children from being prosecuted. However, in most instances, blame could still be attributed to the establishment because they failed to protect a child whilst in their care.
Can I Make a Child Injury at Nursery Claim That Happened in the Past?
The statutory time limit for filing a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date of an injury but when children are involved, the deadline is slightly different. This is because the time limit would only begin when the child turns 18 years of age. As such, a child who is injured when still a minor, would have up until they are 21 years old to file a personal injury claim against a negligent third party, in this case the nursery they attended when they suffered an injury.
However, it is far better to file a claim as soon as possible while things are still fresh in the minds of all concerned which includes any witnesses to the incident. With this said, should your child have suffered psychological damage, any symptoms may not be apparent until much later on in time but providing your child has not turned 21, you would still be within the statutory time limit to claim compensation by filing a child nursery injury claim.
How Do I Start a Child Injury at Nursery Claim?
Knowing that your child suffered an injury whilst they were at a nursery can be stressful and the last thing on your mind may well be claiming compensation from the party responsible. However, once your child has been treated for the injuries they sustained, you should contact a personal injury solicitor who would assess your case against the nursery in a no obligation, initial consultation that is typically free of charge.
This allows you the opportunity to decide whether you want to pursue the case and should the solicitor believe that you do have a claim against the nursery, they would offer you No Win No Fee terms when representing you. This takes all the worry of paying for costly legal advice and representation off the table and allows you to place all your attention on making sure your child recovers from the injury they suffered.
You would need to provide evidence to support your claim bearing in mind that when young children are injured, finding out what actually happened can prove challenging. As such, there are certain things you can ask your child which would help prompt a calm reply from them which are as follows:
- Where were you when the accident happened?
- Were you on your own?
- Where was your teacher or supervisor?
- Can you remember what you were doing when you got hurt?
- Were any other children around?
- Were you told to stop doing what you were doing before you got hurt?
It is important to gather the basic information first after which time you can then ask your child more in-depth questions remembering to keep things as simple as possible so as not to confuse or frighten your child. It is worth taking your time when asking any questions about what happened and not to rush things too much.
Once you are happy that you have all the accident details, you must ensure that the incident was reported to the nursery because they are legally bound to send a report of any serious incident that incurs to the Health and Safety Executive. It is worth noting that if you do not report the incident to the nursery, you would not be able to file a personal injury claim against the establishment.
How Can a Solicitor Help Me File a Child Injury at Nursery Claim?
Because nursery injury claims tend to be complex, it is best to seek legal advice and guidance from a solicitor. The solicitor would, as previously mentioned, assess your claim first and then offer vital legal advice on how to proceed with your case against the nursery. Should the establishment deny liability for the injury your child sustained whilst in their care, the solicitor would typically recommend pursuing your case through the courts providing you have sufficient evidence to support your claim.
A solicitor, acting on your behalf would handle all aspects of your claim and would communicate with the nursery as well as their insurance providers. Other benefits a solicitor would bring to the table when filing a nursery injury claim are as follows:
- They would assist you in gathering the evidence required to support your claim
- They would arrange for your child to be examined by an independent medical professional and the report produced would be a key factor in calculating the level of nursery injury compensation you may be awarded either through the court or in an out of court settlement
- Should your child require ongoing treatment or therapy, the solicitor would ensure that the cost of this is included in the final settlement you are awarded
Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Represent Me if I Make a Child Injury at Nursery Claim?
Once a solicitor has determined that your case against the nursery is valid and that the establishment can be held responsible for the injury your child suffered whilst in their care, they would typically offer you No Win No Fee terms when acting on your behalf. This means that you can file a claim for compensation without worrying about any legal fees. This is because of the following:
- You would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement and as such there would be no upfront fee
- You would only pay the solicitor when you are awarded nursery injury compensation for your child and the amount, the “success fee”, is deducted from the money you receive
- If you lose your case against the nursery, you would not have to pay for the legal advice and the representation the solicitor provided when acting on your behalf
In short when you work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you don’t have to worry about any financial risk to yourself. It allows you to seek compensation by filing a child injury at nursery claim against a negligent third party while at the same time caring for your child at a time when they need you the most.
The link provided below takes you to the government website that provides information to education providers to ensure they are aware of how to keep risks to a minimum for both children, teachers and other workers:
To find out more about the responsibilities of schools and nurseries, please follow the link below:
For more information on reporting an incident involving a child to Ofsted, please follow the link provided below: