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Personal Injury
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By Conal McGarrity
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Claiming on Behalf of a Minor – Maximise their Compensation

If a minor (someone who is under 18) suffers a personal injury their parent or guardian can claim damages on their behalf as their ‘next friend’. When compensation is awarded to a minor in respect of a personal injury the matter must be brought in front of a Judge to be approved. If the award is deemed to be suitable the sum will normally be held in the Court fund office until the minor turns 18.

A common example of this is children being injured as passengers in a road traffic accident. The compensation awarded to the minor will depend on the severity of injuries amongst other factors.

While it is comforting to know that your child will receive the compensation when they turn 18 it should also be acknowledged that interest payments by the court funds office are quite poor. Many parents have already got child trust funds or ISA’s set up for their children. If your child is awarded compensation for a personal injury it may be more advisable to have the sum awarded held in these as the interest rates can be much higher than that of the court funds office.

At PA Duffy and Company we often advise our clients in this position that an application can be made to the court to reinvest monies held by the court to an ISA that has been previously set up for the benefit of the subject.

If, for example, a toddler or young child is involved in an accident and is awarded compensation the money may sit in an ISA or trust fund for up to 15 years and garner significantly more interest than would be the case if the award remained in the court funds office. Our personal injury solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with injuries to minors. After we negotiate an appropriate settlement that you are happy with and it is approved by a judge we will then lay out your options with regard to holding the money until your child or ward turns 18.

Taking our advice on making an application to place the monies in an ISA is certainly an option that you should consider on behalf of your child. Our expert legal team can make this application on your behalf and help you understand the process.

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