If you want to pursue a personal injury compensation claim after a road traffic accident (RTA), you will typically do it yourself, albeit potentially using a solicitor to help.
However, in some cases, an injured party may be unable to bring a claim themselves. For example, a person cannot bring a personal injury claim if:
- They are under 18
- They lack the mental capacity to do so
- They are deceased
In these scenarios, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim on behalf of the person involved. However, if you do so, none of these claims will be eligible to be brought via the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal.
As such, you must take legal advice and instruct a solicitor to bring any such claim.
Let’s explore who can bring claims in these circumstances.
Bringing an RTA personal injury claim on behalf of a child
Under 18s can’t bring a personal injury claim themselves.
They would need what is known as a litigation friend, who can be:
- A parent or guardian
- Another family member aged 18 or over
- A friend aged 18 or over
- A social worker
- A solicitor
To act as a litigation friend for a child, you either need:
- Them to nominate you
- To apply to a court to do so
A solicitor typically does it only when no one else can or is willing to do so.
How a child can potentially bring an RTA personal injury claim themselves
Depending on the child’s age, there may be the option of waiting until they turn 18 if they want to bring a claim themselves. For example, if the child was involved in an RTA three months before their 18th birthday after just passing their driving test, they could wait until their birthday before starting proceedings.
In such cases, the usual three-year limitation period on personal injury claims would only begin on their 18th birthday. So, even if they were involved and injured in an RTA just after turning 16, they could still bring a personal injury claim up to the day before they turn 21.
Bringing an RTA personal injury claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity
Anyone unable to make decisions for themselves cannot bring a personal injury claim.
The injured party could, for example, have learning difficulties or be suffering from a neurological condition. If the person in question had a registered Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), there might already be someone who can bring a claim on their behalf.
There is no time limit for bringing an RTA personal injury claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity. However, should the person regain their mental capacity before someone has begun a claim on their behalf, the three-year time limit starts from the date they regained capacity.
Bringing an RTA personal injury claim on behalf of a deceased person
If an RTA led to a person’s death, you could potentially bring a compensation claim for fatal negligence.
To bring such a claim, you generally need to be classed as a dependent or representative of the deceased. People who can bring such claims are the deceased’s:
- Unmarried partner, if they were cohabiting for at least two years before their death
- Children, including adopted children and legal step-children
- Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews or cousins
- Executor or personal representative, who would bring a fatal negligence claim on behalf of the estate
In addition, anyone who the deceased treated as a parent or child could potentially bring such a claim, but they’d need to prove such a link.
When bringing a claim on behalf of a deceased person, it is also possible to claim:
- Additional damages for costs incurred by the deceased before their death resulting from the accident
- Expenses incurred by the estate resulting from the person’s death
What if someone dies of an unrelated cause while bringing a personal injury claim?
In this scenario, the executor or personal representative of the deceased could continue the claim, and the relevant party will pay any compensation sum to the estate.
If you’re acting on behalf of the deceased in this scenario, you may wish to take legal advice and obtain a post-mortem report to confirm if the accident and injury contributed to their death at all.
Need help in any of these scenarios? Contact us now
If you’re looking to bring an RTA personal injury claim in any of these scenarios, LawPlus Solicitors might be able to help.
Contact us now for a free, no-obligation review of your potential claim.