If you have sustained an injury in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, the fact that you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s fault does not necessarily make you eligible for compensation. To qualify for compensation, you have to meet certain eligibility criteria. For example, how old do you have to be to make a claim?
Understanding age criteria
If you wish to make a personal injury compensation claim it will inevitably fall into one of the two categories specified by UK law, minors aged under 18 years or adults aged 18 years and above.
If you are under 18 years of age, one of your parents or a guardian must apply for compensation on your behalf. If the accident that caused your injury was reported to the police, but no-one made a compensation claim, you can commence a civil action as soon as you turn 18. You then have three years from the date of your birthday to make a claim for compensation. In other words, you have to take your claim to court before you turn 21. If no-one has reported the accident to the police, one of your parents or guardian has to make the claim within three years of the date of the accident.
If you are aged 18 years or over, you must claim compensation for your injury within three years of the date of the accident. If you are unable to make the claim within this time frame you can still apply for compensation as long as you provide medical evidence attesting that it was impossible for you to have applied earlier. The medical factor that prevented you from applying for compensation within three years is referred to as exceptional reason. Under UK law, any type of injury, including psychological damage, may be considered exceptional reason. Lack of knowledge is not taken into account.
Further eligibility requirements
You cannot file a compensation claim if you fail to present medical evidence that confirms your injuries. In addition to medical evidence, you must also provide proof of residence or citizenship, a police report, if available, and contact details of any witnesses. To support your case, confirmation from the police and/or eyewitnesses that you did not contribute to the accident is essential.
It is important to remember that you can only claim for compensation once. If you deliberately file two or more compensation claims for the same injury, under different schemes, you may be prosecuted for attempted fraud.
Understanding the application process
Once an expert at Accident Advice Helpline has answered your question concerning how old you have to be to make a claim, we have a team of experienced solicitors ready to help you apply for personal injury compensation. To ensure that your claim is successful one of them will prepare the necessary evidence and help you fill out the standard application form. Once you provide the details we require, we will do everything we can to help you get the compensation you deserve. To find how much you will be able to claim just give our team a call on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: October 16, 2013
Author: David Brown