How To Make A Claim
An adult is appointed to as as the ‘next friend’ for the child throughout this process, which would usually be the child’s mother or father. The child’s own doctor assesses and prepares a medical report in respect of the child, which is then lodged to PIAB along with the application form.
The assessment made by PIAB in an infant case must be approved by the court, who assume a supervisory rule to make sure the child is adequately compensated and protected.
How Long It Takes
The Statute of Limitations for a child is different to that of an adult, in that they have two years from the date they turn 18 years old to bring their action. However, it is always advisable that the action is brought as soon as possible so that all the evidence is preserved and can be produced.
PIAB can take between 9-15 months to assess your claim. They will then issue an assessment which can be accepted or rejected by both parties as well as the court, and will only become binding if accepted by both parties involved.
If either parties rejects PIAB’s assessment, an authorisation will be issued allowing the Claimant to issue proceedings. The length of court proceedings will depend on which court is dealing with the matter, i.e. the District Court, Circuit Court or High Court, and also the complexities of the case. To progress a case through the courts, it may take anywhere between 1-3 years.
The money awarded to the child is held by the court for the child’s benefit until they reach the age of majoirty. Once they reach 18 years of age, an application can be made for the payment to be made directly to them.