I am considering pursuing a claim for an injury from a faulty shopping trolley but am not sure if I qualify? I was recently shopping in a well-known supermarket with my two-year-old son when after he began to cry, I discovered that he had been cut by a chuck of metal protruding from the normal frame of the trolley – he was sitting in the child seat at the side of the trolley nearest to me. Although the injury was not severe and there was no permanent damage I still feel that we are entitled to be compensated. Am I eligible to claim compensation?
Whether you are entitled to claim for an injury from a faulty shopping trolley depends on who was at fault for your child’s injury. Supermarkets, as with all businesses, have a duty of care toward their customers – proving that they failed in their duty is essential to being awarded compensation. Certainly, a trolley with a defect serious enough to harm a child should not have been made available to the public and should have been noticed by staff. Proving that the supermarket was negligent in allowing you, a customer, to use the trolley will be key to your claim.
While you may be able to claim compensation for your child’s injuries, the claim must be taken by the your son – with someone acting on his behalf – and not by you. Acting on behalf of your child, you or your spouse will be acting as a Litigation Friend; a position that requires whoever takes on the responsibility to bear any costs that are derived from the case. Although it may not apply in your case – unless you were in some way responsible for your child’s injuries – it is worth noting that a claim on behalf of a child cannot be pursued by a person with a conflict of interest.
Claims taken on behalf of children – that is, anyone up to 18 years of age – are pursued in much the same way as claims involving an adult, although there are a few minor differences. The Statute of Limitations, which normally applies a three-year time limit to the time in which personal injury claims can be pursued, does not apply in cases involving minors up until the day of their eighteenth birthday, at which date the time limit begins counting down. Added to that, the awards granted by judges are kept in court funds until the child reaches adulthood – save for medical and educational expenses.
In order to receive a more in-depth answer to your question about a claim for an injury from a faulty shopping trolley, you should speak with a solicitor at the first available opportunity, which as mentioned above can be done via our freephone injury claims advice service.