Robbie Wilson, Head of Medical Negligence, Anderson Strathern
Pursuing a personal injury and medical negligence claim on behalf of a child can be a long, challenging and emotional process for parents. Not only do they have the challenges involved with raising a disabled child but the added burden of dealing with a legal claim. However, making a claim can be crucial to ensure that the child and their parents are put, as far as money ever can, into the position that they would have been in, had the negligence not occurred.
As part of the claim for a brain injured child, we instruct a care and case manager to prepare an expert report on the recommendations and costings for putting in place a care package for our client now and throughout their life. This report, and the financial compensation that can be achieved by pursuing a claim, can assist parents with putting in place a care package that is tailored to suit the needs of their child. Care reports will consider the hours of care, case management and therapies that may be required and the costs involved. They can also suggest specialist care equipment and explore making adaptations to the family home which may assist with future independence.
We can arrange for a case manager to be appointed and liaise with them on behalf of the parents. By getting a case manager involved, they take over co-ordinating the care and therapies so that parents don’t have to attend to all the logistics. The case manager can provide regular reports to update on the status of the care arrangements and the child’s rehabilitation progress.
Suitable care arrangements that are tailored to a child’s needs and reviewed regularly by a case manager can ease the pressure on parents and enable them to focus on the role of being parents rather than the full-time carers they didn’t expect to become for their child.
Personal Injury Trusts
Following the settlement of a claim, it is important for parents to consider how best to deal with the financial award received. It is possible for parents to set up a personal injury trust to hold the funds on behalf of their child. There are a few different types of trusts that can be used and deciding on which is most suitable will depend on particular circumstances.
A personal injury trust can be beneficial for parents for a variety of reasons. Firstly, parents can consider who they would like to be appointed as Trustees to manage the funds. It is also possible for the parents to act as Trustees themselves. The appointed Trustees will, for the duration of their involvement in the trust, always act in the best interests of the child when making decisions and must use the funds to benefit the child. This can provide peace of mind to parents that their child will always be provided for and assisted by those who will have their child’s best interests at the forefront of their decision making.
Secondly, as funds in a personal injury trust are held by the Trustees, this can offer protection against the funds being assessed for the purpose of means tested benefits.
Thirdly, once the Trust is up and running there are options available for professional support with the ongoing administration. This can include arranging/holding meetings with the Trustees to discuss the child’s ongoing needs and how the funds can be used to assist them. Financial advice is also an important factor for the Trustees to consider in order to ensure the child’s funds are invested and grow to fully meet the child’s future needs and requirements.
Proceeding with a personal injury or medical negligence claim can allow parents to provide the best possible support for their child’s future. With an award, parents can choose to set up a suitable care package for their child and to arrange ongoing protections as well as financial support for throughout their child’s life.
If you have questions about any of the information in this article, you can contact Robbie on: Robbie.firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 270 7941.