Road accidents are the most common cause of accidental death and serious injuries in children. In 2017, the number of children killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads increased by more than a fifth, according to the Department for Transport.

Road accidents can happen when young children are crossing the road, walking to and from school or playing in public places. They can also happen when children are travelling as passengers in a car, on public transport or on a school bus.

Whether they’ve been injured or not, road traffic accidents can have a physical and emotional impact on the child and their family. Parents and guardians can pursue compensation claims on behalf of children who have been injured in road accidents, but it can sometimes be tricky to resolve who is at fault.

If your child has been involved in a road traffic accident and you would like advice on whether to make a claim, you can contact our lawyers confidentially - with no obligation - on 0800 0 224 224 or fill in our online claim form.

Frequently asked questions about child road accidents

Find out more about making a child's road accident claim below.

1.) Child road accidents - who is at fault?

Parents and guardians naturally feel a strong sense of responsibility and accountability for children's actions, and safety, but cannot have eyes and ears everywhere.

The majority of drivers take great care to act responsibly on the roads, in particular near schools or parks where children may be present. Children too are often taught road safety from a young age. Despite vigilance on all sides, children can and are injured on the roads, and it can be tricky to prove who is at fault.

In the case of a young child running into the road ‘without looking’ or a driver having to swerve to avoid causing injury to a child playing in the road, the driver may make a claim against the child’s parents for negligence. However, the parents are also entitled to make a claim on behalf of their child to compensate them for their injuries – it may be that the driver was driving too fast or not paying adequate attention.

2.) Are parents to blame for children’s road accidents?

Sadly, insurance companies do try to blame parents for road accidents involving children. They try to say that parents failed to instil a child with sufficient road safety knowledge, or for not supervising their child properly. This tactic is often used to confuse the process in the hope that by making the parent the defendant (i.e. the person liable for an accident) they may back down from making a claim for their injured child.

3.) What to do in a road accident case that involves children?

The first thing you should do in a children’s road accident is to ensure all parties receive appropriate medical attention. You should also exchange contact information and record the date and time of the accident, such as where it happened, the name and address of the driver responsible and the name of the police station where the accident was reported. This information will be needed if you decide to start a child road accident compensation claim. If you don’t have this information, you can still make a claim for compensation: our lawyers will work with you to gather the details to support your case.

4.) How can Thompsons Solicitors help with children’s road accident claims?

Thompsons Solicitors can help you to make a claim for compensation if your child has been hurt in a road accident. Our road traffic accident lawyers have decades of experience in helping children and their parents to secure compensation after being injured in accidents involving cars, bikes, motorbikes and other vehicles. We can help you get damages to cover the costs of medical expenses, getting to and from the hospital and any losses incurred by you from staying at home to care for your child.

What is a road accident?

Help your child to understand what a road accident is and the steps they should take to avoid getting injured with our #StayRoadSafe infographic.

A guide to what is a road accident explained in simple terms for children.

Need more information?

For more information about road traffic accident claims, visit our service page. To stay up to speed on road traffic safety, visit our #StayRoadSafe campaign page.