Personal Injury Awards to Minors

A child under the age of eighteen who has been involved in an accident or who has suffered personal injuries as a result of the negligence of another is entitled to claim for damages under the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.  However, the minor child must have an adult (usually a parent) to act for him or her in taking the action on his or her behalf.  The adult who takes the case on behalf of the minor is called his or her “next friend”.


A personal injuries award made to a minor is not released to him or her until he or she reaches the age of eighteen.  The money is held by the Court’s Accountant’s Office and is invested in Court funds.  Upon turning eighteen, he or she may then apply to the Court to seek the release of the money awarded as a result of the personal injuries suffered.


Before the minor turns eighteen, he or she can apply to Court for the release of funds which are considered necessary.  These are usually expenses such as those for school or for items which assist in the normal development and growth of a child.


In June 2012, a teenage boy applied to the Circuit Court for the release of €5,000 from an award of €20,500 so that he could insure and tax a car he had recently bought.  Mr. Justice Matthew Deery, hearing the application, stated that although he did not wish to see an uninsured car on the road, he felt that this amount was too much for someone of such a young age and instead paid out the sum of €2,000 to his mother who had brought the personal injury action on behalf of her son.

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