What is a litigation friend?
A litigation friend is typically somebody close to the person who has been injured, such as a parent, partner or friend who acts on their behalf.
The litigation friend then becomes the point of contact for the injured person if they are unable to make a claim on their own. This could be because they are too young, have a pre-existing condition, don’t speak the same language or have been seriously injured meaning that they cannot make decisions about the legal case themselves.
While it may feel like a big responsibility to be a litigation friend, we’re here to explain everything to you simply and to make the process straightforward, so that you can focus on being there for the person who’s been injured.
Who can be a litigation friend?
Anybody can be appointed as a litigation friend by the court. Appointing a litigation friend is the legal process of choosing somebody who can act in the best interests of someone who has been unfairly hurt. That means anybody who is in the best position to look after the injured party’s interests can be a litigation friend.
Typically, litigation friends tend to be:
Are you suitable to be a litigation friend?
When you apply with your solicitor to act as a litigation friend for your injured loved one, the court will check that you’re suitable to act on their behalf. This is nothing to feel anxious about, and your solicitor will talk you through this.
To make sure that you’re suitable to act as a litigation friend, the court will check that your interests don’t conflict with those of the person who has been injured. For example, if the person was injured as a result of a road accident where you were at fault, then you would be unable to act as their litigation friend.
The court will also check that you have the ability to make decisions in a fair and competent way. For example, if you are protected under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, then the court may decide that you are not able to make a decision on behalf of your loved one.
In any of these instances your solicitor will be able to help you understand why you are not suitable and can then help you take the next steps to ensure your loved one gets the apology and compensation they deserve.
How to apply to be a litigation friend
If you decide to claim when you call us, your solicitor will be able to help you with the process of getting ‘litigation friend’ status so that you can claim the financial support your loved one needs.
This means you don’t need to worry about applying, finding the right paperwork or ticking the right boxes because your solicitor will make sure that it’s done for you and that you’re kept informed every step of the way.
How we can help
We know it’s easy to be put off claiming or enquiring on someone else’s behalf because the process can seem complicated and daunting. While the time it takes to make a claim can vary, we always try to make the process of finding out if you can claim and starting your case as straightforward as possible.
In fact, if you’re thinking of contacting us on behalf of a loved one, we’ll want to make sure you fully understand your legal position and the legal status of your injured family member or friend, which is why we’ll also never pressure you into starting a claim.
Our service to you is completely free and advisory, so when you contact us you can have a pressure free chat about what your loved one has experienced and how that’s affected your family, finances and emotional health. We’re here to listen, so if you just want to talk about the accident or if you’re looking to start a claim, we’re here to help you.
The simplest way to find out whether we think your loved one is entitled to compensation is to contact us for free on 0800 376 0150. Our friendly advisors will usually be able to let you know if your loved one is eligible to claim on the same call.
Or, if you’d prefer we can call you back. Just enter your details into one of our call back forms and we’ll try to contact you within 30 minutes to discuss how we can help you.