Your questions about claiming answered
We understand how stressful life can be after an accident and we know that the process of claiming compensation can seem daunting. But, if you choose to start your claim with us, we promise that we’ll work hard to keep things as straightforward as possible.
We aim to make sure you know what to expect before starting your claim. With this in mind, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions.
Search for a keyword below to filter our FAQs:
A personal injury is a physical or psychological injury, illness or disease that has been caused by somebody else. Personal injuries are usually the result of accidents that were avoidable and shouldn’t have happened at all.
A personal injury claim is the process of recovering compensation for an accident or negligent act that caused you or a loved one an injury.
Read more about our work with personal injury claims.
Typically, if you’ve suffered an injury in the last three years because of an accident or medical mistake that wasn’t your fault, then it’s likely you have a compensation claim.
There are some cases where these criteria might be different. For example, if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you have three years from their 18th birthday to make a claim, regardless of how old they were when they were injured.
Quite simply, yes. If you’re thinking of making a claim on behalf of a friend or loved one, then it’s likely we can help you.
To find out more information please visit our claiming on behalf of someone else page.
Starting your claim with us is simple. When you contact us we’ll ask you some details about your accident, injury and recovery. This is so that we can fully understand the cause, what happened and the impact your injury has had on your life.
We’ll then be able to let you know whether we think you have claim. If you are eligible and you decide you’d like to go ahead, we’ll select a specialist solicitor from our panel to suit your particular case. You’ll then be transferred to them, usually on the same call.
Your solicitor will be able to answer any further questions and can help you to start your claim. They’ll be able to give you more information about our no win no fee agreement.
We’re only able to help you claim for your physical injury and the impact this has had on your life. If you’ve been unfairly dismissed from work because of your injury, your solicitor will also take this into consideration when making your claim.
To find out how much your claim might be worth and to get an insight into what is taken into account when calculating your compensation, you can try our industry-leading compensation calculator.
Your solicitor does the majority of the work throughout your claim, including contacting the responsible party and negotiating on your behalf. This leaves you with the time to focus on your recovery.
However, there are a couple of things you can do to help with your case. Your solicitor may need evidence of your accident, such as photographs or witness names. We realise that it can be difficult to gather this information, but having it before you start your claim could help to make the process simpler.
They will also invite you to take part in a free medical assessment. This is nothing to worry about and usually only takes around 20 minutes. The findings from your assessment will be used to support your compensation claim and can also help you to understand how your recovery is going.
Read more about our free medical assessments.
Legal aid was a method of covering the cost of going to court and getting a fair hearing. In 2000, legal aid was made unavailable for personal injury cases, and instead no win no fee or conditional fee agreements were introduced.
All of our solicitors can help you to make your claim on a no win no fee basis, which means that if your case isn’t successful you won’t pay a penny.
If your case is successful, you’ll pay a fee to your solicitor as a percentage of the amount you receive, and this percentage will have been agreed before starting your claim.
Find out more about legal aid and no win no fee here.
Every case we work with is different, which makes it hard for us to say how long your compensation claim might take.
In simpler cases, where fault is clear and undeniable the claim may be settled quickly. However, if you’ve suffered a serious or life-changing injury, then your compensation claim may take longer because we need to understand the full impact of your injury and make sure your costs are covered.
Our solicitors will stay in touch and keep you informed every step of the way, so that you always know what stage your claim is at.
Around 95% of our cases are settled without the need to go to court. This means there is a very small chance a claim will require a court hearing.
If your case does go to court, your solicitor will be on hand to support and guide you through the process and will make sure you always know what to expect.
There are no upfront costs or unexpected fees when you start your claim with us. Our advice is free and your solicitor will work on a no win no fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay a penny for your claim unless it is successful.
If your claim is successfully settled, you’ll pay some legal costs to your solicitor from your compensation. These will be agreed between you and your solicitor before you start your claim, so there will be no surprises.
Read more about no win no fee.
Your compensation figure is negotiated between your solicitor and the party responsible for your accident. This means we’re not able to let you know how much your final settlement figure might be when you contact us because the negotiations will not have started yet.
However, we know how important it is for you to have an idea of how much compensation you may be able to claim. Because of this, we’ve created our industry-leading compensation calculator. To get a guideline figure of how much your claim might be worth you can try our compensation calculator.
The person or company responsible for paying your compensation depends on the type of claim you’re making. Typically, no one person is responsible for paying any compensation and instead the claim is made against their insurance.
So in the case of a road traffic accident it would be the driver’s insurance that covers the cost of your compensation, or if you’re making an accident at work claim your employer’s liability insurance would pay.
If you’d like more information, please click on your accident type below
All of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, which means they agree that if your case is unsuccessful then you won’t be charged a penny.
Quite simply, it’s no win, no fee, no risk, which means you can make a compensation claim without the worry of being left with a bill you can’t afford.
We are paid by the specialist personal injury solicitors who we work with because we promote their work through the service we offer.
Our service is free and advisory – it costs you nothing. We take no payment for connecting you with the right personal injury solicitor for your case.
Our solicitor firms will charge a fee if your claim is successful. This will be paid as a percentage from the amount of compensation you receive, and will have been agreed beforehand.
The solicitors we work with are third party partner solicitor firms. We work closely with them to make sure they’re working with the right cases and upholding a good level of service in-line with our customer charter.
There's no need to visit a solicitor's office in person. If you decide you’d like to go ahead, we pass you onto one of our specialist solicitors for a free initial consultation. We usually transfer you to them on the same call and they’ll typically handle your case without you needing to visit them.
Yes, your GP has a duty of care to you. If they’ve failed to uphold this and you have been affected as a result, we can help you make it right. Read more about claiming for GP negligence here.
Yes, we’re able to help with holiday accident claims . Your hotel, the hotel staff and every company you encounter on your travels all have a duty of care to provide you with a safe service.
You could still claim even if you don’t have a witness to call upon. Our partner solicitors gather information from several different sources to file a genuine claim for compensation for your accident.
Accidents like slips and falls don't always require an accident form to be filled out, so you could still be eligible to make a claim. Speak to a Legal Support Advisor today to discuss the details of your case to find out more.
Yes. If a workplace in which you are expected to work for any length of time is unsafe or if you weren’t given the proper training before starting the job and you suffer a personal injury as a result, you may have a case for compensation. Find out more about your rights for claiming as a self-employed worker here.
Yes. Whether you have been injured in a public place or a private setting like home, you do not need to be in employment to be able to make a claim. Find out more about your rights for claiming if you are unemployed here.
If you've suffered an accident that wasn't your fault, you can get in touch with us to see if you have a case regardless of whether you have claimed with us in the past or not. Your Legal Support Advisor will assess your situation honestly and objectively.
Stop the car as soon as possible Be sure to put your hazard lights on if possible
Make sure you and your passengers are OK
Call 999 if anyone is seriously injured
Try to remain calm
It’s normal to be shocked after an accident
Exchange details with anyone involved;
Names, Contact numbers, Insurance details
Take note of the scene of the accident
Date, Time, Weather, Damage
Call our Legal Support Advisors to see if we can help
You may be entitled to compensation if it wasn’t your fault
We operate under our parent company, NAHL Group plc, which encompasses three divisions of professional legal services. You can find out more about National Accident Helpline and the Group here.
In legal-speak, the amount you could be awarded in a successful claim is called the ‘quantum of damages’. Not only does quantum (or ‘general damages’) cover the pain, severity and suffering of the injury itself (both physical and psychological) but also ‘special damages’. These are any personal financial losses you may have experienced as a result of the incident.
Your personal injury lawyer will include things like: loss of earnings, loss of future income, time off work, the effect on your ability to work; the cost of repairing or replacing possessions damaged, any medical or care costs you’ve paid for already along with transport to and from treatment you’ve received. After your solicitor accepts the case, obtains all appropriate medical evidence and then begins negotiating with the other side (usually their insurance company), you’ll start to get an idea of how much you may receive if your claim is successful.
The time it takes to reach a settlement in a successful claim can vary significantly. It depends on how complex your claim is, the type, severity and circumstances of your injuries plus the time it takes to gather all the necessary medical evidence.
Claim duration is also affected by things like whether or not you know the identity of the other side and if the other side admits liability - or challenges it in Court. A clear-cut road traffic accident claim may be settled in just weeks whereas a complicated medical negligence case may take up to three years or more.
As a rule of thumb, an uninsured driver claim takes three or four months. Other road and work accident claims from four to nine months, trips and slips from six to nine months, industrial disease claims between one year to 18 months and clinical negligence one to three years plus.
Proving a personal injury case is all about establishing fault across four main factors. Duty: did the other side owe you (the Claimant) a legal duty of care in the circumstances?
Example: a council is duty bound to keep public pavements, kerbs and roads in safe order.
Breach: did the other side commit a breach of that duty by acting (or not acting) in a particular way?
Example: the council failed to maintain or repair the pavement where you tripped and fell.
Causation: did the other side’s actions (or lack of them) cause your injuries?
Example: the staircase was defective, so you could not have reasonably predicted that walking down it would cause an injury.
Damages: were you demonstrably injured by the other side’s actions or inactions? Example: the Court (or through the settlement negotiation with the other side’s insurers) is able to compensate you because you broke your leg in the fall.
The first step is to assess all the details of your accident. These include important information like vehicle speed and direction, whether you were wearing your safety belt (front or backseat), whether the airbags deployment, headrest position and any medical restraints used after the accident if the emergency services attended.
The second step is to analyse all your medical needs, appointments, assessments and treatments post-accident. These could include any pre-existing medical conditions which may have made things worse – such as osteoporosis or other bone, musculature and soft tissue problems.
Your whiplash solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you that’ll help join all the evidence dots and build your case that proves how the injury was caused. If the other side denies liability, then your solicitor will negotiate with their insurers. If those negotiations fail, then the case will likely be referred to Court and go in front of a Judge: however, this is very much a last resort. The vast majority of claims are settled without going to Court.
The time it takes to settle a case depends on two main factors:
- if the other side accepts liability and
- the severity of the whiplash injury.
Minor cases where the other side admits liability will normally settle in two to three months. Serious cases of whiplash take longer as your personal injury solicitor has to gather more medical evidence. Where the other side denies liability, there will likely be an extended period of negotiation between the parties before agreement is reached – and if the case goes to Court, you could be looking at around 12 months. Whiplash injury claims after a hit and run, where the other driver failed to stop or is untraceable, all involve time-hungry detective work. Not only for your personal injury solicitor but also for the police and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) too. Such cases could easily stretch beyond 12 months or more.
It’s hard to give a precise number and it’s also hard to give a reliable average settlement figure as each case differs in severity, complexity and circumstance.
Plus, new legislation coming into force over the coming months will likely reduce the amounts paid out in all but the more severe cases.
What we say is that a genuine whiplash claim has every chance of success. Our approved network of specialist personal injury lawyers are expert at doing the right thing, in the right circumstances and always in the right way.
If it was someone else’s fault and you sustained an injury as a result, then you can usually make a claim for compensation.
Slips and trips happen all the time: on the street, on public transport, in buildings, shops and restaurants – and they’re the most common form of workplace accident in the UK.
Injuries can range from minor abrasions and soft tissue damage to chronic back problems, serious head trauma and worse.
An injury caused by a slip, trip or fall can be obvious immediately – say a sprain, fracture or a bleeding wound. However, the true extent of an injury can take time to appear – for instance with soft tissue or spinal damage.
What might appear at first glance to be an innocuous impact to the head could conceal something serious that takes time to appear.
A good rule of thumb is that even if it appears to be a minor injury, do visit your GP and if it’s a blow to the head, go to your nearest A&E.
It’s a common sense decision: if you’ve slipped, tripped or fallen over and hurt yourself – even it appears minor - and it looks like it was someone else’s fault, then you may have grounds for a compensation claim.
That’s the time to seek specialist compensation claim assistance.
If your solicitor is able to settle your claim successfully by negotiating with the other side’s insurers, then they will deduct a ‘success’ fee from the compensation you’re paid.
This fee is capped by law. (A negotiated settlement without the need for a Court Hearing happens in the vast majority of successful claims).
If your case is successful, the other side’s insurers will also pay your solicitor’s costs. If your case fails, then you pay nothing, and your solicitor receives nothing.
It means that if your claim doesn’t succeed, then you owe nothing.If your solicitor wins your case, the law of the land allows them to deduct a ‘success’ fee from your compensation award that's capped by law.
They’ll agree the success fee percentage when they take on your case so everything’s crystal clear from the outset. There are no up-front costs, so you’ll never be left out-of-pocket if you make a claim.
Don’t worry, there’s absolutely no financial risk, if things don’t go as you hoped. ‘No win no fee’ means exactly that. Your solicitor will confirm that if your case fails, you don’t pay a penny.
They’ll also explain about their fees, if you win. It’s clear, it’s simple, it’s fair.
The final amount of compensation you receive in a successful no win no fee claim claim varies, depending on circumstances and severity.
Your solicitor will negotiate with the other party and agree a fair compensation amount on your behalf.
The figures show it’s pretty unlikely. The vast majority of personal injury compensation claims are settled without a Hearing in front of a Judge.
In most cases, your legal representatives negotiate with the other side (usually their insurance company) to reach a satisfactory compensation award and that’s that.
Where the other side accepts liability from the start, the process is quick - perhaps a couple of months. If the other side denies or disputes liability (for instance where the blame is shared), a negotiated settlement is still possible.
On rare occasions where negotiations fail without agreement, then a Court Hearing is needed.
You don’t have to: that’s the beauty of talking to us first! We’ll evaluate your claim and give you all the options and information you need to make an informed decision.
Then if you decide to pursue your claim, we’ll put you in touch directly with a law firm from our network of approved personal injury lawyers. We hand-pick that firm for you, based on the type of incident or accident you’ve experienced.
This makes sure from the beginning that you’re talking with a lawyer expert in your circumstances and situation.
By taking expert advice at the earliest available moment. We can give you all the initial free advice you need to help you make the right decision. If you want to go ahead with the claim, we’ll then put you in touch with an experienced and trusted firm in our nationwide network of approved legal practices.
Provided they can take on your claim under No Win No Fee terms – as is the case in all but the most exceptional circumstances - there are no up-front costs. If your claim is successful, you’ll pay a set fee that’s deducted from your compensation award.
If you lose your claim, you pay nothing, giving you risk-free access to personal injury legal services that won’t leave you out of pocket.
With a No Win No Fee compensation claim, there are no up-front costs. The law of the land says you pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful.
Your lawyer will agree a success fee with you before they start work on your case that they’ll deduct from your compensation award if your claim is successful.
It’s means there’s no financial risk for you, no surprises and no unexpected costs. In the exceptionally rare circumstances where the lawyer we select for you is unable to work on a No Win No Fee basis, they’ll always let you know beforehand. You can then decide if you still want to go ahead or not.
It’s difficult to give a likely figure. Road traffic injuries vary in complexity, severity and the impact they have on people’s lives.
You’ll get a firm idea of claim value when your personal injury lawyer has accepted your case and has begun negotiating with the other side’s representation (this is almost always their insurance company).
However, we do have 25 years’ experience making things right for our customers. We’ve distilled that knowledge in our six-step compensation calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and can help give you a very rough idea about how much your claim might be worth.
If you’re injured in an accident or incident that appears not to have been your fault, then you could qualify for compensation. It could have been a trip, slip or fall in a public place; a road traffic accident as a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian; an accident in the workplace; an instance of medical negligence; or any other number of other scenarios.
They range from sports and holiday accidents to injuries caused by a defective product. In a personal injury claim, we’ll assess your situation and put you in touch with one of our specialist, approved law firms. If they’re able to accept your claim on a No Win No Fee basis – and it’s a rare case where they can’t – then they’ll take care of things for you throughout the compensation claims process.
Let’s look at the health service. NHS Resolution is the body that oversees medical negligence claims against the NHS. Their figures show that there were 16,338 claims settled in 2017/18 and that damages were awarded on 8,897 occasions – that’s in 54% of cases.
Medicine is complex and so are claims made for negligence: if you think you’ve been affected, then come and talk to us. You’ll be able to chat through your circumstances with one of our expert legal support advisors - and we’ll give you the options you need to make an informed decision about what to do next.
In short, no. To make a No Win No Fee personal injury claim, there has to be another person or organisation at fault. If the accident happened because it was solely your fault, then you won’t have a case. If you were hurt after losing control of a fork lift truck because you ignored the operating instructions, you wouldn’t have any grounds for a claim.
However, you can still make a claim if blame for the accident is shared. Liability is split if it’s clear that’s the case and both sides can agree to it. For example, in a personal injury claim worth £20,000, a split liability of 50/50 would mean your compensation award was £10,000.
It depends on whether you were affected by treatment through the NHS or while in private hands. If your claim is against the NHS, then any award is settled by NHS Resolution. It’s the specialist insurer that oversees all cases brought against the NHS.
Every healthcare Trust in the UK pays NHS Resolution an annual premium. This pays for the damages awarded in successful clinical negligence cases. It’s different with claims made in the private medical sector where you claim against the individual rather than the establishment.
All medical professionals working privately must carry their own liability insurance. Successful claims will then be settled by the medical professional’s insurance company.
If you’re injured in a work accident that was solely your fault, what happens next is down to your employer. But if you suffered an accident that was the fault – or partially the fault – of your employer, then UK Employment Law is clear.
You cannot be sacked, singled out or penalised for making a personal injury claim against them. They have a legal duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment and proper training and protection.
If they breach that duty and you’re hurt as a result, you can make a claim against them. The Law is crystal clear, but we appreciate that employee-employer claims often need careful handling.
In the vast majority of cases, a successful claim is one where your solicitor negotiates an acceptable settlement for you with the other side’s insurance company.
In the small number of successful cases that are decided in Court, a Judge will decide your damages award. Once the gross amount of damages is paid, your solicitor will deduct only the fees they agreed with you when they took on your case.
They then transfer the net payment to your bank account. If your claim is unsuccessful, you owe nothing.
It’s simple. Employer’s liability insurance covers the damages in a successful accident at work claim.
This means the solicitor negotiates on your behalf with the employer’s insurance company, not personally with the employer. Be wary about accepting an early offer from the other side’s insurance company.
Early offers are usually lower than what the claim might be worth so make sure you take good advice.
Come and talk to us first.
If your claim is unsuccessful, then you pay nothing: it’s as simple as that. No Win No Fee means there are no financial risks and no financial surprises when you make a compensation claim.
We’re here to give you the advice you need to make an informed decision about your claim. If we don’t think you have reasonable grounds for a claim, either we (or the solicitor we appoint to discuss your case) will let you know there and then - and give you clear reasons why.
There are no up-front costs involved and if you’re within the time limits for making a claim, you’re free to seek a second opinion elsewhere.
Up until 2013, the claimant kept 100% of any damages award and solicitors’ costs were paid by the other side’s insurers. This was deliberately changed in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 to make the cost burden more proportionate for the defending side.
Today, the law says that a No Win No Fee solicitor can deduct a 'success' fee for their services from the gross amount you’re awarded in a successful claim: this is normally around 25%. There are no up-front costs.
We guarantee that all of our panel solicitors will never ask you for any up-front charges to manage your case. Our approved solicitors will always detail the fees as part of the agreement between you before taking on your case. This means there are never any financial surprises. If your claim is unsuccessful, you owe nothing.
In most circumstances for adults who were 18 years old or over at the time, it’s essential that you (or your legal representation) issue proceedings within three years of the accident or incident.
Where the injured person was under 18 years old when it occurred, that three-year limitation period expires on their 21st birthday.
If you don’t issue your claim within these time limits, you won’t usually be able to proceed. This is called being ‘time-barred’. There are some exceptional situations where the time limits can be extended. Check with one of our advisors or a solicitor.
If you as a driver, rider, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian are injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
For an adult over the age of 18 at the time, you’ll have three years to make a personal injury claim from the date of the accident. If you were under 18 years old at the time and a claim wasn’t made for you, then you’ll have three years from your 18th birthday until your 21st birthday to make it.
There are some special circumstances where the claim time limits are different: come and talk to us on 0800 376 0150. We can give you all the information and options you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
The other side’s insurance company pays your compensation in a successful claim. Our recommendation is never accept an offer from an insurance company until you’ve talked to a professional.
Their offer will typically be lower than what you may be entitled to so come and talk to us first. We’ll evaluate your claim and put you in touch with one of our specialist law firms.
Your personal injury lawyer will assess your case and if they take it on, will usually do so on a No Win No Fee basis. They’ll build your case and then negotiate with the other side’s insurers to reach a fair settlement.
Clinical negligence is when medical professionals breach their duty of care. It covers mistakes across diagnosis, medication, treatment, surgery and general care that cause physical injury, psychological trauma or worsen a pre-existing condition.
Clinical negligence applies to all forms of public and private healthcare - from the GP’s surgery, hospital, clinic and care home across dentistry, optometry, rehabilitation and therapy.
The most common forms of clinical negligence are mis-diagnosis, mis-prescription, botched surgery, sub-standard advice and injuries in pregnancy or childbirth. If you believe medical or healthcare staff did something – or just as importantly, failed to do something – that caused you physical or psychological harm, then you may have grounds for a clinical negligence claim.
Yes. Any medical professional - NHS or private - can be held accountable for dental negligence.
If they are found to have breached their duty of care to you that resulted in harm or the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, then you have grounds for a dental negligence claim.
Yes. Independent medical opinion is a key part of making a dental negligence claim.
The approved dental negligence solicitor we select for you will arrange the assessment as part of building the evidence for your claim.
Every dental negligence claim is different so it’s hard to give a reliable average duration for the claim. It depends on two things:
- The severity and/or complexity of the negligence injury.
- Whether or not the dental professional admitted liability.
Dental negligence solicitors will usually advise that it could range from a few short months to a couple of years.Come and talk to us: call us on and we can help.
- If you’re making a claim for a child, there’s no time limit up to their 18th After they turn 18 years old, they have three years as a legal adult until their 21st birthday to bring the claim.
- There’s no upper time limit if you’re claiming for someone who, for whatever reason, lacks the mental ability to make a dental negligence claim themselves.