What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal case you can begin if you’ve been hurt in an accident and it was someone else’s fault. It’s the formal process of recouping compensation from the other party who was responsible for your injury – usually their insurance company. There are no upfront costs and you pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful.
Typically, you can start an injury claim when you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of accident that:
- Happened within the last three years.
- Resulted in you suffering financially as well as physically.
- Was demonstrably caused wholly or partly by somebody else.
Nobody expects to be injured and it can be a real shock to the system if it happens. That’s why we’re proud of our 25 years’ experience helping people after they’ve been involved in an accident. We offer free, impartial advice about compensation and can guide you through the first important steps of making your claim. There’s no pressure and no rush: the decision is always yours and if you choose to go ahead, we’ll introduce you to one of our carefully-approved and expert personal injury solicitors.
If you’ve suffered an injury and it feels wrong, find out how we can help you make it right: call us on 0800 376 0150.
What is a personal injury?
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What level of compensation might I be awarded?
The amount you could be paid depends on your injury or illness, its gravity and effect on your life. When you claim through us, the solicitor we select for you will assess every aspect of your experience so that we can make sure you are compensated fully.
However, compensation for the immediate pain and physical suffering is only one side of the story. Your approved solicitor will also take into consideration:
- Time off work and any lost earnings.
- Any loss to your future income.
- Any impacts on your ability to work.
- Psychological damage.
- Personal help or care you’ve had; even if it was given voluntarily (or still is) by family and friends.
- Any modifications you’ve had (or may need) to your car or home.
- Any medical care costs, treatment travel or accommodation expenses.
- Any rehabilitation programmes prescribed to you by a medical professional.
- The daily extra expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
You won’t have a firm idea of the possible compensation you could receive until negotiations have begun between your solicitor and the other party (typically their insurance company). Nevertheless, we have 25 years’ knowhow achieving positive personal injury outcomes for our customers, so why not try our compensation calculator? It’ll give you a rough indication of what to expect.
If you don’t feel ready to speak to us, you can try our claim checker.
Personal Injury Claims FAQ
How are personal injury claims calculated?
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.
How does a personal injury solicitor prove a claim?
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. Lastly there’s 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.
How long do personal injury claims usually take?
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.
Is there a time limit for making my personal injury claim?
Yes, there is. You have 36 months (three years) from the date of the injury incident (or when you originally noticed your condition or it was first diagnosed). There’s a formal administrative procedure your personal injury lawyer must follow to register the compensation claim: the reality is that if you have three months or fewer until the deadline, it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to get you into the system. If you’re closing in fast on that 33-month trigger point, you should think about calling us on 0800 456 1053 without delay.
There are some exceptions to the three-year limit:
- Psychological trauma: if the claimant has suffered a brain injury that has seriously impaired their function and so can’t claim personally, then the time limit may be different.
- Children: if you’re a parent, guardian or official ‘litigation friend’, you can claim on behalf of a child at any time until they are 18. If no claim has been made by that point, that child – now legally an adult – has three years until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
Do I qualify to make a personal injury claim?
Anyone can make a claim in the aftermath of an accident that was someone else’s fault and in which they were injured. The easiest way to find out if you’ve got a claim worth pursuing is to call us 0800 376 0150. for a chat.
We’ll listen to everything you tell us and freely give you the best advice we can. We’ll never rush you, nor pressure you to start the claims process. Our job is to give you the support and help you need – at your pace and in your own way.
Oddly enough, we do hear from people who’ve picked up an injury in an accident but dismiss it – or don’t realise that it’s more serious than they think. If you’re still seeing a doctor or being treated for an old accident injury (perhaps you’ve had to take time off work to recover as a result), then think about giving us a call.
We have 25 years’ experience helping people make personal injury claims. We’ll be able to let you know whether we think you could make a claim. Then it’s up to you if you’d like us to take the next step and introduce you to one of our approved personal injury solicitors.
If you don’t feel ready to speak to us, then try our compensation claim calculator.
What types of accident and personal injury can I claim for?
Personal injury’ is a broad term that applies to many different kinds of accident.
We’re the UK’s most trusted and recommended personal injury advice service. We’re also committed to giving you free, impartial and jargon-free advice that’s unique to your accident experience.
Listed below are the most common types of personal injury claims we work with – and we’ve included some handy links if you’d like to explore more.
Road traffic accidents (RTA)
If you’ve had a no-fault car accident, you typically claim for the damages to your vehicle on the responsible party’s motor insurance policy. This means the cost of fixing your car (or replacing it if it was written-off) is covered by somebody else insurance.
But what about the cost to your health?
Your insurance claim doesn’t cover your lost earnings, the cost of treatment for your injuries, or the stress and pain caused by your accident. Whether you were a passenger, driver, rider, pedestrian or cyclist, if you were injured in a road accident that wasn’t your fault, then it’s likely we can help you make a claim.
Read more about road traffic accidents right here.
Accidents at work
Your employer is responsible for your safety at work – they’re legally required to make your workplace and the tasks you carry out as safe as possible. They must also provide you with the correct training and personal protection equipment (PPE) for any work you do as part of your job.
Suffering an accident at work can be stressful. It may have left you feeling anxious about your job and worried about your finances, which can make your recovery even more difficult. It’s worth remembering that both health and safety at work legislation and UK employment law is firmly on your side in an accident case. They protect your rights, especially if you are feeling wary about pursuing a claim against your employer.
With 25 years’ experience handling workplace personal injury claims through our network of specialist solicitors, we can help you make it right. Find out more about work accident claims in detail.
Slips, trips and falls
It’s a common misconception that slips, trips and falls generally only result in minor injuries, such as cuts or scrapes. In fact, slips, trips or falls form a significant portion of the personal injury cases we work with. They can cause serious harm such as broken bones, back injuries or head and brain injuries.
Please don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you’ve fallen in public. The owner of the premises you fell in has a duty to keep you safe – just as the council has an obligation to keep public pavements and roads safe from tripping hazards. If they’ve failed to do this, then your accident was the result of negligence and could have been prevented.
Find out more about injury compensation after a slip, trip or fall.
Fatal or life-changing injuries
Sometimes we are contacted by the family members and loved ones of somebody who has suffered a fatal accident or a catastrophic, life-changing injury.
If your loved one has suffered an injury not their fault that has changed their life and yours – or has recently lost their life because of someone else’s negligence – we’re truly sorry. We know how overwhelming it can be to lose someone close to you.
At such a difficult time, we’re here to offer pressure-free advice. We can’t take away what you’ve been through, but the money you could receive may help to provide your loved one with the support they need. For example, it could help to pay for home adaptations and medical treatment.
Alternatively, you can call us for free, impartial advice on 0800 456 1053; we’re attentive listeners and we’ll never push you to take any steps with which you are uncomfortable.
If you’ve suffered through any form of medical negligence, we can help you.
If your doctor failed to diagnose you, misdiagnosed you or your diagnosis was delayed – and this caused you to be injured for longer than you should have been – we can help. Your life may even have been put at risk; we can help you to make it right.
You may also be able to make a personal injury claim for surgical errors, dental errors or any negligent behaviour that left you in pain longer than you should have been.
Visit our medical negligence page for more information.
How do I fund my compensation claim?
With a No Win No Fee arrangement agreed through one of our approved personal injury solicitors means that:
- There are no upfront costs at all and if your case is unsuccessful, you pay nothing.
- If your case is a success, your solicitor is paid via a pre-agreed and set percentage of your compensation award.
- Sometimes a solicitor is unable to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis, but these occasions are very rare. Your solicitor will make everything clear right from the start.
- No Win No Fee removes all the risk from pursuing a personal injury compensation claim.
Helpful tips when making a personal injury claim
Good detail and accurate records will help your solicitor progress your claim when it comes to negotiations with the party responsible for your accident. The approved solicitor we introduce you to will need to know the really important basics like:
- Names and contact details of everybody involved – including witnesses if there were any.
- Registration numbers of vehicles involved, if it was a road traffic accident.
- The location of the accident, where you suffered your injury and what type of injury it was (for instance: trip, slip or fall, medical negligence and so on).
- The exact details of your accident (especially if it was an accident in the workplace).
- The names and wards of the doctors or medical staff who treated you in hospital or at your local GP practice.
- Dates and times of the accident and your subsequent visits to see medical professionals.
- Your solicitor will include the extra expenses you (or family members) incurred as a result of the accident within your compensation claim, so keep a log and keep the receipts. These could be items like travel and/or accommodation expenses while attending medical appointments
Record your injury details
We all recover from injuries in different ways and at different speeds. Taking photos and recording your symptoms as you recover will help identify the seriousness of your injuries. Good quality close-up images are very helpful – especially if you’ve suffered a facial injury. If the injuries are in a hard to reach place – like across the shoulders or back – then ask a trusted friend or a family member to help you out.
It’s also very useful to get statements from witnesses or friends and family after the accident, particularly if they’ve helped you recover or get about while you’ve been injured.
As your compensation claim progresses, it’s likely you’ll be asked for specific dates relating to your accident. If you haven’t jotted down the key dates and times already, it’s a good idea to get them down as soon as you can so they’re ready to hand when your personal injury solicitor needs them.
Letters and documents that relate to your accident and injury will almost certainly help add the extra details needed so please do keep any relevant correspondence somewhere safe.