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What's the difference between a personal injury lawyer and other types of lawyer?

Lawyers typically choose a particular field to work in - for instance family, criminal or tax law. A personal injury lawyer is a compensation claims specialist who represents people hurt in accidents caused by someone else's negligence. They'll handle your claim and seek compensation from the party you think is to blame.

The cause could be anything. Perhaps a road traffic accident, a trip, slip or fall in a public place, or a workplace injury. If the claim succeeds, your injury lawyer will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. They'll also make sure you get any rehabilitation or counselling you may need.

Should I talk to a personal injury solicitor?

If you've been hurt in an accident which wasn't your fault within the last three years, then yes, it's worth a chat with one of our injury lawyers. You may qualify for a personal injury claim and compensation.

There are some exceptions. For example, parents or guardians can make a claim for a child any time after an accident up until their 18th birthday. In serious cases where head trauma has affected mental capacity temporarily, indefinitely or permanently, these limits may be longer.

The best way to find out whether you qualify for a claim is to contact us and talk things through on . It won't cost you anything to find out if we think you have a claim. With 25 years' experience making it right for people when things are wrong, our accident injury solicitors can give you the advice you need that could make all the difference.

You may not be ready to talk about the accident yet. No problem - why not try our online personal injury claims checker first?

Did you know?

All claims are registered with the Department for Work and Pensions. The records show over 862,300 personal injury claims were made during the financial year 2018/19. 

That's an average of around 2,360 new claims every day.

What are the types of personal injury that I can claim for?

Injury solicitors help with much more than accidents on the road. Injuries from road traffic accidents form the majority of personal injury claims, but it's a much wider category than you might think. It applies to any instance where someone suffers harm through the negligence of another individual, organisation or entity.

  • Accidents on the road. This includes injuries to drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and their pillion passenger, pedestrians, road runners - even riders on horseback
  • Accidents at work. This covers work on-site, off-site, industrial, in the factory, warehouse, on the farm, in the office, with machinery or as a carer. The law covers accident injury wherever you may be working and in whatever capacity
  • Slips, trips and falls. From shops, supermarkets and restaurants to public transport, pavements and steps. Basically, it covers all public premises, environments or spaces whose safe maintenance is someone else's responsibility
  • Medical negligence. This is any failure in the duty of care where you're injured or harmed by the action, or inaction, of medical professionals treating you. This could be by your GP, in hospital, by a dentist, optician or while in a care home

Personal injury claims also cover injury, major trauma or wrongful death caused by:

If you think you may be eligible to make a personal injury compensation claim after an accident that wasn't your fault, then call us free and confidentially on .

If you do qualify and decide you'd like to take the next step, we'll pair you with one of our specialist personal injury lawyers. They'll be happy to answer any further questions and discuss our no win no fee personal injury agreement with you.


How do I start my claim with your accident solicitors?

The thought of using a personal injury lawyer can feel intimidating. For most of us, the times we're in contact with the legal system are few and far between. Chances are you'll have a lot of questions. We're a trusted helpline and we're here to help you answer those questions with impartial, clear advice that won't cost you a penny. We can also guide you through those first steps of making a personal injury claim.

We'll never rush or pressure you into starting a claim either: the choice is always yours. We give you accurate advice that helps you consider whether or not you'd like to go ahead. You decide next steps in your own time, your own way and at your own pace. Contact us when you feel ready on .

If you decide you'd like to take those next steps, we'll put you in touch with one of our specialist injury claim solicitors. They'll be happy to answer any extra questions or queries you may have. They'll also outline the no win no fee personal injury agreement with you.


Tim Lock is the Managing Director at our panel law firm New Law

The law is often complex and the terms used can sometimes feel like a foreign language. It's our job as accident injury solicitors to unpick that complexity for customers, keeping them clearly in the picture about their claim, explaining the options and advising on decisions every step of the way.

Tim Lock

Managing Director, New Law
Ben's personal accident stopped him being able to bodyboard - the thing he loves to do the most. With our  years' experience, we helped him make it right and now he's back in the water. All calls featured in the video are real.

Ben's compensation story - National Accident Helpline

Ben's personal accident stopped him being able to bodyboard - the thing he loves to do the most. With our 26 years' experience, we helped him make it right and now he's back in the water. All calls featured in the video are real.

Frequently asked questions...


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 go ahead with your claim, we’ll put you in touch with a law firm from our network of approved personal injury claims solicitors. We select that firm for you, based on the type of incident or accident you’ve experienced.

This makes sure that, from the beginning, you’re talking to a personal injury claim lawyer with expertise in your circumstances and situation.

With our no win no fee guarantee, there are no up-front costs or hidden charges. No win no fee arrangements take the risk out of making a claim, because you don’t pay anything if you lose your case.

Your accident lawyer may need to take out special legal protection insurance for you, which pays the costs if your claim fails, and ensures claiming is risk free. The cost of this is only taken if you win your case.

It means there’s no financial risk for you, no surprises and no unexpected costs. In the exceptionally rare circumstances where the injury solicitor 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.

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. When you start your claim we’ll assess your situation and put you in touch with one of our specialist approved personal injury claim solicitors. 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.

1. Insurance company early settlement offers can sometimes be undervalued

Your accident solicitor will always advise you to treat an early settlement offer from the other side's insurers with caution. Insurance companies sometimes try to limit the compensation they pay in a personal injury claim by making an early offer. It could be undervalued as a result. 

Your personal injury lawyer will value your claim accurately. Gathering all the evidence can take a little time but it's worth waiting for. Putting in the groundwork at this stage will make sure your claim for damages will be full and fair. That's why you should always listen to your injury lawyer's advice.

2. Working with experienced accident claim lawyers matters

We understand the many different types of personal injury claim and that no two are the same. We also understand the impacts they can have on people's home, family and work lives. That's why over 26 years, we've built a network of the best accident injury solicitors with the right skills and experience for all accident types. 

If you're eligible to make a claim, we'll pair you with an expert injury lawyer. One who appreciates the physical, financial and mental impacts you've suffered. They'll take the legal worries off your plate and give you the space to focus on your recovery.

3. Compensation has several components

Compensation in personal injury claims comprises two parts. General damages compensate you for pain, suffering and the ‘loss of amenity' caused by your injury. Loss of amenity is legal-speak for being unable to do those things you used to do as a direct result of your injury. These include things like active hobbies. 

Special damages take care of financial losses you've experienced as a result of your accident plus any anticipated future costs too.

  • The cost of past, current and any future medical treatment, plus associated travel expenses
  • The cost of any alterations to your home or car that may be needed
  • The cost of any special equipment you may need
  • Loss of earnings and/or bonuses
  • Any impact on your ability to work in the future
  • Damage to your personal possessions

For claims involving the tragedy of wrongful death, special damages can also include: 

  • Funeral and associated expenses
  • Loss of financial support and benefits for dependants
  • Related medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

The total compensation will always depend on the severity, type and impacts of the injury. Your personal injury lawyer will calculate how much your personal injury claim may be worth.

4. Every case is different - and they can take time

There are fundamental legal steps shared by all personal injury claims. These steps are set by the Ministry of Justice. The outcome of a given claim and the level of compensation awarded will always depend on the exact circumstances. 

The time each takes to conclude will vary too. A very simple road traffic claim where the other side admits liability quickly could settle in as little as three months (but this is rare). 

Complex cases involving serious injury - for instance medical negligence - may take anything up to three years, sometimes longer. If the other side consistently denies liability, then the claim will go before a judge at a court hearing. It's a rare occurrence, but court timetables will mean a minimum of nine months from filing the claim to resolving it.

The accident lawyer we select for you will keep you fully informed about all the likely timings for your compensation claim.

5. Cases usually settle out of court - but some go to court hearings

Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. Your personal injury claim lawyer will negotiate with the other side's insurers to agree to a full and fair compensation figure. 

Even if agreement can't be reached and court proceedings begin, those negotiations will continue. Some claims are even settled at the last-minute, just before the court hearing is due. Very few compensation claims - around five per cent - actually go to a hearing before a judge. 

6. Don't forget the time limits.

Generally speaking, you have three years from the date of the accident and injury to make a compensation claim. There are exceptions.

  • You can make a compensation claim for a child anytime up to their 18th birthday. If they choose to make the claim themselves as an adult, they then have three years until their 21st birthday to do so
  • If the accident victim lacks what's called ‘mental capacity', then the three year time period will not begin until they regain mental capacity. If the accident victim never regains mental capacity, and a Litigation Friend can make a claim on their behalf at any time
  • This could be because of a pre-existing condition - for instance because of a stroke. It could also be as a direct consequence of the accident - brain trauma for example

Your personal injury lawyer will advise you of the limits based on the exact details of your compensation claim.


We have spent 25 years building a proven, nationwide network of the best injury claim solicitors, who we trust to work in your best interests every time. Their objective (and ours too) is simple. It's to give you the intelligent advice you're looking for - and then help you make a successful no win no fee compensation claim.

We regularly check the standards of our accident solicitors.

  • If you decide to move ahead with your claim, it's very important to us that you receive the most effective legal service from them. One that's attentive, sympathetic to your needs and hassle-free
  • Our injury lawyers also work under strict codes of professional conduct

We make sure they carry the correct insurance to work with personal injury claims before they become one of our approved firms

Find out about the standards we hold our personal injury solicitors to - we monitor our lawyers to make sure you get the best service possible.

How we choose our solicitors to handle your claims | National Accident Helpline

Find out about the standards we hold our personal injury solicitors to - we monitor our lawyers to make sure you get the best service possible.


What will my personal injury lawyer do for me?

Your personal injury solicitor has one task - and that's working hard on your behalf to help make things right. They'll use their specialist knowledge of personal injury legislation to make sure you receive all the compensation that the law of the land says you're owed.

An important part of the service you receive is knowing how your compensation claim is progressing and having all your questions answered as that claim moves forward. Your injury lawyer will also take care of the following:

  • Let you know whether you can make your claim on a no win no fee basis
  • Organise all the relevant paperwork and submit the documentation for you
  • Outline the claims process in a way that's in jargon-free plain English and easy to understand
  • Give you a rough estimate of how much compensation you might receive
  • Contact the responsible party and negotiate hard on your behalf

Your personal injury claim lawyer will also be there to arrange extra support if you need it. These could include physiotherapy and counselling through to any home alterations you may need to help you cope with the aftermath of your injuries.

If you think you are entitled to claim for an injury that wasn't your fault, please feel free to get in touch with us via our claims helpline on . We can put you in touch with the very best personal injury lawyers if we think you have a case - and they will do everything they can to help you through what we know can be a traumatic time.


Kevin in his living room

We helped Kevin make it right when he was injured while working on the road.

I had seven weeks where I didn't have a wage at all, just minimal sick pay really. It did put a lot of pressure on us financially.

I had to do something to make sure that I could afford to pay my bills and look after my family.

I didn't know what to expect. But I didn't need to be nervous because they were really good. They took me very seriously … it took a massive weight off my shoulders.

Kevin

More customer stories

Faye Richards supports our Legal Support Centre team

It's our job to put our customers at ease and explain their options in a clear and friendly way, so they can make an informed decision about what to do next.

Faye Richards

Quality Performance Coach, National Accident Helpline