What's the difference between a personal injury solicitor 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, a workplace injury, medical negligence or even an animal bite. If the claim succeeds, your personal 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 was not your fault within the last three years, then yes, it's worth a chat. 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 psychological function temporarily, indefinitely or permanently, these limits may be longer.
The best way to find out whether you qualify for a personal injury claim is to contact us and talk things through on . It won't cost you anything. With 25 years' experience making it right for people when things are wrong, we 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?
Personal injury law is about 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 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 harm, major trauma or wrongful death caused by:
- Defective consumer products
- Needlestick (hypodermic)
- Sports accidents
- Animal attacks
- Beauty treatment errors
- Accidents on holiday
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Military accidents
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 personal injury claim with your solicitors?
The thought of using a personal injury lawyer can feel intimidating. For most of us, the times we are 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 personal injury 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.
How do I choose a personal injury lawyer?
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.
What do personal injury lawyers charge?
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.
When might I need a personal injury lawyer and how do I use one?
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.
Useful things to remember about the law and personal injury lawyers
1. Insurance company early settlement offers can sometimes be undervalued
Your personal injury 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 lawyer will value your claim accurately. Gathering all the evidence can take a little time but it's worth waiting for. Doing the evidence homework will make sure your claim for damages will be full and fair. That's why you should always listen to your solicitor's advice.
2. Working with an experienced lawyer 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 25 years, we've built a network of specialist personal injury lawyers 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 personal 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 personal injury 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 hearing.
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the other side's insurers to agree 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', there are no time limits
- 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.
7. Our injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis.
No win no fee means that if your claim doesn't succeed, you pay nothing. If you win your claim, you'll pay your injury claim solicitors:
- Any balance of their costs not paid by the other side
- A success fee for winning your claim - capped at 25% of the compensation awarded to you
- The premium for the necessary legal protection insurance they took out for at the beginning of the claim (if one was necessary). This sort of policy is also called After The Event insurance
Your personal injury lawyer will explain the charges for winning a claim to you in detail. That way everything's clear from the start and there will be no surprises at the end.
With our personal injury solicitors, it's all about the service
We have spent 25 years building a proven, nationwide network of specialist personal injury solicitors that 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 personal injury 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
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 law 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. We like to keep things simple: your solicitor is your single point of contact.
Your personal injury solicitor 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 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.
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 LockManaging Director, New Law
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.
Faye Richards is a Quality Performance Coach in our Legal Support Centre
Our Legal Support Advisors are often the first point of professional advice for someone who's been hurt in an accident and wants to know if they're eligible to make a compensation claim.
It's our job to put our customers at their ease and explain their options in a clear and friendly way so they can make an informed decision about what to do next.
We're also their helping hand to the specialist personal injury lawyer from our network with the right experience for their situation.