If you have been injured or harmed as a result of another person’s negligence, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
There are many different types of personal injury claims:
- Road traffic accident claims
- Clinical negligence claims
- Holiday sickness & holiday accident claims
- Accident at work claims
- Industrial disease claims
- Asbsesots claims
- Accidents in public claims
- Catastrophic and serious injury claims
Whether are suffering whiplash injuries following a road traffic collision or have been injured while at work as a result of dangerous hazards, it is worth taking professional legal to see if you are eligible to make a claim that would compensate you for pain and suffering, assist with rehabilitation support and to cover any financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of the injuries, such as loss of earnings and medical expenses.
Do I have a personal injury claim?
To be awarded financial compensation you will have to prove two things: that your injury or illness was – or is – the result of a particular accident or set of circumstances and that the accident happened as a result of someone else’s negligence.
The best way to understand if you have a personal injury claim is through a consultation with a solicitor. They will look at the facts of your case and will be able to advise whether you have a valid claim.
Instructing a legal adviser with experience of the type of injury you have suffered can be highly beneficial. They will have existing knowledge and insight of your injuries and are likely to know medical experts specialising in the area to help support your case.
How do I make a personal injury claim?
Your solicitor will manage the claims process on your behalf.
The value and complexity of the claim will determine the legal process that is to be followed.
For personal injury claims valued between £1,000 and £25,000, the claim would be managed through the claims portal.
This involves your solicitor sending a claim notification letter to the defendant, setting out the basis of your claim for compensation. They will have a limited window in which to respond, either to deny or accept liability.
If the defendant accepts liability, your claim will move on to negotiation of a settlement figure. Your solicitor will discuss all options with you including the level of compensation you would be prepared to accept.
For claims valued over £25,000 or of highly complex issues, such as serious clinical negligence cases, the process becomes more extensive and could take anywhere between 18 months to 3 years to settle. There is also usually more likelihood of the matter going to court.
Should I take my personal injury claim to court?
If you are not prepared to accept the other side’s offers to settle, or if no offer to settle is forthcoming because for example the defendant is disputing liability, you would need to discuss with your solicitor about commencing legal action.
If your claim goes to court, there will be considerable preparation required, and you – and any other witnsesses – will have to attend the hearing. The decision will be made by a judge, who will also decide on any awards as a result of the judgment.
How much compensation will I get?
The value of your claim will be determined by a number of factors, including the medical expert report and the financial losses you are claiming for. Your solicitor should discuss settlement figures with you as you will need to state how much you are prepared to accept to settle the claim as a basis for negotiation with the defendant.
How long do I have to make a personal inury claim?
There are strict timeframes associated with making a claim, known as the limitation period. For most cases the limitation period starts on the date of the accident that caused the inury and runs for three years – meaning that a claimant must begin legal proceedings within this three-year window.
However, there are exceptions to this rule and timeframes do vary according to the circumstances of the incidentand the nature of the injury.
Consulting with a legal professional as soon as possible will ensure you fully understand your legal position and options.
Can I claim for someone who is deceased?
You may be able to bring a claim on behalf of someone who has died due to a fatal injury. In this instance, you would be making the claim as that person’s representative or financial dependent – and thereby claiming for loss of dependency and/or loss of companionship.
If, for example, your spouse or partner is killed in an accident at work and is the sole breadwinner whilst you care for your children, you may be able to claim for compensation on several grounds: compensation to help you financially support your family, compensation to deal with the grief and compensation to manage the loss of a companion. Take advice on your circumstances to ensure you understand your options.
How much does it cost to make a claim?
Speak to your solicitor at the outset about funding options for your case.
Different solicitors offer different costs and payment structures. Some may offer to take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis – otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement or NFA. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will recover payment via the compensation awarded. This is known as a success fee and is usually agreed upon beforehand as a percentage of the compensation.
You should also be sure of what would happen if you lose the claim – who will pay the defendant’s legal costs? If Qualified One-Way Cost Shifting (QOCS) applies, you should not be liable for the other side’s costs.
You may also have an insurance policy that can help with your legal costs. Policies for house contents, car insurance and travel insurance often have legal expenses cover attached.
Why take legal advice
Taking professional legal advice helps to manage the hassle assosciated with making a personal injury claim.
Depending on the nature of your injury, choose an adviser experienced in that specific field and who brings insight and knowledge of your injuries to help build a strong case and give you the best chance of recovering the maximum compensation.