Personal Injury Claims & Compensation
Sustaining an injury of any kind is distressing. Even more so if the accident that led to the injury wasn’t your fault.
If you find yourself in this situation, our specialist personal injury solicitors are on hand to help you find a way through, from claiming compensation to helping you get the medical, emotional, and rehabilitation support you need as part of your recovery.
In this guide, we'll answer:
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury refers to any harm or damage sustained to an individual’s body, mind, or emotions, typically caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another party.
Personal injury covers a wide range of situations, from accidents and medical malpractice to workplace incidents, with the potential for legal claims seeking compensation for the resulting losses.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal action started by an individual who suffered harm to seek compensation from the party responsible for causing the injury. It involves presenting evidence of the other party’s negligence or wrongful actions and demonstrating the impact of the injury, with the ultimate goal of receiving financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other related damages.
How long do you have to make a personal injury claim?
In the UK, the time limit for making a personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of the injury or from the date when the cause of the injury becomes known.
However, exceptions may apply to this limitation period. Therefore it’s important to seek legal advice from a personal injury specialist to ensure compliance with specific circumstances and potential variations.
What types of personal injuries can you make a claim for?
You can make a compensation claim for various types of personal injuries, including but not limited to:
Road traffic accidents;
Accidents at work;
Injuries on public property;
Injuries caused by defective products or inadequate warnings;
Criminal injuries sustained as a victim of violent crime;
Slips, trips and falls;
Industrial diseases resulting from workplace conditions or exposure.
How much compensation can you claim for personal injury?
The amount of compensation you can claim for a personal injury varies widely and depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the impact on your life, and the financial losses incurred.
Compensation typically covers:
General Damages: for pain suffering, and loss of amenity;
Special Damages: for medical expenses, lost earnings and travel costs
The specific amount of compensation you can win in a personal injury claim is determined by looking at similar cases, legal guidelines, and expert opinions. In severe personal injury claims with long term consequences, the compensation may be substantial.
What damages can you claim for a personal injury claim?
When filing a personal injury claim, you can include various elements to seek compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, such as:
This includes costs related to your medical treatment, such as hospital bills, medications, rehabilitation and future medical expenses.
Compensation for income lost due to the injury, covering the period you were unable to work and potential future loss of earnings.
Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages for physical and emotional distress caused by the injury, aiming to compensate for the impact on your overall well-being.
If the injury resulted from an accident involving property damage (i.e. a car accident), the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.
Reimbursement for expenses incurred while travelling for medical treatments, consultations, or legal proceedings related to the injury.
Compensation for necessary modifications to your home if the injury requires changes to accommodate disabilities.
Care and Assistance
Costs associated with hiring caregivers or assistance with daily tasks if the injury has resulted in a need for additional support.
Loss of Consortium
In some cases, compensation for the negative impact the injury has on relationships with family or spouses.
Anticipated future expenses, such as ongoing medical treatment, long-term care, or future loss of earnings due to the injury.
Including these elements in your personal injury claim provides a thorough picture of the financial, physical, and emotional impact of the injury, helping to determine compensation.
Who can make a personal injury claim?
Anyone who has suffered a personal injury due to negligence or wrongful actions of another party can potentially make a personal injury claim. This includes:
Individuals who have been harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally;
Legal guardians of minors or those unable to represent themselves who have sustained injuries;
Family members or dependents in case of a fatal injury;
Legal representatives (i.e. personal injury lawyers) making a claim on behalf of an injured person.
Are you eligible to make a personal injury claim?
Determining your eligibility to make a personal injury claim involves considering a few key factors:
You must have suffered a physical, mental or emotional injury that is documented through medical records or other relevant evidence;
Your injury must be a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. This could be an individual, business, hospital, or other entity.
Generally, you need to initiate legal proceedings for personal injury within three years from the date of the injury or when you became aware of its cause.
You, or someone acting on your behalf, must have the legal capacity to make a claim. This includes adults and legal guardians for minors or individuals lacking capacity.
If you are unsure if you are eligible to make a personal injury claim, a solicitor can assess the specifics of your situation and provide personalised guidance. Contact us today to get a free case assessment and quote from our legal assessment team.
How to make a claim for personal injury
To make a claim for personal injury you should:
Seek medical attention
It is important to prioritise your health and seek immediate attention for your injuries. You should make sure that your injuries are documented thoroughly by healthcare professionals, as this will help you to prove your personal injury claim in the future.
Report the incident
Report the incident to the relevant authorities, such as the police in the case of road traffic accidents. Make sure that the incident is documented in an official report. It may also help you in the future if you make yourself a note of the incident including:
The date and time;
Names and contact details of witnesses;
Timeline of events;
How you responded to the incident and the injury.
Photographs and CCTV footage can also be helpful in personal injury cases, too.
Collect as much evidence related to the incident as possible, including photographs, witness statements, and any relevant documents. You should also keep a record of all medical reports, receipts, and other documents related to the injury.
Identify the responsible party
Determine who is responsible for your injuries. This could be:
A driver, cyclist, or motorist in the RTA claims;
A business (such as a restaurant or shop);
A hotel or travel agent;
A local authority;
The manufacturer of a product;
The Ministry of Defence.
Identifying the responsible party in a personal injury claim can sometimes present challenges. For example, in some incidents, multiple parties may share responsibility and it can be hard to determine the extent of each party’s liability. Or, in cases of hit-and-run accidents, identifying the responsible party might be difficult because they cannot be located.
It’s important to collect as much information about the accident as possible to help determine who the responsible party is. In many cases, you might find you’re claiming against the insurers of the person or company who is responsible. Therefore, it’s important to find out who those insurers are in order to process the claim quickly and efficiently. A personal injury specialist can help with this process.
Consult with a personal injury lawyer
A personal injury lawyer can help you assess the strength and viability of your claim.
Send a Letter of Claim
Your personal injury solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the responsible party.
A Letter of Claim outlines the details of the incident, the injuries you’ve sustained, and the compensation you are looking to get as a result of the personal injury claim.
Negotiation or Court Proceedings
Following the Letter of Claim, the responsible party may respond with an admission or denial of liability. This means they will either accept responsibility for the personal injury, or deny it.
If liability is admitted, you and your personal injury solicitor will negotiate a fair settlement with the other party. However, if they deny it, legal proceedings may be initiated.
Your solicitor may also negotiate interim payments with the responsible party or their insurance company. These payments are designed to provide financial assistance during the ongoing legal process to cover immediate expenses and financial burdens resulting from the injury.
Settlement or Court Judgement
If a settlement is reached outside of court, you’ll receive compensation in line with that agreement. If not, the case may proceed to court, where a judge will hear all of the evidence and determine an outcome.
The responsible party or their insurance company may choose to pay the settlement amount in a lump sum or through structured payments over a specified period. The chosen payment method is typically outlined in the personal injury settlement agreement.
Before compensation is awarded, the injured party is usually required to sign a release of liability, which waives their right to pursue further legal action related to the specific incident. Once all terms are agreed and the release is signed, the compensation is awarded to the inured party.
Having a personal injury lawyer by your side through personal injury claims can significantly enhance your chances of success. They can guide you through the process, ensure all necessary documentation is in place, and advocate for your best interests through a distressing time.