A sudden and unexpected accident can greatly affect your life, either short-term or permanently. Whether you have tripped on uneven pavement, were involved in a road traffic collision or had an accident at work, the consequences could be catastrophic.
If another party caused your injury by acting negligently, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. At Council Claims, we provide information on all types of accident claims you could make and the steps you need to take in order to secure compensation.
Getting early legal advice can highly improve your chances of receiving compensation for your pain, suffering and any financial losses related to your accident. This will make collecting evidence much easier, and it ensures you can start legal proceedings within the time limits required by law.
The solicitors we work with have vast experience in helping victims of negligence receive the compensation they deserve. They will offer you support and advice at every step of the claiming process, always having your best interest in mind.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
Expert help for all types of accident claims
Why choose us?
While you are recovering from an injury, claiming compensation might not be at the forefront of your mind. However, a personal injury claim can provide the financial support and security you need to overcome this difficult moment.
Choosing an experienced personal injury solicitor can be decisive in securing a successful compensation claim. That is why we work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the leading provider of personal injury services in the UK.
The original aim of the Council Claims website was to provide information and advice about making a compensation claim against councils for accidents caused by their negligence. This included claims for tripping on raised pavements and potholes, accidents in public parks and schools and many other accidents where the council or local authority was at fault.
However, through our partnership with National Accident Helpline, we can now help with all types of personal injury claims. So whether you have been involved in a road accident, been injured at work, had an accident in a shop or been the victim of medical negligence, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A free consultation with an expert legal adviser who will assess your case and offer informed advice on how to proceed with your claim.
A no win no fee service to help fund your claim. We believe that anyone who suffered a personal injury should be able to pursue compensation regardless of their financial situation. That is why all of the solicitors we work with will be able to offer you a no win no fee service (also known as a conditional fee agreement).
The main advantage of a no win no fee claim is that you do not have to pay anything if your case is unsuccessful. Your solicitor will take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy on your behalf, which covers all the legal costs incurred if your case is lost, so you will never be left out of pocket.
If your injury claim is successful, your solicitor’s fee will be covered by a deduction from your compensation award, known as the success fee. The success fee will never exceed 25% of your compensation, and it will be explained to you and agreed upon at the beginning of your claim.
Free and competent advice at every step of the claim. By offering you a no win no fee service, your solicitor risks not getting paid if your case is unsuccessful. This is a further guarantee they will always do their best to secure the compensation you deserve.
Help and support throughout the claiming process so you can focus on your recovery. Your solicitor will take care of collecting evidence, talking to witnesses and dealing with paperwork, saving you a lot of time and effort. They will make sure every document and information is up to date and will always keep you informed.
Expert personal injury solicitors with years of experience in helping people claim compensation for all types of accidents. The solicitors we work with have vast experience negotiating compensation claims, ensuring you receive the maximum award possible.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details to request a call back. Some of the best personal injury solicitors from across the UK are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Frequently asked questions:
To give you a better understanding of the claims process, we have answered some of the most common personal injury related questions below.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury is a legal term that describes any physical or psychological harm to your person, as opposed to property damage. Personal injuries may vary from cuts, burns and lacerations to broken bones and damage to internal organs. Some other injuries, such as brain trauma, can be life-changing and even fatal.
If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another individual, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is a legal case you can bring against the liable party to recover financial compensation for the damages you suffered.
Usually, it should be possible to make a claim even if you were partially responsible for an accident. If you hold less than 51% of the blame, your compensation award will be reduced based on your percentage of the fault. This is known as contributory negligence, and you should never accept it without first seeking legal advice.
To find out if you have a valid personal injury claim, you can call free on 0800 678 1410 to speak to an expert solicitor. They will offer you informed and impartial advice about how you should proceed and answer any questions you may have.
What types of accidents can I make a claim for?
Many types of accidents could result in a personal injury claim, with the most common being:
Slips, trips and falls in a public place
Your local council has a duty to maintain all public domains like streets, schools and parks safe and free of hazards. According to The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, business owners also have the legal responsibility to keep you safe on their premises.
If you suffered a personal injury after a slip or trip on the street, in a restaurant, shop, or any other public place due to poor maintenance or housekeeping, you might be able to claim compensation.
Accidents at work
Many legislations aim to protect employees at the workplace, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
Employers must always conduct regular risk assessments and take the necessary measures to reduce or eliminate them. If they fail to observe their legal duty of care, they could be held liable in a personal injury claim.
Road traffic accidents
The Highway Code sets out advice, guidelines and mandatory rules for road users in the UK. Although the Highway Code is not the law, it can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Every road user, including pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, must exercise reasonable care for their safety and the safety of others on the road. If another person causes you an injury by speeding, careless driving or another dangerous behaviour, they will likely have to pay you compensation.
Claims against the Council
As mentioned above, councils and local authorities have a duty to maintain public spaces. If they fail to do this and it causes an accident resulting in personal injury, they can usually be held liable for compensation.
It is not just roads and pavements that councils are responsible for maintaining. Local councils are often responsible for public parks, schools, council houses, car parks and many other areas used by thousands of people every day.
Councils throughout the country also employ millions of people across a wide range of different job roles. As with employers in the private sector, councils and local authorities owe a duty of care to their employees. If they fail to do this and it results in an accident at work, the council can be held liable to pay personal injury compensation.
Medical negligence claims
When we seek medical advice, we hope that our healthcare provider will diagnose our condition and provide the best treatment so we can return to feeling well. Unfortunately, they can also cause an injury or make your condition worse due to:
- A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical negligence
- Incorrect prescription of medication
- Dental negligence
- Negligence during pregnancy and birth
If you can prove that a healthcare professional failed to provide a reasonable standard of care, causing you a personal injury, you might be entitled to compensation through a medical negligence claim.
Besides physical injuries, a criminal assault can cause severe psychological and emotional trauma. Violent crimes include physical and sexual abuse, assaults, terrorist attacks and robberies.
The person that committed the offence is often unidentified, uninsured, or cannot afford to pay for the damages they caused you. For this reason, the Ministry of Justice funds the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which pays compensation to blameless victims of violent crime.
Fatal accident claims
Losing someone you love due to the negligent behaviour of another person can be extremely overwhelming. While claiming compensation may be the last thing on your mind after such a tragedy, it can help ease the financial strain you might be under due to your loss.
If you are a dependent of a wrongful death victim, you could claim compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. This right to make a claim extends to spouses, civil partners, cohabiting partners for at least two years and very close relatives.
Whether you travel abroad to work or for a holiday, there are many ways in which you could suffer an accident in a foreign country. Dealing with cultural differences and a language barrier can make the events even more distressful. Furthermore, your injuries may not allow you to return home for a while until you are fit and able.
Depending on your circumstances, you could still claim in the UK, or you may have to claim directly in the country where your accident took place. You should always seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident abroad, as the time limit to bring a claim can be very short in certain countries.
Industrial disease claims
Long-term exposure to harmful substances or unsafe conditions in the workplace can cause you to develop many illnesses or conditions. Some of the most common examples of industrial diseases include asbestosis, hearing loss, repetitive strain injuries, occupational asthma and cancer.
Industrial diseases may take many years or even decades to develop, and it may be complicated to prove a link between your illness and employment. However, you can still make a claim even if you changed jobs or your employer is no longer trading.
Regardless of the type of accident that caused your injury, you can call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with some of the best personal injury solicitors. They will provide expert and compassionate advice and support you at every step of the claim to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
How do I begin a personal injury claim?
If you believe you have valid grounds for a personal injury claim, you should contact a professional solicitor as soon as possible. They will ask you some questions regarding your circumstances to verify that you are eligible for compensation, such as:
- Was someone else at least partially responsible for the accident?
- Do you know the identity of the responsible party? If not, did you report the accident to the police?
- Did you seek medical care for your injuries?
- Did your accident happen in the last three years?
If your solicitor believes you have a valid claim, they will double-check your eligibility. Some essential steps you could take to support your claim include:
- Collect evidence that can point to who caused the accident, such as photographs or CCTV footage
- Get the names and contact details of other people involved in the accident and any witnesses
- Seek medical care to have documented evidence of your injuries
- File an accident report if you suffered an injury at work or in a public place
- Report the accident to the police if you were the victim of a violent crime
- Write down every detail you can remember about the accident and how it affected your life, including any related financial losses you incurred
After gathering all the relevant evidence, your solicitor will notify the defendant of your allegations of negligence. They will have three months to investigate the claim and admit or deny liability. If they accept responsibility, you may begin to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, you may have to argue your claim before a judge. Although in reality, the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled without going to court.
Is there a time limit for making an accident claim?
The Limitation Act 1980 states that the time limit to make a personal injury claim is three years from:
- The date on which your accident happened
- The date of knowledge of your injury
If you do not start legal proceedings within the limitation date, you will likely lose your right to claim compensation. A judge may allow a claim to proceed beyond the time limit, but only in exceptional circumstances.
There are several exceptions to the three-year limitation date for claiming compensation for personal injury. These exceptions are:
- If the victim of a personal injury is a child, the three-year time limit does not apply. A parent, guardian or another litigation friend could claim on their behalf at any time before they turn 18, regardless of when the accident happened.
- Under the Mental Health Act 1983, there is no time limit to claim on behalf of an individual who lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves. The three-year limit only begins if they recover from their disability and are deemed capable of managing their affairs.
- Military personnel injured in the line of duty could make a personal injury claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) within seven years from the injury date.
- The standard time limit to make a claim through the CICA is two years following an assault or another violent crime. For victims of historical sexual abuse, the two-year limit begins after reporting the incident to the police.
- In case of a fatal injury or illness, a close family member could make a claim within three years from the date of death or after discovering the cause of death.
- The time limit to claim for an accident or illness abroad varies from country to country and could be as short as six months.
As a general rule, the sooner you start a claim, the easier it is to gather evidence and build a strong case. To begin your claim or find out what limitation date might apply to your situation, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser.
How long does a claim take?
The circumstances of each accident are unique, so it is difficult to predict precisely how long it may take for your claim to settle. This will usually depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The type of accident you were involved in
- The severity of your injuries and any permanent effects
- The time needed to gather evidence
- Who you are claiming against
- Whether the defendant admits liability
- The estimated value of your compensation award
While a straightforward road accident claim could settle within 4 to 9 months, a complex, high-value medical negligence claim may take up to five years to conclude. Once your claim has been settled, the compensation award should usually be paid to you within a month.
If you are worried that it will take too long to receive compensation and you will not be able to keep up with your financial expenses, your solicitor can sometimes arrange for you to receive interim payments. These will help you pay for medical care or cover lost wages while your claim continues.
After thoroughly assessing your case, your solicitor could give you a fair estimate of how long your case might take to settle. For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or fill out our online claim form to receive a call back.
How much compensation can I claim for my injuries?
The amount of compensation you could receive if your claim is successful depends on how severe your injury or illness was, its impact on your life and any related financial losses you incurred. When calculating a suitable compensation award, your solicitor will consider:
General damages – the pain, suffering, and life changes the injury caused you, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma and mental distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Reduced quality of life or life expectancy
- Inability to pursue a hobby or attend social events
- Loss of prospects or enjoyment of life
Special damages – the financial losses or expenses directly caused by your accident, including:
- Any lost earnings from taking time off work
- Costs of medical treatments, travel and accommodation
- Physical therapy or psychological counselling
- Accessibility changes to your home or vehicle to fit your disability
- Costs of care and assistance with daily tasks
The UK compensation guidelines are set out by the Judicial College, an official body of the Ministry of Justice. Their figures refer to compensation awards for general damages; any special damages you incurred will be assessed separately. For example, you could get:
- £240 - £4,345 if you suffered whiplash in a car accident
- £11,730 to £26,050 for moderate back injuries after an accident at work
- £2,070 to £379,100 for a head injury after a slip, trip and fall
- £12,000 to £300,000 for wrongful death caused by medical negligence
- £65,710 to £91,350 for developing lung cancer due to asbestos exposure
Will I have to go to court?
Many people are worried that they might have to take their case before a judge, but most personal injury claims are settled out of court in the UK. This offers several advantages both to the claimant and the defendant, so it is the preferred way of dealing with a claim.
According to Ministry of Justice statistics, of the 403,000 County Court claims made between January and March 2021, only 14,000 went to trial, equivalent to approximately 3.5% of all claims.
Although it is not likely for most cases, the reasons why an accident claim could go to court include:
- If the defendant does not admit liability or you cannot agree on the compensation award.
- If you have a particularly high value or complex claim, such as a claim for a brain injury or significant industrial disease, for example.
- If you are claiming on behalf of a victim under 18 years old, you may be required to go through an Infant Approval Hearing before a judge.
If your case ends up in court, you have nothing to worry about. Personal injury claims are heard in a civil courtroom without a jury, and in many cases, your solicitor will be able to represent you. If you are required to attend, your solicitor will offer their support and advice to make sure you are fully prepared in advance.
To start your claim or find out more about claiming compensation, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.