If you have suffered an injury or illness due to someone else’s actions, you might be wondering how to make a personal injury claim. The following guide aims to answer the most common questions about making a claim and securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Personal injury solicitors have extensive experience handling all types of cases, including road traffic accidents, medical negligence, accidents at work and in public places. If your claim is valid, they will offer you a no win no fee agreement, so you can benefit from legal representation without paying anything upfront or taking any financial risk.
To find out if you are eligible for compensation and how to make an injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to speak to a solicitor. They will assess your case for free and answer any questions you may have.
Do I have a valid personal injury claim?
If you suffered losses due to an accident that was not your fault, you might ask yourself whether you could make a personal injury claim. A legal adviser can confirm this during a free consultation over the phone. They will verify whether:
- Another person or company owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- Their negligence or wrongdoing has caused you to suffer an injury or illness
If your solicitor believes you have a valid compensation claim, they will help assess liability and work out who you will make your claim against. Those responsible for your accident could be:
- Your employer, if you had an accident at work or industrial illness claim
- A road user, if you were involved in a road traffic accident
- The owner of a restaurant or café may be liable for food poisoning claims
- A business owner, if you had a supermarket accident or were injured in a shop, pub or other retail environment
- A hotel, cruise line or tour operator, if you were injured in an accident abroad
- The local council, if you had a pothole or pavement accident
- Product manufacturers are usually held responsible in product liability claims
- The Ministry of Defence is accountable for military injury compensation
Your solicitor will refer to the relevant legislation to prove liability and will assist you in making a personal injury claim. They will work hard to secure the best compensation on your behalf and provide help and support at every step of the claims process.
What happens when you make an injury claim?
If you want to claim compensation following an injury or illness that was not your fault, the first thing you should do is contact a personal injury solicitor. There are several stages that solicitors typically follow when making a personal injury claim:
- Work out who is liable. Identify who is responsible for your injuries or illness, such as a driver, employer, restaurant, hotel, or product manufacturer.
- Gather evidence. You can help by providing all the details you remember about the accident, including the date, location, and witness contact information. Photos and video footage can be very helpful, and medical records will be accessed with your permission.
- Assess your injuries. Your solicitor will arrange a free expert medical assessment of your injuries and their impact on your life. Understanding the long-term effects and how long recovery might take is crucial for making a claim and ensuring you receive the maximum compensation possible.
- Arrange medical care and review recovery. Your lawyer will make sure you receive the necessary medical care and rehabilitation to support your recovery, even if it requires private treatment. They will monitor your recovery progress and arrange additional medical assessments and expert opinions if necessary. If your injuries are minor, this step may not be required.
- Work out your compensation. The damages you should receive will be based on your injuries, medical expenses, lost income, travel costs, adaptive equipment, home adaptations, care costs, and other losses and expenses.
- Resolution. Negotiate a settlement with the responsible party or their insurers. If an agreement is reached, you will receive your compensation. If not, the claim may proceed to court.
- Receive compensation. After accepting an offer or a court decision, you will typically receive your compensation as a lump sum payment. In some cases, it may be managed through a personal injury trust or court bank account if needed.
These are the basic steps of making a personal injury claim. You do not have to pay anything upfront for legal representation, and you will not lose a single penny if your case fails. This is because all the solicitors we work with provide a 100% no win no fee service.
What evidence do I need for making a personal injury claim?
When making a personal injury claim, gathering strong and relevant evidence is crucial to support your case and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. The type of evidence required will depend on the circumstances of your injury, but here are some common types of evidence that can be valuable for making a claim:
- Incident details. Keep a record of the date, time, and location of the accident or incident that caused your injury. Include any contributing factors or hazardous conditions that may have led to it.
- Photographs or videos. Take pictures or videos of the accident scene, the hazardous condition, or any visible injuries you sustained. Visual evidence can be compelling and help establish liability.
- Witness statements. If there were any witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Their accounts about what they saw can provide essential support for your claim.
- Medical records. Obtain copies of all medical reports, doctor’s notes, and treatment records related to your injuries. This documentation will demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries and the treatments you received.
- Accident reports. If the incident occurred in a public place or at work, report it to the relevant party or your employer. Obtain a copy of any accident report as proof of the date, time and location you suffered your injuries.
- Financial documentation. Keep records of any financial losses you incurred due to the injury. These may include medical bills, prescription receipts, travel expenses for medical appointments, and proof of lost wages.
- Expert opinions. In complex cases, expert opinions from specialists or medical professionals may be necessary. These can help determine the long-term impact of your injuries or the cause of the accident.
- Insurance information. If the injury is related to a road traffic accident or occurred on someone else’s property, obtain the insurance details of the responsible party.
- Communication records. Keep records of any communications with the responsible party, such as emails, letters, or texts.
- Police reports. If the injury involved a criminal act, such as an assault or a hit and run, obtain a copy of the police report filed for the incident.
Common types of personal injury claims
The solicitors we partner with have extensive experience handling various cases. They can let you know how to make a personal injury claim following any type of incident, including:
- Road traffic accidents. A road traffic accident claim arises when you have been involved in a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of another road user. Every 16 minutes in the UK, someone is killed or severely injured on the road. Common causes of accidents include speeding, driving under the influence, fatigue and violating traffic laws.
- Accidents at work. If you sustained an injury due to unsafe working conditions, lack of proper training, machinery accidents or faulty equipment, your employer may be liable for compensation.
- Accidents in public places. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, you could also make an injury claim if you had an accident in a public place, such as a park, shop or restaurant. Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common accidents in public, despite being preventable.
- Fatal accidents. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation from the responsible party. You could make a financial and loss of service dependency claim, as well as recover funeral expenses.
- Medical negligence. The negligence or incompetence of healthcare professionals such as doctors or nurses can cause injuries to patients. You may be eligible for compensation if you suffered from dental or surgical negligence, cosmetic surgery, misdiagnosis and other types of substandard care.
- Criminal injuries. If you have been the victim of an assault or another violent crime, you might be entitled to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). It is a government-funded scheme that compensates innocent individuals who have suffered a physical or psychological injury due to a criminal act.
- Sports injuries. Many sports have an inherent risk for injury, but that does not mean all accidents are unavoidable. If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, such as a coach, sports facility, or equipment manufacturer, you might be able to claim.
If you have suffered losses due to any of these or another accident, a personal injury solicitor can help you with making a personal injury claim. For a free consultation, call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back.
How much time do I have to make a claim?
The time limit for making a personal injury claim is set by the Limitation Act 1980. Based on this, you typically have three years to start legal proceedings from the date of the incident or accident that caused your injury. In certain situations, such as whiplash and industrial diseases, the three-year countdown begins on the date the injury was discovered. This is called the date of knowledge.
There are several exceptions and variations to this rule, such as:
- If the injured person is under 18 years old, the three-year limitation period begins from the date of their 18th birthday. That means they have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
- If the injured person lacks mental capacity at the time of the incident or afterwards, there is no limitation period unless they regain capacity.
- If the injury resulted from a criminal act, the time limit for claiming through the CICA is two years from the date of the incident.
Other time limits may apply depending on your specific case, so you should always contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to learn more about making a claim.
How to make a personal injury claim for someone else
If a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and cannot claim themselves, you could represent them in a legal case. That is usually the case if the injured person is a child under 18 or an adult who is a protected party.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects individuals who lack the ability to make decisions for themselves. Under the Act, an adult is considered a protected party if they suffer from:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- A stroke or traumatic brain injury
- A mental health disorder like schizophrenia
- An intellectual disability such as Down syndrome
- A neurodegenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease
Both children and protected parties need a litigation friend to make an injury claim on their behalf. It can be any suitable adult, including a parent, legal guardian, another family member or friend. To become a litigation friend, you must submit an application to the court, accompanied by proof that you:
- Can conduct legal proceedings in a fair and competent manner
- Have no conflict of interest with the injured person
Once the court appoints you as a litigation friend, you will have several responsibilities, including:
- Collect all relevant evidence related to the personal injury incident
- Instruct solicitors and seek legal advice
- Attend court hearings, if necessary
- Make decisions regarding the case
- Consider any settlement offers from the other side
- Sign legal documents and keep updated on the proceedings
Making a claim on a No Win No Fee basis
If you have a valid claim for a personal injury, the solicitors we work with will be able to offer you legal representation on a no win no fee basis. This type of arrangement is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) and means that you do not have to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor.
Instead, they will assume the risk of litigation, and you will only pay them a success fee upon receiving the compensation owed to you. By law, the success fee cannot be more than 25% of your damages for pain, suffering and past financial losses. If they fail to win your case, you do not have to pay a single penny to your solicitor.
The After the Event (ATE) insurance is essential for the no win no fee agreement. It is a legal expenses insurance that your solicitor will take out on your behalf. If you take out an ATE policy, you do not have to pay anything if your case fails, including:
- The defendant’s solicitor and expenses
- Court and counsel fees
- Medical and police reports
- Expert witness fees
- Travel expenses related to the claim
- The cost of the ATE premium
For more information on how to make an injury claim on a no win no fee basis, you can get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer by calling free on 0800 678 1410. Alternatively, you can fill in our online claim form to receive a call back.