Being involved in an accident can be very upsetting, even more so when somebody else is at fault. If you suffer a severe injury, it can have a devastating impact and might affect your life forever. Besides physical pain and suffering, a personal injury can cause psychological trauma and substantial financial losses.
If another individual was responsible for your injuries, you might be entitled to compensation. The most common accidents leading to personal injury claims are car accidents, accidents at work, slips and trips in public places and medical negligence.
Most injuries leading to a claim are due to a single traumatic event, such as a road traffic accident, resulting in cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains, fractures, burns or even brain injury. Other injuries such as hearing loss, mesothelioma and carpal tunnel syndrome develop over time due to workplace hazards and overuse.
If you believe you have a valid personal injury claim, the first thing you should do is contact a personal injury solicitor for a free case assessment. If they feel you have a valid case, they will offer you a no win no fee service, so you do not have to worry about any upfront fees and hidden charges.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a personal injuries claim and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, continue reading below for our comprehensive guide to personal injury claims.
What is classed as a personal injury?
The term personal injury describes any injury or illness caused or made worse by someone else’s negligence. Unlike property damage, a personal injury is inflicted on a person’s body, either physically, emotionally or psychologically.
In common law, the term usually refers to a type of civil claim in which the claimant has suffered harm to their body or mind. Personal injuries may range from cuts and bruises to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and even death.
They also include hearing loss, asbestosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other illnesses that develop over time and are not visible. Psychological injuries may refer to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions caused by a traumatic event.
There are many circumstances in which you could suffer a personal injury, including road traffic accidents, accidents at work, criminal assault or medical negligence. As long as another party was at least partially responsible for your accident, you could make a personal injury claim for compensation.
What is a personal injury claim?
If another party caused you a personal injury, you might be entitled to ask for compensation for your pain, suffering, and any related financial losses. To recover damages from the responsible party, you will have to make a personal injury claim.
A personal injuries claim is a legal case you could bring against anyone who caused you harm. If you win, your compensation is usually paid by an insurance company. A free consultation with a legal adviser is the easiest way to determine whether you have valid grounds to claim compensation.
Usually, personal injury claims are possible if:
- The party responsible for your injury owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty by acting negligently
- Their negligence caused you to suffer an injury or illness
- You were injured or learned of your condition within the last three years
There are generally three different grounds on which personal injury claims are brought:
- Negligence is the most common reason for a personal injury claim. The basis for a negligence claim is someone’s failure to exercise a level of care expected from a careful individual under the same circumstances. This applies in situations such as a road traffic accident or a slip, trip or fall.
- Another common cause of claims for injury is strict liability, under which a person is responsible for personal damage even in the absence of fault or criminal intent. For example, if you were injured due to a defective product, the manufacturer is automatically responsible for your injuries, and you do not have to prove liability.
- In criminal injury compensation claims, the defendant caused intentional harm to the claimant. If you suffered a criminal injury such as an assault or sexual abuse, you could make an injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
The personal injury claims process is slightly different depending on how the defendant caused your injury. For example, you have only two years to make a CICA claim, and you need to have previously reported your accident to the police.
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 personal injury claim and answer any questions you may have.
How do I make a personal injury claim?
If you believe that another party is responsible for your injury, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced solicitor will listen carefully to your circumstances and let you know if you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
There are some typical steps involved in most personal injury claims, which are:
It may not always be clear who is responsible for your injuries and who you will make your claim against. Even if you were involved in a road traffic accident and it may seem that a driver was acting negligently, they could have lost control due to a road defect or a vehicle malfunctioning.
Your solicitor will carefully consider all the facts to identify the liable party. In certain situations like a hit and run accident or criminal assault, you may not know who is responsible for your injuries. However, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim through relevant compensation schemes such as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) or the CICA.
You can assist your solicitor by telling them everything you remember about the accident, such as when and where it happened, who else was present, how it happened and who you think is responsible for the events.
If you have evidence such as photographs of the accident scene or contact details of any witnesses, these can be very helpful for building a strong injury claim. Nonetheless, even if you cannot remember much or are claiming on behalf of someone else, your solicitor will investigate the case and gather everything you need for your injury claim.
Assessing your injury or illness
It is essential to determine the extent of injuries you suffered and their impact on your life. If you visited the hospital or saw your GP, your solicitor will ask for your medical records and photos of any visible trauma such as lacerations, bruises, fractures or scars.
They might also arrange a free visit with a medical expert to examine your injuries, pain and suffering and whether the accident affected your mental health. The other side may request that their medical expert assess your health.
Your solicitor may also arrange medical care or rehabilitation that you cannot always get through the NHS. If you have a severe injury, they will also schedule a needs assessment with a rehabilitation coordinator. It is essential to determine what long-term or permanent effects your injuries might have on your life.
Calculate the compensation award
Your solicitor will calculate a suitable compensation award for your injury claim based on all the available evidence. The value will take into account your pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, and any other ways in which your injury affected your life.
Reach a settlement
After preparing everything you need and calculating how much compensation you deserve, your solicitor will try to settle with the defendant. Both sides can make multiple offers and negotiate a figure that is acceptable for everyone.
If you cannot agree on a compensation award or the other side denies liability for your injuries, you may have to argue your personal injury claim before a judge. In this case, a judge will examine the available evidence and decide how much compensation you should receive.
The compensation payment
After you have reached a settlement or the court made a decision, you will usually receive your compensation payment within a month. Usually, the compensation will be paid directly to you or to a trust in your name.
When the victim is a child, the money will be transferred into a court bank account and gain interest until the child turns 18. If your compensation covers long-term care costs, the court may award you monthly or yearly payments.
To begin your claim or find out more about the personal injury claims process, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. Alternatively, please enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
What type of accidents can result in an injury claim?
Suffering from an injury that was not your fault can be very distressing, and you might want to claim compensation for your pain and suffering. Many accidents could lead to a personal injury claim, with the most common being:
Accidents at work
Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees. They are legally required to take all reasonable measures to prevent an accident at work, as dictated by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant legislation.
There are many ways in which you could suffer an accident at work. Some injuries, such as fractures and lacerations, may be caused by a sudden slip, trip, or machinery accident. Other conditions like vibration white finger or hearing loss may develop over time through overuse and repetitive exposure to hazards such as loud machinery or vibrating work tools.
If your employer failed to carry out regular risk assessments and to take necessary measures to eliminate or reduce hazards, you might be able to make a personal injury claim.
Road traffic accidents
All road users must exercise reasonable care for their safety and all other road users. Speeding, fatigue, distracted driving and violating traffic laws are some of the most common reasons for a road traffic accident.
According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, if another person was responsible for your accident, you can make a personal injuries claim for compensation. This is true whether you were involved in a car accident or were injured as a cyclist or pedestrian. If your injury was due to an uninsured driver or a hit and run accident, you could still recover damages through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Accidents in public
When you are out shopping, eating, doing sports or having fun, the last thing you might expect is to have an accident. Accidents in public places are most commonly caused by falling objects and slips, trips and falls. These are due to slippery surfaces, pavement defects, objects left in walkways and poorly stacked shelves or falling signs.
Under the Highways Act 1980, the local authorities have a legal duty to inspect and maintain all public places, such as streets and parks, safe and in good working order. According to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, the owner or tenant of a private building such as a pub or supermarket must also take all reasonable steps to keep the premises safe for visitors.
When feeling unwell, we trust medical professionals to diagnose our condition and take the necessary steps to make us healthy again. In most cases, patients have a good experience with their doctor, but that is not always the case.
A misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication errors and surgical negligence are just some examples of how a medical visit can cause an injury or the worsening of your condition. If your healthcare provider failed to provide a reasonable standard of care, you might be entitled to make a medical negligence claim.
A criminal assault can cause severe physical and psychological injuries. Examples of violent crime include physical and sexual abuse, terrorist attacks, domestic violence and assaults. If you have been the victim of a violent crime, you are entitled to claim for personal injury, even if the attacker is unknown.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an Agency of the Ministry of Justice which provides compensation to blameless victims of physical or sexual assaults. Unlike most personal injury claims, you have two years to make a CICA claim, and you must previously report the incident to the police.
Accidents involving animals
Some of the most common animal incidents are dog bites, which can lead to severe physical injuries and emotional trauma. Dog owners are responsible for their canines and must take all reasonable measures to prevent them from acting dangerously around other people.
If a dog attacks you without you being at fault, the owner can be held liable to pay you compensation for your injuries. If you were bitten by a stray dog or someone deliberately provoked their dog to attack you, you could potentially claim through the CICA.
You could also claim compensation if your injury was due to a livestock animal. You can make a personal injury claim whether you were working on a farm or if an unattended or escaped animal attacked you or caused a road traffic accident.
Injuries are commonplace while practising sports and, usually, they are nobody’s fault. If you suffered a sports injury, a legal adviser could let you know if you are eligible to make a personal injury claim. Usually, this may be possible if your accident was due to inadequate training, faulty equipment or dangerous ground conditions.
You might also be eligible for compensation if you had a horse riding accident. While bumps and bruises are common when working with horses, a kick or fall can have severe, life-changing consequences. Receiving inadequate training or protective equipment, such as helmets, are some valid grounds to make an injury claim.
Losing a loved one in a tragic and sudden accident is devastating. Many such accidents occur on the road, at work, due to criminal assaults or medical negligence. Besides pain and suffering, losing a loved one could also bring financial strain to you and your family.
If another party was responsible for your loved one’s death, you might be able to claim compensation. In case of fatal accidents, personal injury claims can be brought by spouses, partners who cohabited for at least two years and close family members.
What are the most common injuries that people claim compensation for?
An accident can cause a great variety of injuries for which you could claim compensation, with the most common being:
- Head injuries may range from bumps and bruises to concussions and skull fractures. Severe head trauma may also lead to brain injuries that could cause permanent complications and even death.
- Neck injuries range from mild soft tissue injuries such as whiplash to severe spinal cord and nerve damage that may change your life forever. Spinal cord injuries may cause partial or complete loss of sensory or motor function.
- Back injuries may be due to a single traumatic event or may develop over time through overuse and repetitive movements. The most common types of back injuries are sprains, strains and herniated disks. Severe spinal fractures may damage the spinal cord and cause tetraplegia or paraplegia.
- Arm injuries are the most common injuries in work related accidents. These can range from minor cuts and lacerations to severe fractures and even amputations and may affect the wrist, elbow, shoulder or the rest of the arm.
- Leg injuries can severely affect your ability to work or carry out usual daily activities. They can occur anywhere in the foot, ankle, shin or thigh and range from minor lacerations to permanent bone and nerve damage.
- Hip injuries such as sprains and strains, dislocations and fractures can be very painful and may lead to permanent mobility issues, osteoarthritis and chronic pain.
- Asbestos related illnesses usually take years or decades to develop and may be malignant or benign. In the UK, there are approximately 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma every year, and most patients live less than one year after diagnosis.
- Hearing loss and deafness are commonplace among employees that work in loud environments without proper safety measures and protective equipment. Hearing problems may range from tinnitus to complete deafness in both ears.
- Repetitive strain injuries occur due to repetitive movements that cause injuries to muscles, nerves and tendons. These usually affect the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder but may also cause tendinosis of the hip and knees.
- Amputations are some of the most traumatic and devastating injuries. Amputations may be due to machinery accidents, explosions or road accidents or surgically required due to blood vessel problems or other medical conditions.
- Burn injuries can be very painful and may cause permanent scarring and nerve damage. While first-degree burns are superficial and usually heal within two weeks, deep burns may require skin grafts, amputation of the affected area, or even be fatal.
- Mental or psychological trauma can be caused by any type of physical injury or abuse. Psychological injuries may range from mild anxiety and depression to severe PTSD, preventing the victim from functioning normally.
- Birth injuries may affect both the mother and the baby and can be due to misdiagnosis, mishandling, medication errors and other forms of negligence. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common injuries to the baby, affecting around 1 in 400 children in the UK.
If another person was at least partially responsible for your injuries, you might be entitled to make a personal injury claim. To find out if you have a valid compensation claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
What is the benefit of making a no win no fee injury claim?
If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might want to claim compensation for your pain and suffering. Nonetheless, you may be worried about investing time, effort and money into a claim without having the certainty it will be successful.
Luckily, most personal injury claims can be funded using a no win no fee service. If your solicitor believes you have a valid injury claim with a fair chance of success, they will take on your case without asking for any upfront fees. There are many other benefits of making a no win no fee claim for injury, such as:
- You can start the personal injury claims process regardless of your financial situation. This ensures everyone gets a chance to claim, and the decision will be based on the merits of the case.
- You will always get an honest opinion and be sure that you have a genuine claim because there is no advantage for a solicitor to work on a no win no fee claim otherwise. After all, they only receive payment for their work if the claim is successful.
- If you lose the case, you do not have to pay any solicitor fees or hidden charges.
- Your solicitor will take care of gathering evidence, talking to witnesses and preparing all the required paperwork while you can focus on your recovery.
- Whether you win or lose, you do not have to worry about paying the legal costs of claiming. If your case is successful, the defendant will cover most of the legal charges. If you lose, you are protected by the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy your solicitor will take out on your behalf.
- Your solicitor will arrange a free medical visit with an independent professional who will assess the full extent of your injuries. Their medical report will also include any long-term or permanent effects that you may suffer, and it will serve as an essential piece of evidence in a personal injury claim.
- Your solicitor will contact the defendant or their insurer and negotiate the maximum amount of compensation possible on your behalf.
- In no win no fee personal injury claims, you only have to pay anything if your case is successful. This is called the success fee, which is paid to your solicitor for the risk they took by offering you a conditional fee agreement. The percentage will be discussed and agreed upon from the beginning, and it cannot exceed 25% of the compensation you receive for general damages and past economic losses.
To find out if you can make a personal injury claim on a no win no fee basis, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, enter your details to receive a call back.
How long do personal injury claims take?
How long it may take for a personal injury claim to settle depends on several factors, such as:
- What kind of accident you have had – a straightforward road traffic accident claim may settle within 4 to 9 months, while a complex medical negligence claim may take up to five years to conclude.
- The type and severity of your injuries – in complex cases where the victim suffers severe injuries that may have long-lasting or permanent effects, it may take years to assess the full extent of pain, suffering and loss of amenity. A brain or spinal cord injury will take longer to settle than an arm fracture.
- The time you need to gather evidence – if you have all the evidence you need to show that another party is liable for your injuries, you can start the personal injury claim process right away. If you have little or no evidence and your solicitor has to gather everything you need to build a case, this may take several extra months.
- Whether you know the identity of the defendant – if you suffered an injury in a hit and run or due to a criminal assault where the culprit is unknown, you will have to make an injury claim through the MIB or the CICA, which will usually take longer.
- Whether the defendant admits liability – if the other side agrees that they were responsible for your accident, you can start negotiating a settlement. Otherwise, your solicitor will have to issue court proceedings. If you have to argue your case before a judge, it may take up to a year to get a court date.
- Whether the defendant agrees with your settlement offer – if you can agree on a settlement figure, this will be the last step of your claim. Otherwise, you will have to continue negotiations until you can reach an understanding or argue your case before a judge who will decide your compensation award.
The time it takes for all personal injury claims to settle depends on many individual circumstances. Below are the average settlement times for some of the most common types of accident claims:
- Road Traffic Accident – 4 to 9 months
- Workplace Accident – 6 to 12 months
- Medical Negligence – 12 to 36 months
- Industrial Disease – 12 to 18 months
- Public Liability – 6 to 12 months
- CICA claim – 12 to 18 months
Who pays the compensation if I win my personal injury claim?
After you agree to the settlement amount with the defendant, you should typically receive your compensation award within 2 to 4 weeks. If you are wondering who will pay your compensation, this depends on your accident and who you are claiming against.
Most often, the compensation for a personal injury will be awarded by one of the following:
The other side’s insurance company
You may worry that your claim will leave the defendant out of pocket, but that is not the case. All employers, drivers, business owners, private healthcare professionals and even your local council are legally required to have insurance to cover any personal injury claims made against them.
The NHS Resolution
If you suffered an injury due to medical negligence while receiving care through the National Health Service, your compensation will be awarded by NHS Resolution. This is an insurance company set up by the government to handle all medical claims against NHS providers.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
Most often, the perpetrator of a violent crime such as an assault or sexual abuse is either unidentified or uninsured. The Ministry of Justice established the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) to award compensation for pain and suffering to blameless victims of violent crimes in the UK.
The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB)
The MIB is an independent organisation that pays compensation to victims of road traffic accidents with an uninsured or unidentified driver. The personal injury claims process for a hit and run follows the same basic steps but requires that you report the incident to the police.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
The AFCS is a government scheme set up to pay compensation to military personnel injured while serving or their families in case of a fatal accident. Unlike other personal injury claims, victims do not have to prove liability. Furthermore, the time limit to make a military injury claim through the AFCS is seven years from the date of injury.
If you are interested in who may be liable to pay compensation for your injury claim, you can call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
What percentage of injury claims go to court?
Being involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence can be very upsetting and distressful. If you consider making a personal injury claim for your pain and suffering, you may worry about going to court to argue your case.
However, it is highly unlikely that you will have to take your case before a judge. Most personal injury claims settle out of court because it is more convenient to both the claimant and the defendant by offering several advantages, such as:
- It saves both sides a lot of time and effort, as it takes significantly longer to conclude a case by going to court.
- It is far less expensive to settle out of court than to go to trial, which would involve additional expenses such as barrister and expert witness fees.
- Settling out of court is less stressful, and, unlike trials, settlement negotiations are not public records.
- The compensation award will be decided by the two sides and not by a judge and cannot be appealed once both sides agree to a settlement.
According to the Ministry of Justice, between January and March 2021, only 14,000 of the 403,000 County Court claims went to trial, which is approximately 3.5% of all claims. Some circumstances in which personal injury claims may go to court include:
- If the victim is a child, you will need to go through an Infant Approval Hearing in court. A judge will review all the available evidence and decide if they received a fair compensation award.
- Some complex cases, such as severe brain or spinal injuries, medical negligence claims or fatal accidents.
- If the defendant is unresponsive or denies liability for your injuries, your solicitor may issue court proceedings. This way, they are legally required to respond to your allegations and argue their case before a judge.
- If you cannot agree on a settlement, both parties will have to present their evidence in court, and a judge will decide on a suitable compensation award.
Even if your case goes to court, your solicitor may be able to represent you. If you are required to appear in person, your solicitor will make sure you are fully prepared and will guide you throughout the process. Personal injury claims are heard in a civil courtroom without a jury, so you have nothing to worry about.
Is there a time limit for making a personal injury claim?
According to the Limitation Act 1980, you can usually bring a personal injury claim within three years from:
- The date your accident took place; or
- The date you were diagnosed with an illness or injury, known as the date of knowledge
There are several exceptions to the three-year limitation date, including:
- The three-year countdown begins once a victim turns 18. A parent or close family member can claim compensation on their behalf at any time before that, regardless of when they were injured.
- There is no time limit for a litigation friend to claim for an injury on behalf of an individual that lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings, known as a protected party.
- Military personnel injured while serving have seven years to claim compensation through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and three years to claim under civil law.
- The standard time limit to make a personal injuries claim through the CICA is two years after a violent crime. For historical abuse, the two-year countdown begins after reporting the crime to the police.
- In wrongful death cases, a close family member could claim compensation within three years from the date of death or after learning the cause of death.
- The time limit to start the personal injury claims process for an accident abroad varies from country to country and may be as short as six months.
How much compensation will I receive if my claim is successful?
The value of a personal injury claim depends on several factors, such as the type and extent of your injury, its effects on your life and whether you had any part of the blame for the accident. In every claim, you can recover two types of damages:
General damages compensate you for the physical and mental suffering caused by your injuries and how this affected your life, such as:
- Loss of a unique career
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Inability to pursue a hobby
- Reduced quality of life or life expectancy
- Loss of companionship
Special damages reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses or financial losses related to the accident. Some examples of special damages include :
- Costs of medical treatments and travelling to medical appointments
- Lost wages, including future losses
- Costs of care and assistance with daily tasks
- Counselling and physiotherapy
- Modifications to your home or vehicle
- Any other financial expenses related to your injuries
In the UK, the Judicial College offers guidelines that solicitors and the courts use when calculating compensation awards for personal injury claims. For example, you could get:
- £1,760 – £322,060 for a head or brain injury
- £10,040 – £87,410 for noise induced hearing problems
- £2,710 – £19,260 for a hernia
- £2,810 – £51,070 for a wrist injury
- £11,730 – £26,050 for moderate back injuries
- £240 – £104,370 for neck injuries
- £43,710 – £240,590 for severe leg injuries
- £2,390 – £30,630 for vibration white finger
- £3,150 – £80,250 for post-traumatic stress disorder
- £3,150 – £104,370 for a pelvis or hip injury
Your solicitor will take into account all the ways in which your injuries affected your life to calculate an appropriate compensation award. To find out how much your claim could be worth, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Do I need to hire a personal injury solicitor to make a claim?
If you want to bring a personal injury claim against someone you believe was responsible for your injuries, there is no legal requirement to hire a solicitor. Legally, you are entitled to act on your behalf and pursue compensation from the responsible party.
However, the fact that you do not have legal knowledge and experience in handling personal injury claims can result in you losing the case, especially if:
- The other party does not admit liability
- You are being blamed for contributing to the accident
- Multiple parties are involved in your injury claim
- You sustained a traumatic injury or permanent disability
- The defendant’s insurance company is acting in bad faith
- You do not know how much compensation you are entitled to
- You have little or no evidence related to the accident
If you want to handle the personal injury claim process on your own and are not too worried about the outcome of your case, you do not need to get legal advice. Nonetheless, hiring an expert solicitor brings several noteworthy advantages:
- They will make sure you are properly and fully compensated for your damages.
- Your solicitor will carry out a comprehensive investigation to determine if you have a valid injury claim and what are your chances of winning the case.
- You will receive free and competent advice at every step of the claiming process.
- Your solicitor will take care of all the paperwork, including gathering evidence and talking to witnesses so you can focus on recovery.
- They have the training and ability to oppose the other side and know how to deal with typical insurance company tactics.
- They understand how the legal system works and can make sensible and rational decisions to secure a successful personal injury claim.
- You do not have to worry about any upfront fees or legal charges, as they will be able to offer you a no win no fee service.
- Your solicitor will arrange an independent medical assessment to determine the full extent of your injuries and your recovery prospects, which will serve as an essential piece of evidence in your claim.
- For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or fill out our online claim form to receive a call back. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
What evidence will I need to support my claim?
As a claimant, you need relevant evidence to prove that another person was directly responsible for your injuries. Depending on the type of accident and injury you suffered, there are multiple pieces of evidence you should provide to support your personal injury claim when possible. This includes:
- Medical records stating the extent of your injuries, the treatments you received and any long-term or permanent effects caused by your accident.
- Photographs of the accident scene showing the cause of your injuries and the aftermath of the accident.
- Photographs of your injuries, including the healing process and any subsequent scarring.
- The name and contact details of anyone involved in the accident, including witnesses.
- The license plate and insurance details of any drivers involved in a road traffic accident.
- Police or emergency service reports if they attended the accident scene. If you were injured at work or in a public place, a copy of the accident report you filed with the responsible party.
- The date, time, location and type of the accident you suffered.
- A diary detailing how the accident occurred, as well as your physical and mental condition, and how it affected your daily life. Keep track of any care and assistance you required during recovery.
- Details and receipts of any expenses and financial losses you incurred because of the accident.
- Footage of any CCTV covering the area or from a dash cam if you had a road traffic accident.
Even if you have little or no evidence, your solicitor can help you gather everything you need to begin the personal injury claim process. To find out more about what evidence you could produce to support your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Can I make a personal injury claim on behalf of somebody else?
Anyone who suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence is entitled to make a personal injury claim. Usually, the victim will seek legal advice and start legal proceedings, but that is not always the case. Children and protected parties are not considered to have the mental capacity to claim themselves.
According to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a protected party is an adult who suffers from:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other high levels of stress
- Severe sleep deprivation
- An intellectual disability such as autism
- A severe mental disorder like schizophrenia or major depression
- A neurodegenerative disease
- A traumatic brain injury or stroke
Under the Court of Protection Rules 2017, you could act as a litigation friend on behalf of a child or a protected party if you can show the court that:
- You can represent them in a fair and competent manner
- You do not have a conflict of interest with the victim
A litigation friend has complete authority over the personal injury claim process, but you will also have responsibilities such as:
- Approve and sign legal documents
- Take legal advice and give directions to the solicitor
- Keep updated on proceedings
- Make decisions regarding the claim
- Consider any compensation offers
- Pay any fees requested by the court
- Attend court hearings
- Make sure that the victim attends all medical appointments
Becoming a litigation friend can be a long-time commitment that will end when:
- A child turns 18 and can conduct legal proceedings themselves
- A protected party regains their mental capacity or recovers from illness
- The claim comes to a conclusion