If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness due to the negligence of another person or company, you might be able to claim compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses.
A personal injury lawyer is an accredited legal professional who can represent you and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. They will also offer support and legal advice throughout the claims process and help you get access to the best medical care to speed up your recovery.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis. While this can be financially risky for them, it allows you to take legal action regardless of your financial situation and without incurring any out-of-pocket expenses if your claim fails.
What is a personal injury lawyer?
A lawyer is a professional qualified to offer legal advice and represent someone in legal matters. There are many different types of lawyers, each specialising in a particular field of the law, such as business, criminal, family or tax law.
A personal injury lawyer provides legal services to people who have suffered a physical or psychological injury due to the negligence of another person, government agency or business. They will identify the liable party for your injury and seek compensation in a personal injury claim.
Some common examples of personal injury claims include road traffic accidents, slips, trips and falls and accidents at work. If you have been injured in an accident that you believe was not your fault, you should speak to an injury lawyer as soon as possible.
After a free initial consultation in which you will discuss some of the details of your accident and the injuries you suffered, they will be able to let you know whether you have grounds to take legal action. If your case has merit, you will be offered a no win no fee service and can start the claims process straight away.
Some of the responsibilities of personal injury lawyers include:
- Explain to you in detail the process of filing a personal injury claim and what you can expect in the following weeks and months.
- Provide you with professional advice about what you should and should not do following your injury and during the claiming process. They will also advise you on the best option to fund your claim, which is often a no win no fee agreement.
- If you make your claim on a no win no fee basis, they will also take out an After the Event insurance policy on your behalf. This provides financial coverage for all the legal expenses incurred during claiming if your case is unsuccessful, so you won’t have to pay a penny.
- Conduct a detailed investigation of all the aspects of your case to work out how much compensation you might be entitled to receive. This will usually include arranging a free visit with a medical expert to determine the full extent of your injuries and your recovery prospects.
- Prepare and file all the documents you need to start your personal injury claim.
- Negotiate the maximum possible settlement with the liable party with expert knowledge of dealing with typical insurance company tactics and other lawyers. They will also know to consider how your accident has changed your life on a larger scale and estimate its long-term effect and the future financial losses it may cause you.
- If your case does not settle outside of court, your lawyer will represent you at trial and continue to fight for the compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer should always prepare a case as if it was going to court. This will show the defendant and their insurer that you are confident about your claim and willing to argue it before a judge, prompting them to settle out of court.
For a free consultation with a no win no fee personal injury lawyer, call 0800 678 1410 or start your claim online. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
What type of claims can personal injury lawyers help with?
Personal injury lawyers can help claim compensation for any accident caused by the negligence of another person or entity. These include, but are not limited to:
Road traffic accidents
In the UK, a person dies or is severely injured every 22 minutes in a road traffic accident, with an estimated 1,850 deaths and 22,000 severe injuries per year. There are several categories of road traffic accidents that injury lawyers can help with, including:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Passenger accidents
- Bus accidents
According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, you are entitled to claim compensation if another party was responsible for your accident. You can also claim even if you were partially responsible for your injuries, for example, by not wearing a seatbelt or crossing the street without looking properly.
Accidents at work
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant legislation, employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees in the workplace. They are legally required to take all reasonable measures to prevent any harm or injury to workers, and failing to do so would make them liable for compensation.
There are many ways in which you could suffer an injury at work, either due to sudden trauma or constant exposure to unsafe working conditions. Some of the most common claims for workplace accidents include:
- Falls from a height
- Machinery accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Building site accidents
- Repetitive strain injury
- Asbestos claims
- Manual handling accidents
If you suffered a workplace injury or illness due to the negligence of your employer, a personal injury lawyer could help you make a compensation claim.
Accidents in public
Accidents in public places are most commonly due to slips, trips and falls, falling from a height, or being hit by falling objects. A public place is defined as any premise to which the public has access, such as a bar, restaurant, supermarket, car park or street.
According to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the Highways Act 1980, local councils and private business owners have the duty to maintain all public spaces and properties safe and in good working order. Some common hazards that may lead to an accident in public include pavement defects, wet floors and spillages, objects left in walkways, trailing cables and poorly stacked shelves.
Dog bites are another common type of accident in public, but the dog’s owner is usually liable to pay you compensation. If your injuries were due to a stray dog, you might be able to make a claim against the local authorities.
When you feel sick or have an injury, you trust healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat you so you can return to your day-to-day activities. Sometimes, however, doctors and other medical staff fail to offer a reasonable standard of care, causing further injury or worsening your condition.
Medical negligence claims can be brought against both the NHS and private healthcare providers. Some of the most common types of medical claims include:
- Medication errors
- Misdiagnosis claims
- Blood clot claims
- Surgical negligence
- Dental negligence
- Birth injury claims
It is often difficult to prove negligence in a medical claim, and your solicitor will consult with medicolegal experts to determine that the care you received was substandard. Due to their complex nature, medical negligence claims usually take longer to settle when compared to other types of injury claims.
Being the victim of a violent crime can be a horrifying experience. Besides physical injury, this often causes the victim to suffer severe psychological trauma and emotional distress that may permanently change their life.
If you suffered an injury due to a violent crime, you could claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is an executive agency of the UK Government that offers compensation for innocent victims of various violent crimes, including:
- Domestic violence
- Childhood abuse
- Robbery and stab injuries
- Terrorist attacks
- Rape and sexual assault
To make a CICA compensation claim, you must have previously reported the incident to the police. You can then claim within two years of the incident without having to wait for the police investigation to conclude.
As Ministry of Defence employees, military personnel also have the right to a safe working environment and reasonable precautions to be safe from harm. While injuries in direct combat are sometimes unavoidable, they have the right to proper training and equipment for the job.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a military accident, you might be entitled to compensation. You have three years to bring a claim for negligence under civil law and seven years to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
Unlike civil law, the AFCS is a no-fault scheme that awards compensation for any injury or illness suffered on duty, without having to prove that it happened because of someone else’s negligence.
The sudden loss of a loved one due to an unforeseen fatal accident is a devastating experience. While compensation cannot help with your pain and suffering, it could help ease the financial strain you might be under due to your loss.
According to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, anyone who qualifies as a dependant of the deceased can make a dependency claim. This includes their spouse or civil partner, parents, any child or other descendent, and anyone treated as a child or parent by the deceased.
Dependency claims generally compensate for the loss of income and the loss of services they would have provided, such as household chores, childcare and DIY projects. You could also claim for funeral expenses and the financial losses incurred between the accident and the date of death.
A limited number of people can also claim bereavement damages awarded to compensate for grief and suffering. There is only one bereavement award that must be divided between eligible claimants, which is currently £15,120.
Personal injury claims also cover injuries, illness or wrongful death caused by:
- Defective products
- Holiday accidents
- Sports accidents
- Cosmetic negligence
- Needlestick accidents
- Electric shocks
Regardless of the type of accident you’ve been involved in, if you feel you may have a valid compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer to make a claim?
You are not legally required to hire a personal injury lawyer if you want to pursue compensation for an injury. It is technically possible for you to handle the legal work and negotiate a settlement with the other party yourself.
However, the claims process is often complex and loaded with overwhelming legal jargon. The other side might deny liability, and you may need to provide specialist medical evidence and expert witness statements. Furthermore, it can be challenging to calculate just how much compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and future and past losses.
Without years of experience handling personal injury claims, it is easy to make common mistakes that can damage your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve, such as:
- Give a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurance company.
- If you do not fully understand the value of your claim, you might demand too little or too much compensation, which can both damage your case.
- Accept an early or final offer from the other side which is less than what you are entitled to.
- Ignore the time limits to bring your claim, which is usually three years but may be shorter in some circumstances.
- Fail to include all the damages from your accident in your compensation claim.
Hiring an experienced no win no fee personal injury lawyer will ensure that:
- You have the best chance of winning compensation for your injuries.
- They will consider all the ways in which your accident affected your life to make sure that you are fully compensated.
- You receive a thorough and independent needs assessment.
- You get access to private treatments that are not always available through the NHS.
- You wait until you know the full extent of your injuries before making or accepting a settlement offer.
- The defendant and their insurer may take your claim more seriously with an experienced injury lawyer fighting your corner.
- You receive interim payments if you are entitled to ask for early financial assistance with treatments, medical equipment and living costs.
- Your compensation is ring-fenced by a personal injury trust so that it does not affect your right to receive means-tested benefits.
There are some types of personal injury claims that you can pursue directly with a specific organisation, and these include:
- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The CICA is an executive agency funded by the Ministry of Justice to compensate blameless victims of violent crime. Although some people decide to apply for criminal injury compensation with the help of an injury lawyer, you can also start a claim yourself through their online portal.
- The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is a non-profit organisation that pays compensation to victims of hit-and-run or uninsured drivers. While you may choose to have legal representation, you can directly submit your claim electronically. The MIB can also handle your claim if you were involved in a road traffic accident with a foreign driver.
- The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
If you were injured while serving in the military, you can make a direct application for compensation with the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The AFCS is a government scheme that aims to pay compensation to military personnel injured on duty or their families in case of a fatal accident.
On the other hand, it is strongly advised that you hire a personal injury lawyer if:
- You suffered severe, long-term or permanently disabling injuries.
- You suffered an injury or illness due to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication errors, or any other kind of medical negligence.
- You became ill because of exposure to contaminants in the air, soil, water or food, such as asbestos or toxic fumes. These claims can be complicated to prove and may require complex expert assessments.
- The defendant or their insurance company are unresponsive or refuse to make any fair settlement offer at all.
Due to the no win no fee service, you can hire a professional personal injury lawyer regardless of your financial status and without taking any risks. In a no win no fee claim, you do not have to pay any upfront fees, and if your case fails, you do not have to pay your injury lawyer at all.
How to choose the best injury lawyer?
If you suffered an accident without being at fault and want to claim compensation for your injuries, you will naturally want the best personal injury lawyer to represent you.
As there are regulations in place that forbid injury lawyers to make promises to win more compensation or settle your claim faster than other solicitors, you may feel like there are no standards to help you choose the best lawyer for your case.
However, there are a few points and tricks to help you choose the best no win no fee personal injury lawyer for your claim:
- Choose a lawyer that handles personal injury claims exclusively. Personal injury law involves many specialised rules and practices, and you may risk the quality of your representation if you choose a solicitor that does not specialise in this field.
- Avoid starting your claim with a company that uses spam marketing to get clients. If you received an email or text out of the blue, this could be a sign that they are simply looking to make a profit on your case rather than keeping your best interests in mind.
- If you feel pressured into making a claim, that is unacceptable, and you should seek legal advice elsewhere. Legal advisers should give you support and advice and not lure you into a legal case by offering some type of gift or proposal.
- Assess their level of experience and make sure they have a strong track record of success. You could ask for a case study or to view testimonials of past clients they have represented. You could also ask them questions like:
- How long have they worked in personal injury law?
- What percentage of their practice involves personal injury claims?
- Do they have experience with the insurance company in your case?
- Do they have experience with your specific type of case?
- Do they have extensive trial experience?
- Be aware of how they engage with you and decide whether you like them. The claims process may take several months to years, and it is essential that you feel comfortable and able to communicate well with your personal injury lawyer. Pay attention to the following:
- Are they willing to answer your questions?
- Are they friendly and professional?
- Do they seem genuinely concerned about your well-being?
- Check their online reviews to find out whether your prospective solicitor offers the type of service you are looking for and other people’s experiences working with them.
- Make sure they have the right accreditations. Several organisations can help you find out whether a personal injury lawyer has the necessary specialist experience, including:
- The Law Society is an independent professional body that awards accreditations to solicitors and law firms in recognition of their expertise. They offer two types of awards for personal injury, one for medical negligence and one for general personal injury cases. These logos show that the personal injury lawyers in question provide an excellent service in their field.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the main body that regulates solicitors in England and Wales. All personal injury lawyers must be regulated by the SRA, which has the power to impose sanctions on solicitors and law firms that breach its regulations. The SRA ensures that solicitors act in their client’s best interests and maintain confidentiality.
- The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a non-profit organisation which has been fighting for the rights of injured people for over 25 years. The APIL membership shows that an injury lawyer is an active member of the profession and can demonstrate their expertise in personal injury law.
You can get in touch with some of the best no win no fee personal injury lawyers by calling free on 0800 678 1410. Or, if you prefer, you can enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
Do I need to use injury lawyers near me?
No, if you want to claim compensation for a personal injury, you do not have to use a personal injury lawyer near you. Some legal matters may not even require you to hire a lawyer at all.
However, if you want a professional injury lawyer to handle your claim, the entire process can usually be carried out via email, post and telephone. The solicitor you use is essential, and you should hire someone with expert knowledge and experience in the field to make sure you get the best results possible.
While you may prefer a face-to-face meeting with your lawyer, there are more important things to consider when seeking legal representation, such as:
- Their experience handling the type of claim you want to make.
- Their track record of winning personal injury claims.
- Their online reviews and referrals from friends, family or other lawyers.
- Whether they have the proper accreditations from the relevant bodies.
- Whether they work on a no win no fee basis and what is their success fee.
- Whether they usually represent claimants or defendants in personal injury claims.
- Their history of taking cases to trial if necessary.
- Their experience winning high-value cases and claims involves catastrophic injuries.
- Whether they have a network of medical experts to help you find the treatment you need.
There are many other things you might want to consider before proximity when looking for personal injury lawyers to represent you.
Nowadays, the number of physical meetings between claimants and injury lawyers has reduced substantially. You do not need to attend their office to sign legal documents, as electronic signatures are universally accepted.
Nonetheless, big law firms provide a nationwide service and have many offices around the UK. If you need to meet with your personal injury lawyer, they can come to visit you at home or the hospital when it is convenient for you. Also, if you require a medical assessment, it can be arranged at a medical centre near you or your GP’s surgery.
How much do personal injury lawyers charge?
Personal injury lawyers usually pursue compensation on a conditional fee agreement (the technical term for no win no fee), which means they will receive no payment if your case is unsuccessful. By doing so, they are taking a huge financial risk so that you can claim regardless of your financial situation and without incurring any out-of-pocket expenses if your case fails.
Injury lawyers are obliged to act in your best interest and provide honest advice about your chances of success. They should give you a good explanation if they refuse to take your case on a no win no fee basis.
Most solicitors will offer you a conditional fee agreement if they feel your case has a better than 50% chance of winning. This is also important if you want to take out After the Event insurance, as most insurance providers will not cover a claim if your chances of success are slim.
However, even if a personal injury lawyer takes on a case, they cannot always guarantee the outcome, especially if you have ongoing symptoms or there is a liability dispute. This means they might invest a lot of time and effort into building your claim without being able to recoup their costs.
To compensate for the risk of offering you a no win no fee service, personal injury lawyers receive a success fee after winning compensation. When Legal Aid was abolished in 2000, many potential claimants could no longer afford to hire an injury solicitor to make a claim.
Success fees were introduced as an alternative for funding personal injury claims to give everyone access to justice, which is a fundamental principle of English law. Before 2003, when the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) came into effect, success fees were covered by the defendant, along with other legal costs incurred during claiming.
Since 2013, the success fee is no longer recoverable from the defendant and comes as a deduction from your compensation award. However, if your case is successful, the other side is still liable to pay the legal costs and disbursements you incurred during the claims process.
The Ministry of Justice imposes a maximum success fee cap of 25% of damages for pain and suffering and past financial losses. No deductions will be made from your compensation award for future care and economic losses.
You might be able to keep 100% of your compensation award in some circumstances, such as:
- You are self-funding your claim, meaning you pay your injury lawyer for their hourly fees. This means, however, that if your case fails, you will have to pay all the legal costs and disbursements incurred while claiming, which may amount to a substantial sum.
- If you are a member of a trade union and the union agrees to fund your claim. The trade union will usually cover any legal costs that cannot be recovered from the defendant and the success fee, so you will receive the entire settlement.
- If you qualify for Legal Aid. This is only available in some specific circumstances, such as claiming compensation for a severe birth injury.
- If you have Before the Event (BTE) Insurance, although it may not always be enough to cover the costs of more complex claims.
Do all personal injury lawyers provide no win no fee?
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be considering making a personal injury claim. If you do not have legal expenses insurance, you might be worried about the costs of hiring an injury lawyer without the certainty that you will win compensation.
However, it is a fundamental principle of English law that everyone should have access to justice, regardless of financial status. That is why if you have valid grounds to make a claim, your personal injury lawyer will usually offer you a no win no fee agreement.
Solicitors working on this basis earn nothing if your claim is unsuccessful. Furthermore, insurance companies that offer After the Event insurance will not cover your claim if your chances of winning are not better than 50%. Nonetheless, different injury lawyers with various levels of experience may assess your claim differently, so you should always seek a second opinion.
To estimate your chances of success, personal injury lawyers employ a complex risk assessment process. Some lawyers are more flexible than others, and they may also reduce the risk threshold if you have a high-value claim.
If you are offered a no win no fee service, you will sign a conditional fee agreement with your injury lawyer, which means that:
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor.
- They will offer you advice and support throughout every step of the claims process.
- Your solicitor will help gather evidence, speak to witnesses and prepare and file all the documents needed to claim so that you can focus on your recovery.
- They will evaluate your circumstances in detail to calculate the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to claim.
- Your personal injury lawyer will contact the defendant and conduct negotiations to secure the best settlement on your behalf.
- If you win compensation, you will pay a success fee of a maximum of 25% to your solicitor.
- If your case fails, you do not have to pay them anything and will incur no out-of-pocket expenses.
The After the Event (ATE) insurance is another essential part of a no win no fee agreement. Your solicitor will take out an ATE insurance policy at the beginning of your claim, which means that:
- If you lose your personal injury claim, the insurance policy will cover all the legal costs and disbursements incurred during claiming, such as:
- The other side’s solicitor fees
- Court and counsel fees
- Police and medical reports
- Travel expenses
- Copying and printing costs
- Barrister and expert witness fees
Furthermore, the policy is self-insuring, meaning that you do not have to pay a single penny if your claim is unsuccessful.
- If you win, you must pay the ATE premium, the cost of which may differ based on your chances of success and how early in the claims process you take it.
Are injury lawyers the same as personal injury solicitors?
If you suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence, you might need legal advice to ensure you have the support you need to get the compensation you deserve. If you seek legal representation, you might wonder whether you should look for a personal injury lawyer or personal injury solicitor.
The term lawyer is more of an American word than a British one, and is used as an umbrella term to describe anyone who is a licensed legal practitioner qualified to give legal advice in one or more areas of law.
In the UK, a lawyer who usually works in the office but may also represent you in court is called a solicitor. Lawyers who spend most of their time representing people in court trials are called barristers. In other words, all personal injury solicitors are lawyers, but not all lawyers are solicitors.
Solicitors are qualified legal professionals who provide expert advice and support to clients. After taking instructions from a client, a personal injury solicitor will advise them on the best course of action to secure compensation for their damages.
A solicitor works directly with their client and deals with all the paperwork and communication involved with their case. They will also gather evidence, calculate compensation awards, negotiate with the other side and coordinate the work of all parties involved in the case.
Solicitors will often seek alternative solutions such as mediation to help you settle without a trial. Avoiding stressful and expensive court proceedings may help achieve a satisfactory outcome for both parties. If necessary, your solicitor will also represent you in court, although they will generally refer the work to a barrister.
Do personal injury lawyers take claims to court?
Overall, only around 2% of all personal injury claims go to trial, so the chance of you having to go to court is low. In 2020/2021, NHS Resolution, the insurance company that deals with all negligence claims against the NHS, settled 15,674 cases. Of these, 11,704 concluded without formal court proceedings, 3,914 with court proceedings but without reaching trial, and only 56 settled in court.
The reason why so few claims go to trial is that settling out of court brings several advantages to both sides, including:
- It saves a lot of time, and you can usually recover damages faster without having to wait for months or years to get a court date.
- It is less expensive than going to court, which involves additional expenses such as barrister and expert witness fees.
- You are certain to receive compensation, as both parties decide mutually on a final settlement award that cannot be appealed.
- It is less stressful than a court battle, and, unlike a private trial, it guarantees your privacy.
There are, nonetheless, several circumstances in which a case is more likely to go to court, such as:
- All child injury claims must go through an Infant Approval Hearing before a judge. They will evaluate the evidence and decide whether the child received a fair settlement for their injuries.
- If the other side denies liability for your injuries, you may have to argue your case before a judge. They will listen to both sides and examine all the evidence to determine how much compensation you are entitled to receive from the defendant.
- If there is no liability dispute, but you cannot agree on a settlement. In this case, a judge will evaluate the extent of your injuries and your related financial losses and decide on a compensation award.
- If you have a very complex case, such as a medical negligence, brain injury or industrial accident claim.
If your case goes to court, your personal injury lawyer may be able to represent you. Nonetheless, most solicitors will arrange for the case to be argued by a barrister specialising in personal injury law.
Barristers are a type of lawyer that are usually hired by solicitors to represent a case in court. Typically, a barrister will:
- Research your case and prepare legal documents for trial.
- Work closely with your solicitor to fully understand your position.
- Present your case and give reasons why the court should support the claim.
- Examine and cross-examine witnesses.
- Act as a negotiator between you and the defendant
For a free consultation with a no win no fee injury lawyer, call 0800 678 1410 or request 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.