How long should a whiplash claim take to settle?

Whiplash is a neck injury common in road traffic accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It can also result from other incidents, such as sports injuries, falls or assaults. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and sometimes shoulder or back pain. For some people, it can lead to ongoing symptoms and take months or years to heal.

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim. That could cover your pain, suffering, loss of amenity, and any financial losses resulting from the injury.

If you want to start a compensation claim or have questions such as ‘How long should a whiplash claim take?’, please call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can enter your details into our online claim form to request a callback.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backwards and then forward. This sudden, forceful movement can strain or sprain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to various symptoms such as pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and neurological symptoms.

Whiplash commonly occurs in car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, but it can also be sustained in sports injuries, falls, physical abuse or assaults. Treatment typically involves rest, pain management with over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, and sometimes wearing a collar for support.

Most people recover within a few weeks, but some may develop chronic pain or other long-term complications. You can find more information about the condition and how to claim compensation by visiting our whiplash compensation claims page.

Can I make a whiplash compensation claim?

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to claim compensation. The easiest way to determine if you can make a whiplash claim is by seeking legal advice from an experienced solicitor. They will ask you a few questions to determine whether:

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a breach of duty will be based on various legislation. Examples include the Road Traffic Act 1988, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Remember that there is also a time limit to start your claim, which is typically three years after the accident or after you become aware of the injury.

Call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to a legal adviser and find out if you have a valid case or learn more about ‘How long do whiplash claims take to settle?’.

how long should a whiplash claim take?

What are the steps for claiming whiplash compensation, and how long do they take?

If you want to make a personal injury claim for compensation following a whiplash injury, these steps will ensure your claim will settle in the shortest time possible:

If you suffered whiplash in a road accident, you are over 18, and you were the driver or passenger of the car or another motor vehicle, you can use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal to start your claim. You can do this yourself or with the help of a claims professional. However, you should not use this portal if your claim is worth over £5,000, you cannot identify the party at fault, or you are a cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or horse rider.

How long do whiplash claims take to settle?

How long should a whiplash claim take? You might worry that you will need to invest too much time and effort into seeking the compensation you are rightfully owed, which might be discouraging. However, you can rest assured that if you work with an experienced solicitor, they will settle your claim in the shortest time possible while handling all communication on your behalf. This way, you can focus on recovery without worrying about the legal aspects of the case.

How long your claim may take to settle will depend on various aspects of your circumstances, which will be detailed in the section below. As a general rule, straightforward cases where liability is admitted right away can be settled within three months. If you were injured in a road accident and made your claim through the OIC portal, you could receive your compensation even faster.

However, it could take much longer to settle if your case is more complex or there are liability disputes. In this event, a whiplash claim could take anywhere from several months to several years.

What can impact the duration of a personal injury claim?

How long it takes to settle a whiplash claim can be affected by various factors, including:

Your solicitor will have to consider all of these factors before accurately answering the question, ‘How long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’.

What can I do to speed up the whiplash claims process?

There are a few things you can do if you want to help ensure a timely resolution of your claim. This includes:

While it is natural to want a quick resolution to your claim, it is essential to remain patient and realistic about the time it may take to reach a fair settlement. Your solicitor will do their best to obtain the maximum compensation on your behalf in the shortest time possible.

Will it take longer to settle if I claim through the MIB or the CICA?

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) compensates victims of road accidents involving uninsured or untraceable drivers. Likewise, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) provides compensation to victims of violent crimes. Both organisations exist to ensure that innocent victims of wrongdoing are compensated for their pain, suffering, and financial losses.

If you make a claim through the MIB or the CICA, it may take longer to settle than a standard personal injury claim. That is because the specific types of claims these organisations handle involve additional complexities.

Both the MIB and the CICA may want to gather evidence from the police and conduct their own investigations before awarding compensation, which could lengthen the claims process. However, exactly how long it will take to receive your settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

Will my whiplash claim settle faster if I use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) Portal?

The OIC portal is designed to expedite the settlement process for personal injury claims in which the damages for pain and suffering are under £5,000, and the total value of the claim does not exceed £10,000. It sets a clear timetable for the resolution of the case, such as:

If the other party admits liability for your injury and you can agree on a settlement, your claim could be resolved within a month. If they deny responsibility or you cannot settle the claim, you can take your case to court, significantly prolonging the process.

How much compensation could I claim for whiplash?

Following the Whiplash Reform Programme, if you were injured on or after 31st May 2021, the compensation you could receive will be based on a fixed tariff. This tariff applies to injuries that last up to two years and is as follows:

If you have suffered more severe whiplash, your solicitor will calculate the amount of compensation you should receive based on the pain, suffering and financial losses you incurred as a result of your injury. For example, you could get £36,240 to £44,630 for a severe injury causing chronic symptoms.

How long will it take to receive my compensation once the claim has been settled?

If you win your whiplash injury claim, the terms of the settlement agreement will typically outline when and how compensation will be paid. This deadline is set whether your case settles in or out of court. As a general rule, it should take between two weeks and a month to receive your compensation from the defendant.

If you use the OIC portal to make your claim, it states that the other side should make the payment within ten working days once you have accepted their settlement offer. If they fail to deposit your compensation within this timeframe, your solicitor will contact them to learn why.

If you want to make a claim for whiplash or find out how long a whiplash claim should take to settle, contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. You can do this by calling free on 0800 678 1410 or using our contact form to request a call back.

What are interim payments in personal injury claims?

Interim payments are crucial financial support available to people who have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and have started a compensation claim. You can request these payments at any stage of the claims process and as often as necessary. If the defendant refuses to make interim payments, the court can order such payments to be made if you meet the requested conditions.

When applying for an interim payment, it’s crucial to provide evidence of your specific financial needs. These payments are strictly intended to cover immediate needs, such as medical treatments, the cost of daily living, or care costs, ensuring that you can focus on your recovery without financial stress.

To discuss your case with an experienced legal adviser and learn more about what interim payments are, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details here for a free consultation.

What is an interim payment?

An interim payment is a sum of money advanced to the claimant from the total pot of compensation before the final settlement of a claim. These payments, which are non-taxable, are designed to provide immediate financial relief, helping to cover the expenses and losses incurred as a result of the injury or accident. They can be requested at various stages of the claims process. They are typically used to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, or lost earnings, offering a sense of security during a challenging time.

It’s important to understand that interim payments may impact your eligibility for means-tested state benefits, such as Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, your solicitor will be there to guide you and can help set up a personal injury trust in your name. This trust ensures that your compensation will not be considered when assessing your benefits eligibility, providing you with peace of mind and financial security.

Vice versa, if you applied for benefits following your injury and already received financial assistance from the government, this can reduce the amount of interim payments you can claim.

interim payments

Interim payment examples

Interim payments are designed to assist with immediate needs before the final judgment of a personal injury claim. They can be crucial financial support, especially for those who have been seriously injured and can no longer work. However, you can only request such payments for specific purposes, such as:

As a general rule, interim payments do not include compensation for the pain and suffering incurred due to the defendant’s negligence. Based on your circumstances, you may choose to request a single payment or multiple payments throughout the claims process.

Why should I claim interim payments?

Interim payments can be essential if you have suffered severe injuries and are having financial issues as a result. Their purpose is to put you in a similar economic position to the one you would have had if the accident had not occurred. If you’re facing financial difficulties due to someone else’s fault, an interim payment can help cover essential expenses like medical bills, rehabilitation, or the cost of daily living.

With this financial support, you can maintain a certain quality of life during the claims process. It can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with financial strain and allow you to focus on your health. You can also pursue the necessary medical treatments without delay, speeding up your recovery process and improving your overall health outcome.

Receiving interim payments can also strengthen your position during the claims process. By addressing your immediate financial needs, you may be less inclined to accept a lower settlement offer and will fight to negotiate the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

How do I apply for an interim payment?

If you have started a personal injury claim and want to request interim payments, you first need to consult with your lawyer. They will assess what costs you have already incurred based on evidence, such as receipts and invoices, and anticipate any further you are likely to incur before the claim settles. If they believe an interim payment is suitable for you, they will make a request in writing to the defendant or their insurer. The application for an interim payment must be supported by evidence with regard to the following:

The other side and the court will expect to receive compelling and relevant evidence, such as medical records, an immediate needs assessment, financial documents showing your expenses or expert testimony. By presenting this evidence, you can prove why an interim payment is necessary and justified in your case.

Will I get an interim payment as part of my compensation claim?

Whether you will get interim payments as part of your claim will depend on the circumstances of your case. While you could theoretically ask for an interim payment regardless of the type of claim you make, they are typically reserved for cases involving severe injuries, such as:

Such claims usually take many months or years to settle, during which you may need financial help to aid recovery and cover your expenses, especially if you can no longer work. Even if you suffered a less severe injury, your solicitor will assess your situation and advise you on whether it is appropriate to request an interim payment. If an interim payment is warranted, they will submit a formal request to the defendant or their insurer, outlining the reasons for the request and providing supporting evidence.

If the other side denies liability, they will not pay out. Sometimes, the defendant may be unwilling to make interim payments even when they have admitted liability for your injuries. In such cases, your lawyer can argue your claim and apply for a court order to get an interim payment on your behalf. However, if you eventually lose the case, you will have to repay all the money you received from the other party.

When will the court make an order for an interim payment?

As stated above, if the defendant refuses to make interim payments to you, your lawyer will apply to the court to order them to pay you. The court will order an interim payment to be made if you meet the following criteria:

If you request multiple interim payments, the court must approve each one of them based on these criteria.

How long does it take to receive an interim payment?

The time it may take to receive your payment can vary depending on various factors, such as the other party’s responsiveness and the court’s schedule if litigation is involved.

In cases where the defendant admits liability and everything is straightforward, interim payments can be arranged relatively quickly. They are typically paid three to six weeks following approval or a court order, but your lawyer can push to get things moving quicker if you need the money sooner.

However, in more complex cases or if there are disputes over liability or the amount of the interim payment, it may take longer to reach an agreement or obtain court approval for the payment to be processed.

How much could I get as an interim payment?

Interim payments are typically intended to cover immediate financial needs, such as medical expenses or loss of earnings, until a final settlement is reached. The amount you could request will depend on your specific circumstances and the severity of your injuries.

There is no limit to the sum you can ask for as long as it is a reasonable proportion of the overall compensation settlement you could be paid once your claim settles. Also, there is no limit on the number of payments you can claim to cover your financial expenses.

Your personal injury solicitor will be able to advise on what is a reasonable amount you could seek based on things like:

For example, it may be reasonable to ask for an interim payment of £20,000 if you suffered a severe injury such as an amputation. But it would not be reasonable to do so if you suffered a minor ankle sprain.

How do interim payments affect the final compensation settlement?

Interim payments are provided to claimants to cover immediate financial needs resulting from the injury, such as medical expenses or lost earnings. However, they are considered part of the overall payment and will be deducted from the final compensation award. When the final settlement is reached, the total amount of interim payments received will be subtracted from the agreed-upon compensation.

For example, if your case is valued at £100,000 and you receive two interim payments of £10,000 during the claims process, you will get £80,000 as your final settlement payment. This ensures you do not receive double compensation for the same expenses.

While your final settlement will be lower, you will not get less money overall. As a matter of fact, many claimants prefer to receive periodic payments rather than one big lump sum, as it helps cover costs as they come up, without needing to put off treatments or rehabilitation until the claim is over.

Is there a time limit to apply for an interim payment in personal injury claims?

There isn’t a specific time limit to apply for an interim payment in personal injury claims or a limit on the number of applications you can make. Once the defendant admits liability or you have enough evidence to ensure you will likely win a court trial, you can begin your application. That said, if you have immediate financial needs, it is best to request an interim payment as soon as possible after liability has been admitted or established.

Nonetheless, it is essential to start your personal injury compensation claim within the time limit, as dictated by the Limitation Act 1980. This limit is typically three years from the date of injury, with a few exceptions:

If you want to talk to an experienced legal adviser and ask them more about what interim payments are and how they work, please call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. They will offer you a free consultation and answer all your questions.

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What is Duty of Care?

Any person who suffers harm due to someone else’s negligence could be eligible to claim compensation. However, a legal duty of care must first be established. This is typically done by demonstrating that the defendant had a responsibility to act in a certain way to prevent harm, and that they failed to meet this standard.

If it can be proven that a third party breached its duty of care towards you, a solicitor can help you start a personal injury claim. If your claim is successful, you will receive damages for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you suffered due to the defendant’s negligence.

If you are wondering, ‘What does duty of care mean?’, this article aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of the concept. For further information about the duty of care meaning or to assess your eligibility to make a claim, please call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. You will receive a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser who will answer all your questions and guide you through your legal options.

How is duty of care defined?

A duty of care is a legal obligation that one party has to avoid causing any foreseeable harm to another party. That means that individuals, businesses, and other organisations must take reasonable care to prevent injury to others who could be affected by their actions or omissions. This duty exists in various contexts, including healthcare, employment, public places, etc.

For example, employers must take all reasonable measures to prevent workplace accidents and protect their employees’ health, safety and well-being. Likewise, business owners must keep all premises as safe as possible to avoid injuries to employees and visitors alike.

What does duty of care mean in practical terms?

In practical terms, duty of care means taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of others in situations where harm could occur. Based on the specific circumstances, some examples include:

In each of these scenarios, individuals or companies are expected to act reasonably to prevent foreseeable harm to others. If they fail to meet this legal duty and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable for negligence.

Why is duty of care important?

Duty of care is crucial because it forms the foundation of legal and ethical responsibilities in various contexts, including healthcare, education, and everyday interactions. A legal duty is essential for multiple reasons, such as:

Overall, duty of care is essential for creating safe environments where individuals can carry out work and daily activities and be protected from harm.

What are the consequences of a breach of duty of care?

A breach of duty of care obligations can have significant legal and ethical implications. Some of the main consequences include:

Duty of care examples in the context of personal injury claims

Before taking on a personal injury claim, solicitors will verify that a duty of care exists and that the defendant has breached their legal responsibilities. Depending on the circumstances, a legal duty will be based on different laws and legislations, such as the Road Traffic Act 1988 in road accident claims. Some common duty of care examples include the following:

Employer’s duty of care

All employers owe a duty of care to their employees, which is primarily outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent regulations. Key aspects of their responsibilities include:

Employees also have a duty of care at work to follow workplace safety policies and exercise caution and common sense to prevent accidents. If you believe you suffered an injury due to your employer’s negligence, you might be eligible to make an accident at work claim.

Duty of care meaning in public places

The occupiers of public premises have a duty of care to ensure that visitors are safe from harm while on their property. This duty is outlined by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and applies to both lawful visitors and trespassers. The responsibilities it involves include:

Any accident in a public place caused by a breach of duty can result in a compensation claim. This includes supermarket accidents and accidents in restaurants, nightclubs, shops and other business premises.

Duty of care on the road

All road users owe a duty of care to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. They must follow the rules and regulations set out by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code and operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner, taking reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. Practically, they must:

If you suffered an injury on the road because someone else breached their duty of care towards you, you may be able to make a road traffic accident claim.

Duty of care definition for medical professionals

All medical professionals, whether GPs, doctors, nurses, dentists or other professionals, have a legal obligation to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. They are expected to adhere to accepted medical practices and standards of care in their respective fields. These are set by the General Medical Council (GMC), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other regulatory bodies. Basically, they must:

Any deviation from the reasonable standard of care that causes avoidable harm to a patient can result in a medical negligence claim.

Duty of care of manufacturers

Manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure that the products they design, produce, and distribute are safe for consumers to use. This duty includes:

A distributor, retailer or importer of a defective product could also be liable for negligence if they did not exercise reasonable skill and care and could have foreseen the possibility of an injury occurring. If you suffered harm from a defective product, you could start a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Duty of care of local authorities

The local council and authorities have the duty to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. This encompasses various activities, such as policing, education and public health. Some essential aspects of these responsibilities include:

What are the criteria for establishing a duty of care?

Specific criteria must be met to establish a duty of care when making a personal injury claim, and these are:

How do I prove a breach of duty of care?

Proving a breach of duty typically involves showing that the responsible party has failed to uphold the standard of care expected in a given situation. This can be accomplished by gathering evidence such as:

Time limits to claim compensation following a breach of duty of care

If another party breached its duty of care towards you, causing you a personal injury, you have three years to start a negligence claim under the Limitation Act 1980. This time limit for personal injury claims begins on the date of your accident or the date you became aware of the negligence, also known as the date of knowledge. After three years, your case will be statute-barred and no longer considered valid by the court. There are a few exceptions, including:

If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s fault and want to learn more about the definition and meaning of duty of care, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 to speak to an experienced legal adviser. Alternatively, you can use our contact form to request a free consultation. If you can proceed with a claim, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee agreement and will guide you through every step of the process.

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What is the time limit for personal injury claims?

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Such claims can arise from road traffic accidents, work accidents, slips, trips and falls, medical negligence and many other circumstances.

Regardless of the type of accident and harm you suffered, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims. You typically have three years from the date of the accident to start your compensation claim, but there are various exceptions to this rule.

If you would like to find out more about the personal injury limitation period, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a solicitor by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. You can also use our online claim form to ask for a call back.

What is the time limit to claim for personal injury after an accident?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, you typically have three years to make a claim, starting from the date of the incident that caused you harm. This time limit is also called the limitation period for personal injury claims.

You mustn’t wait too long after an accident to bring a claim. Your solicitor may need at least a few months to investigate your case and compile the evidence required to secure compensation. For this reason, many personal injury solicitors do not accept a claim with less than six months left to the limitation date.

Seeking legal advice and starting your claim as soon as possible can offer several benefits:

What is the date of knowledge?

Not all personal injuries are the result of acute trauma, such as a road traffic collision or sports accident. Some may develop over time due to prolonged exposure to workplace hazards such as asbestos or repetitive strain and overuse, such as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

In such cases, the time limit for personal injury claims begins from the date of knowledge of the harm you suffered. That is a legal term used to describe the moment when you became aware or should have reasonably become aware of the following:

In many cases, the date of knowledge will be the date of the accident. However, this could be years and even decades after the initial event or exposure, as is the case for mesothelioma or industrial deafness.

personal injury time limit

Can I claim compensation after three years?

Under exceptional circumstances, the court has the authority to extend the three-year time limit under section 33 of the Limitation Act. However, this is rare and generally only applied if the claimant has an extremely good reason for the delay. The court will decide whether it is fair and reasonable to do so by considering several factors, such as:

As a general rule, it is always best to assume that an extension to the three-year personal injury limitation period will be unlikely and to start your claim as soon as possible.

Are there exceptions to the limitation period for personal injury claims?

The law imposes a time limit on personal injury claims in favour of both parties. It is meant to encourage a quick resolution of legal claims and make it easier to source the evidence needed to proceed. Knowing that there is a defined period within which you must start a claim provides clarity for both claimants and defendants, preventing the prospect of indefinite exposure to potential legal actions.

While the time limit for personal injury claims is typically three years from the date of knowledge, there are several exceptions to this rule:

Claims on behalf of children

Children do not possess the well-formed judgment necessary to make decisions about a claim. Therefore, a parent or another suitable adult could claim on their behalf at any time before their 18th birthday. The three-year time limit begins once they become a legal adult, from which they can start a claim themselves at any point before turning 21. You can learn more about making a claim on behalf of children by reading our guide to child injury claims.

Mental capacity

An adult who lacks mental capacity under the Mental Health Act 1983 is regarded as a protected party. This could be due to any condition or injury, such as:

In this case, the time limit is put on hold, and a litigation friend could claim on behalf of the injured person at any time. The three-year limitation period begins if they cease to be a protected party under the Act by regaining their mental capacity.

Criminal injury claims

If you have suffered an injury due to an assault or another violent crime, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will handle your case. There is a two-year time limit to claim for personal injury through the CICA, starting from the incident date. Those who were under 18 at the time of the incident have until their 20th birthday to make a claim. If no one reported the crime to the police before the injured person turned 18, the two-year time limit begins once a police report is made.

Claims for fatal accidents

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and qualify as their dependant, you can make a fatal accident claim within three years from the date of death. In some cases, the three-year limit may start to run from when a post-mortem has confirmed the cause of death.

Product liability claims

If you have suffered an injury due to a faulty product, such as a chair or vehicle, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. There is a ten-year rule for claiming compensation for a defective product starting from the date the product was launched.

Accidents on board ships

If you suffered an accident or became ill at sea, you will usually have two years to start a claim. The personal injury limitation period may begin from the date of injury or when you leave the ship.

Aeroplane claims

There is a two-year time limit to start a claim if you have suffered an injury or illness on an aircraft. In the case of international flights, the time begins to run from your arrival to your final destination. In the case of domestic flights, you have two years from the flight landing.

Armed Forces Compensation Claims (AFCS)

Military personnel injured on duty can claim compensation through the AFCS within seven years of their accident or illness. Claims related to mental health issues such as PTSD have a seven-year time limit starting from when you first sought medical help for the condition. If you were injured while serving in the armed forces, you can also claim under civil law within three years of the incident.

Accidents abroad

Different time limits apply to accidents abroad, depending on each country’s laws. For example, the time limit for personal injury claims is one year in Spain and Thailand and two years in Ireland and Canada.

Regardless of your circumstances, you should reach out to a solicitor as soon as possible if you want to make a compensation claim. They can let you know what time limit applies to your case and help you gather everything you need to start a personal injury claim.

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How long does a personal injury claim take?

If you have suffered an injury and subsequent losses due to someone else’s negligence, you might want to make a personal injury claim. The solicitors we work with can help secure compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses caused by your accident.

If you find yourself in this situation, you might be wondering how long does a personal injury claim take? Several factors influence how quickly you can get compensation, including the type of accident, the nature of your injuries and liability disputes. While straightforward cases may settle in just a couple of months, the most complex ones could take several years to conclude.

To find out more about how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back for a free consultation with a legal adviser.

What is the personal injury claims process?

The personal injury claims process involves several stages and can vary depending on the specifics of each case. Here is a general overview of the process:

A free initial consultation

Personal injury solicitors offer a free initial consultation during which you will discuss the details of your claim. They will assess its merits and provide advice on the next steps. You can also ask any questions you might have regarding the process.

Appointing your solicitor

If you are eligible for compensation, you will be paired with a solicitor with expertise in your type of case. The lawyers we partner with work on a no win no fee* basis, meaning you do not have to pay them anything unless your claim is successful.

Gathering evidence for the claim

After determining liability, your solicitor will help you gather all the evidence you need to secure compensation. You can assist by providing proof such as photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, witness contacts and medical records.

A medical assessment of your injuries

Your solicitor may also arrange a free medical exam with an independent specialist. They will provide a detailed report that will confirm the cause and extent of your injuries, your recovery prospects and future care needs. The other side may also request that their medical expert assesses your injuries.

Negotiations

Once your claim is ready, your solicitor will inform the defendant of your intentions to claim compensation. If the other party admits liability, they will enter into negotiations. The goal is to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for the pain and suffering endured, any psychological trauma, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries.

Settlement or court proceedings

If you reach a settlement agreement, your solicitor will review the terms with you and, if acceptable, finalise it. If you cannot settle, they may advise initiating court proceedings. The formal litigation process involves preparing legal documents, presenting evidence, and arguing your case before a judge. They will review your claim and decide if and how much compensation is owed to you.

Resolution

If your case goes to trial, a verdict will be reached based on the evidence and arguments presented. Otherwise, your claim will settle through negotiations. If you are successful, you should receive the compensation awarded to you within 2 to 4 weeks.

Each of these steps will influence how long it will take for your personal injury claim to settle. The sooner you appoint your solicitor and start gathering evidence for your case, the sooner your claim will resolve, and you can get the compensation you deserve.

What affects how long does an accident claim take?

Several different factors will influence how long it will take for a personal injury claim to settle, including:

The nature of your injuries

More severe injuries take longer to assess properly and provide the necessary medical treatment.

The circumstances of your accident

How you suffered your injuries also plays a big role in how long a claim will take. A road traffic accident where the other driver admits liability, or there have been witnesses will typically settle quicker than a case of medical negligence.

The complexity of the case

If the case involves complex legal issues or multiple parties, gathering evidence, conducting investigations, and negotiating a settlement may take longer.

Whether you know the defendant’s identity

This typically applies to hit-and-run accidents or criminal injuries where the liable party is unidentified. In such situations, your solicitor may direct your claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau or the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), both of which have their own designated timelines for conducting investigations.

The expected recovery times

Most claims do not settle until you have fully recovered or know the full extent of any permanent damage caused to you. This ensures the compensation you receive is fair and takes into account any long-term implications of your injuries.

Gathering evidence

The availability of evidence, such as medical records, witness statements and accident reports, can also impact the speed of a claim.

Liability disputes

If the other party is denying their responsibility for your injuries, your solicitor will need to gather additional evidence to support your claim. This process can take several weeks or even months, which may prolong the time it takes for your case to settle.

The estimated value of your claim

The amount of damages you are claiming for your injuries will also influence how long a personal injury claim takes. A claim valued at £5,000 will likely settle much quicker than one valued at over £1,000,000.

Settlement negotiations

If negotiations break down or multiple offers and counteroffers are exchanged, it can prolong the process. Again, this is more likely with higher-value claims.

Whether your case goes to court

If your case needs to be resolved through court proceedings, the process can take significantly longer.

Your solicitor will work hard to build a strong case and secure the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible. To get started with a claim straight away, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back today to speak to a legal adviser.

how long does a personal injury claim take?

Does the type of accident affect how long a personal injury claim takes?

Yes, the type of accident can impact how long a personal injury claim will take to settle. Some accidents may require more thorough investigations, additional expert opinions, and more complex legal processes. Others may involve multiple parties, which can also contribute to a longer claims process. For example:

Road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and public liability claims

If your claim is valued at less than £25,000 and involves a road traffic accident, an accident at work, or an accident in a public place, it will go through the pre-action protocol. That means it will initially be processed using the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal.

Under the pre-action protocol, the defendant’s insurance company has 35 days, known as the total consideration period, to review the evidence and make a settlement offer. These time limits are subject to certain conditions and may be extended.

If your claim settles through the Claims Portal and you choose to accept the initial offer, it typically takes around 4 to 9 months to finalise the process.

Medical negligence claims

Medical negligence claims are typically more complex and could take much longer to settle. Claims under £25,000 facilitated by NHS Resolution usually resolve within two years, while those worth more than £1,000,000 can take over five years to conclude.

Industrial disease claims

Industrial disease claims typically involve extensive medical evidence, expert opinions, and investigations into the work environment and exposure history. If liability is accepted, claims related to industrial diseases can be settled relatively quickly, typically between 12 to 18 months. Some cases may, however, take significantly longer. That is especially true if your employer is no longer trading or it is hard to identify which employer from your work history was responsible for your illness.

Does the type of injury impact how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle?

The type of injury or illness developed due to someone else’s negligence can be critical for how long a personal injury claim will take. More complex and severe injuries usually need more time to assess, treat and recover before evaluating your damages.

For instance, injuries that result in long-term or permanent disabilities often involve extensive medical investigations and expert assessments to determine the full extent of the impact on your life. Your solicitor will arrange for you to have a free medical examination of your injuries. It could take a few weeks to several months to obtain a medical report which will serve as a critical piece of evidence in your claim. This process can significantly lengthen the time it takes to settle.

Furthermore, certain types of injuries, such as those caused by medical negligence or industrial diseases, may involve complex legal and medical issues. These cases require thorough investigation and gathering of evidence, including expert opinions and specialised knowledge in the specific area of law. As a result, these cases may take longer to resolve.

If you have suffered multiple injuries, your claim may also take longer. That may be the case if the secondary injury is scarring or you have experienced psychological damage due to your accident. On the other hand, a claim for a minor injury can settle within a few months. In any case, it is essential not to rush into a settlement before the extent of your injuries and future needs are fully understood.

Does a personal injury claim take longer if liability is denied?

Yes, any liability disputes will likely increase how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle. If the defendant denies liability, they do not accept they were responsible for your accident. If this happens, your solicitor must gather additional evidence and build a stronger case to prove liability.

This situation may involve conducting further investigations, collecting witness statements and consulting with experts. The process of gathering evidence and negotiating with the other party’s legal representatives can be time-consuming and result in court proceedings if you cannot settle. In some cases, the denial of liability can significantly extend the duration of a personal injury claim.

What can I do to speed up the claims process?

There are several things you can do to improve how long an accident claim will take, including:

If you are in a hurry, you may also choose to accept an early-stage offer from the defendant’s insurer. Many insurance companies offer an initial settlement that may be just enough to tempt you to settle to help themselves save money in the long run. It is not usually advised to take an early-stage offer, as your claim could be worth much more once you have all the facts. Once you have agreed to a settlement, you cannot ask for more compensation later.

Do I have to wait until my claim settles for my compensation?

No, you do not necessarily have to wait until your claim is settled to receive compensation for your damages. In some cases, if the defendant admits liability or this is clear, your solicitor may negotiate for interim payments during the claims process.

An interim payment refers to a partial award of the expected compensation that is made in advance. These can help you cover immediate financial needs caused by your injuries, such as medical expenses and loss of earnings.

However, the availability of interim payments may vary depending on the circumstances of your case and the cooperation of the other party. Your solicitor can advise whether they may apply to your situation. Usually, the court can order an interim payment if:

To sum up, there is no one answer to the question of how long does a personal injury claim take? That will strictly depend on the circumstances of your case and the cooperation between the parties involved and could take anywhere between a few months to several years.

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How many personal injury claims go to court?

If someone else’s actions or negligence have caused you to suffer an injury or illness, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. If you make a successful case, you can recover damages for your pain, suffering and related financial losses.

However, many people are reluctant to start legal proceedings, worrying they might have to go to court. As a general rule, this is not something you should be concerned about, as only around two to three per cent of all personal injury claims proceed to a trial.

The article below aims to clarify how many personal injury cases go to court and what happens when they do.

To find out how likely it is that you will have to argue your claim before a judge, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. If you prefer, you can enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back without any obligation to proceed.

How do I make a personal injury claim?

If you want to start a claim, the first thing you should do is speak to a personal injury lawyer. They will offer you a free initial consultation to assess your case and determine who might be liable for your injuries. If your claim has merit, they will advise you on the next steps and guide you through the claims process.

Once you appoint your solicitor, they will start building your case. That involves gathering as much evidence as possible to prove liability and how your injuries have affected you. You can help by providing photographs of the accident scene, medical records and other proof of your financial expenses, such as lost income.

When your case is ready, your solicitor will contact the defendant and inform them of your intentions to claim compensation. If the other party takes responsibility for your losses, you may begin to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, your solicitor may initiate court proceedings and argue your case before a judge. Please continue reading the sections below to learn why this may happen and how it could affect your claim.

What percentage of personal injury cases go to court?

How many personal injury cases go to court in the UK will depend on various factors. These include the nature of the case, the strength of the evidence, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement.

However, only a relatively small percentage of personal injury claims proceed to a full trial in court. Most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations between the parties involved, avoiding the need for a court trial.

According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, only around 3% of claims reach trial in the UK. Between April to June 2021, there were 395,000 County Court claims, of which 21,000 were personal injury claims. Out of the overall figure of 395,000 cases, only 13,000 went to trial.

Based on reports from NHS Resolution, the insurance company that handles all claims against the NHS, they settled 15,674 clinical and non-clinical cases in 2020/21. Of these, 11,704 were resolved without formal court proceedings, 3,914 with proceedings but without trial, and only 56 (0.3%) went to court.

What affects how many personal injury claims go to court?

As seen in the section above, most personal injury claims settle without going to court and many resolve before even issuing legal proceedings. The main reasons that determine how many personal injury claims go to court include:

You should keep in mind that even though you initiate court proceedings, there is still a good chance that your case will settle before the trial date.

What happens if my case goes to court?

While most personal injury claims settle out of court, it may be necessary to issue formal court proceedings in certain situations. These include cases that involve liability disputes, damages disagreements, or complex legal issues. If court proceedings are necessary, your case will be presented before a judge who will make a final decision on the outcome of your claim.

During the court process, both parties will present their evidence, witness statements, and legal arguments. Your solicitor will advocate on your behalf, and the defendant’s legal representatives will do the same for their side. The judge will carefully consider all the evidence before making a decision. Once they have reached a verdict, the judge will determine whether you are entitled to compensation and, if so, the amount you will receive.

If you go to court, your case will typically be allocated to one of the following tracks based on its complexity and financial value:

Small claims track

The small claims track is a simplified, cost-effective process for handling low-value personal injury claims. In this case, your compensation is likely under £1,500 (or under £5,000 if the claim is related to a road traffic accident). Cases in this track will typically be resolved at an informal hearing.

Fast-track claims

The fast track is designed to handle medium-value personal injury claims valued between £1,500 and £25,000 (£5,000 and £25,000 for road traffic accidents). They are subject to a simplified legal procedure and are usually heard within 30 weeks of application. The hearing usually lasts under five hours without requiring any expert evidence.

Multi-track claims

If a claim is worth more than £25,000 or is particularly complex (even if it is worth less), it will typically belong to the multi-track. These cases involve significant legal and factual issues and require more extensive preparation and court proceedings to resolve.

To find out more about how many personal injury claims go to court and what happens when they do, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser.

Do I need to be present in court?

Given how many personal injury cases go to court, it is unlikely that your claim will reach trial. Court hearings are rare, but if you cannot settle out of court, you may need to argue your case before a judge. You may need to present evidence to support your version of the events and be available for questioning by the other party (cross-examination).

However, you are not always required to do so. If your claim is valued at less than £25,000 and is allocated to the fast-track, either your solicitor or an appointed barrister can represent you. If your claim has been assigned to the multi-track and is worth more than £25,000, you might need to attend the hearing and respond to questions about the incident and how your injuries have impacted your life.

If your case ends up in court, your solicitor will be there to provide constant support throughout the process. They will prepare you for any questions you might face and guide you through what you need to do. Contrary to how movies and TV shows may depict court proceedings, your experience in court will be much more composed and controlled.

Will there be a jury?

No. In the UK, personal injury claims are assessed in a civil courtroom and are typically decided by a judge with no jury. That is known as a bench trial. Juries are generally only used in criminal cases and are not commonly involved in civil claims.

Although they can be stressful, personal injury court hearings are usually described as less tense than anticipated. Some claimants even find satisfaction in having their claim determined by a judge. The judge will assess the evidence, listen to witness statements, and apply the relevant laws to decide on liability. They will also determine the compensation award you should receive if your case is successful.

Will my claim take longer if it goes to court?

Yes, if your personal injury claim goes to court, it will likely take longer to resolve compared to settling the claim out of court. Court proceedings can be more time-consuming and involve various legal processes. The gathering of evidence and scheduling of hearings may extend the timeline of your case from months to potentially years.

It is essential to note that each personal injury case is unique, and how long it takes to resolve a claim can vary based on the specific circumstances and the parties involved. In some cases, going to court may be necessary to achieve a fair outcome. In others, settling out of court may be quicker and more advantageous.

Why do most personal injury claims not go to court?

There are several benefits to settling a claim out of court, including:

It saves time and money

Settling out of court is usually quicker and less expensive than going to trial. Court proceedings can be lengthy and involve significant costs, including legal fees, expert witness fees, court fees, and other related expenses. Settling out of court can help avoid these additional time and financial burdens.

It offers certainty and control

By settling, both parties have more control over the outcome. They can negotiate the settlement terms, and the agreed-upon amount is the exact sum you will receive. In contrast, taking your case to trial and leaving the decision in the hands of a judge can be uncertain and unpredictable.

It is less stressful

Going to court can be a stressful and emotionally taxing experience for all parties involved. Settling out of court allows for a more amicable resolution, reducing the emotional strain and allowing the parties to move forward more quickly.

You can resolve your claim faster

Choosing to proceed with a trial can significantly prolong the duration of your case from months to potentially years. If you seek a quicker resolution and wish to receive compensation promptly, settling your claim may be the best choice.

You can enjoy more privacy and confidentiality

When a personal injury case goes to trial, the court proceedings become part of the public record. If you prefer to keep the details confidential, you should settle without going to court. This way, you can maintain the privacy of your personal information and the specifics of your case.

How can a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer help me?

Now that we have discussed how many personal injury claims go to court, you may wonder how a solicitor can help you during the claims process. There are plenty of benefits to using an experienced lawyer to claim compensation, including:

The solicitors we partner with will offer you a 100% no win no fee agreement if your case has merit. This arrangement means you do not have to pay them anything upfront for legal representation. You only pay your solicitor a success fee of up to 25% of your compensation if your case is successful.

Your lawyer will also secure After the Event (ATE) insurance on your behalf. The ATE is a type of legal expenses insurance that will cover all your costs if the claim is unsuccessful, including the defendant’s expenses.

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How to make a personal injury claim?

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.

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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:

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 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:

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.

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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:

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:

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.

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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:

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:

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:

Once the court appoints you as a litigation friend, you will have several responsibilities, including:

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:

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*Personal injury claims are provided on a no win no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success of up to 25% of your compensation. If any additional costs could be payable, such as taking out legal protection insurance, these would be fully explained upfront by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply based on time spent on your case, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation, deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing. Please visit our guide to no win no fee claims page for further information.

Why is it important to report accidents at work?

Accidents at work are unfortunately common, and they are not confined to what you may consider more dangerous working environments. Whether you work in an office, a restaurant, a factory or a building site, there is always the potential risk of an accident occurring, which could result in an injury.

If you find yourself in this situation, knowing what to do and what your employer’s responsibilities are can be confusing. In particular, when and how to report an accident at work.

In this guide, we will explore some of the main reasons why it is important to report accidents at work. We will also explain how to report a workplace accident if you suffer an injury at work.

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Reporting accidents at work can improve workplace safety

Reporting an accident, whether it be a serious one or a near miss, can be one of the best ways to ensure that the safety of your workplace is improved. In some cases, a hazard in the workplace will not be spotted through Risk Assessments and Health and Safety checks until it presents itself in the form of an accident or a near miss.

Employers with a good attitude to workplace safety will encourage their staff to raise concerns about accidents and hazards, even if they have not yet occurred, in order to prevent injuries. From your employer’s point of view, avoiding an accident altogether is much cheaper – both in time and money – than reacting to the losses and injuries that can be caused after an event.

Workplace accident statistics

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishes yearly statistics to help businesses and employees understand why it is so important to report accidents at work to aid improvements in workplace safety. The most recent stats relating to workplace accidents in the UK in 2022 showed that:

Reporting accidents can be less costly for an employer

The old adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ is very appropriate when it comes to workplace safety. Most responsible business owners throughout the UK will recognise that preventing an accident will be far less expensive than addressing it once it’s happened.

The cost of responding to an accident is high on a number of levels:

Because of this, sensible companies will encourage their team (and the public) to report accidents at work and will actively conduct risk assessments in the workplace regularly.

The employer should conduct risk assessments covering the working environment and specific tasks. The law requires businesses to provide a safe workplace for their staff, so companies have a legal duty to assess the potential risks in the workplace.

It would be impossible to assess and record all workplace risks. However, employers must demonstrate that they have considered all ‘reasonable’ risks and taken action to minimise the chances of a person being injured at work.

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If an accident occurs in the workplace and a person is injured, it may lead to a personal injury claim being brought against the company. If this happens, it will be essential for both the business and the injured employee to provide thorough evidence to support their case.

Promptly reporting an accident at work can have a significant bearing on whether a claim can be made at all. In most cases, a person will have three years from the date of the accident or three years from the date that they can reasonably be expected to have known they were injured to initiate a claim. Either side, therefore, may draw on the reports of accidents in the workplace to prove the timeframe since the event occurred.

The information reported in the accident book can help build a picture of how the accident happened. As well as establishing what happened, it can also detail the injuries sustained, if any witnesses were present, and what action was taken.

Reporting workplace accidents protects employee rights

If an employee suffers injuries from an accident in the workplace, they may be entitled to make a claim for compensation against their employer. As well as their legal and moral duty, an employer who reports accidents can help ensure that their employee’s rights are protected and helps to support their claim – which in turn could help with the employee’s recovery.

As per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment and to take all reasonably practical actions to ensure that employees and customers are safe.

RIDDOR is the legislation that UK employers are obliged to observe in order to remain legally compliant in Health and Safety practices. RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. It details which accidents at work must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and within what timeframes.

If a business employs ten or more members of staff, they have a legal duty to maintain an accident book, whereby all accidents are logged, and records are kept. The accident book can be very useful in providing details of an accident, highlighting if an employer should have previously taken steps to prevent an accident and who was at the scene when the accident occurred.

Employers are legally required to report certain accidents to the HSE through written notice within ten days. If an injury lasts more than seven days, then the report must be made within 15 days.

The types of workplace accidents that should be reported to HSE under RIDDOR include the following:

In addition to the above reportable injuries, all accidents that result in an employee being off work for seven days or more due to their injuries must also be reported to HSE.

How does a business minimise the risk of workplace accidents?

There are several ways in which a business can prevent staff and customers from being injured or suffering losses due to workplace accidents – too many to cover in this article alone. However, as a brief summary, some of the main actions can include:

How do I report an accident in the workplace?

In this article, we have hopefully demonstrated why it is important to report accidents at work – whether you suffered an injury yourself or just witnessed the event; however, it may not be clear how to make the report.

An employer committed to prioritising Health and Safety will ensure that the reporting process is shared with the workforce from induction and that the team is regularly reminded of best practices.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a workplace accident, or if you have witnessed an accident, you should follow the steps below:

If you have suffered an accident in the workplace and sustained injuries or losses because of the incident, you may be entitled to make an accident at work compensation claim.

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What are the most common causes of road accidents?

Thousands of people are injured every year on UK roads, which means that personal injury claims for these types of accidents are very common. Sadly, over a thousand of these road accidents are fatal, despite ongoing efforts to further improve the safety of our roads.

Most road accidents can be prevented and are usually the result of negligence by a driver, local authority, construction company or pedestrian. The following guide explains the most common causes of road accidents, in the hope that this further improves safety for all road users, and helps to direct you in securing the support and compensation that may be owed to you if you have been the victim of an accident.

What are the main causes of road accidents?

Although multiple factors can combine to result in a road accident, there are a number of common root causes, as outlined below, that can lead to accidents that cause injury or loss.

Speeding

It’s unlikely to be a surprise that speeding is attributed to over 10% of road traffic accidents each year (as per stats from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). What’s more concerning is that nearly a quarter of all fatal road accidents are caused by a driver speeding.

The losses and injuries that are suffered because of speeding are avoidable. Had the driver adhered to the law, the accident could have been avoided, or at least, the results would have been less severe. Speed limits are applied to UK roads to ensure that drivers and pedestrians are safe. The legal restrictions that are applied to speed limits on roads are set by considering some of the following:

Because speed accounts for involvement in such a high proportion of road accidents, campaigns and government activity is almost constant to remind drivers of their legal duty and the severe consequences for not observing speed limits. Through such campaigns, drivers will also be reminded of the necessity to keep a safe distance from the car in front.

Tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front of you) is extremely dangerous and means that should the driver ahead need to brake quickly, you aren’t allowing for a safe braking distance and therefore increase the likelihood of a collision. Sadly, this too often means that the car you collide with is shunted forward into the vehicle or obstruction that they were trying to avoid with their initial braking – with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Distractions

Drivers will be faced with numerous potential distractions while driving, some of which are unavoidable, and others are entirely the blame of the driver. Unavoidable distractions, such as external loud noises, on-street activity, wildlife and even weather, are those that a driver should be able to manage safely, despite not necessarily expecting them. Avoidable distractions include using a mobile phone whilst driving, rummaging in a bag, eating or drinking, and putting on make-up whilst behind the wheel.

The law takes the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving very seriously. Even if you are caught using your phone while stationary at traffic lights, you could be given 6 points on your licence and a fine of up to £200.

All drivers have a legal duty to remain safe whilst driving and not put the safety of other road users in danger. Whilst some distractions may be out of a driver’s control, drivers must remain alert and focused on the road ahead to avoid potential dangers.

Weather

As mentioned above, weather can have a significant impact on the safety of the road and a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. The weather can impact drivers by presenting several challenges, such as changing the visibility of a road, the speed at which a road should be driven and can even make some roads impassable for a time.

Being prepared is key, and avoiding driving in poor weather where possible is advised. Local weather reports should alert drivers of any suspected disruptions or dangers, and local authorities will reiterate the suggestion of carrying additional protective measures where necessary. For example, in warm weather, it is advisable to ensure that you carry additional water – both for the driver, passengers and the vehicle. In icy weather, having extra clothing and blankets in case you break down is essential.

After snowing, roads can become dirtier, with slush carrying dirt quickly to windscreens. Drivers should regularly perform additional checks on screenwash levels to avoid visibility issues on journeys.

Tiredness

The cause of around 20% of road accidents is thought to be related to tiredness – with a driver’s ability to concentrate and react severely inhibited because they are tired.

In a society which is so busy and with drivers having multiple demands on their time, it is easy to understand how a person can become distracted and why a car often feels like the quickest way from point A to B. However, driving when tired can lead to fatal collisions and is incredibly dangerous.

Whether you are driving tired because of a tough day at work, feeling sleepy because of an illness, or drowsiness kicks in because you are working your way through a long journey, it is imperative to take plenty of breaks and to stop if you recognise that you are too tired. It is advisable to drink caffeinated drinks to help support alertness and to stop somewhere safe for a short nap if you are feeling fatigued.

Driving under the influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most irresponsible and dangerous things a driver can do. Tens of thousands of people worldwide are injured or killed each year because the driver of a vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol – which in most countries is illegal and entirely avoidable.

It is legal for a driver to have consumed a small quantity of alcohol when driving. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a driver can have up to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood and still be able to drive. In Scotland, the limit is lower, with a maximum of 50 milligrams per 100ml of blood. Further information on drink driving laws can be found here.

However, there are a number of factors that a driver must consider if drinking and driving – not least, whether 80 milligrams is appropriate for them, as some people can feel the effects of alcohol after a smaller amount. In many cases, drivers might be best placed to simply not drink at all if they are driving.

Driving under the influence remains one of the highest reasons for road traffic accidents to occur, and the law takes these offences very seriously. Those found guilty of driving under the influence can be charged with fines and receive points on their licence. Depending on any resulting collision, injuries, or death caused by drunk or drug driving, the offending driver can face a potential prison sentence and ban from driving.

Maintaining knowledge of the Highway Code

With the growing amount of traffic on UK roads, the Highway Code sometimes evolves to ensure that all users remain safe. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep up to date with changes in UK law, particularly with priorities for road use.

For example, in 2022, the Highway Code changed to reflect the need for other traffic to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross at a junction. A pedestrian has the right of way over a driver turning into a road, and should the driver choose to ignore this rule and hit a crossing pedestrian, they would be legally liable for any damages caused.

There are numerous sources of information if you would like further details on what are the most common causes of road accidents, such as police websites, The Office for National Statistics and road safety campaign groups.

If you have been the victim of a road accident and have suffered any loss or injury, you may be entitled to make a road traffic accident claim against the person responsible. A specialist solicitor will help you to understand whether you are likely to be successful in a claim and how much compensation you could be awarded for your losses.

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What are the most common causes of workplace accidents?

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime – and workplaces are no exception. In fact, accidents at work are among the most common causes of injuries resulting in personal injury claims. But keeping your focus and doing things right could spare you the unfortunate pain and trouble of workplace injuries.

A split-second mistake can change your life forever. You don’t have to be at fault either; many work accidents can occur due to somebody else’s negligence. No matter your workplace role, you can still be in danger of an injury, such as tripping over an obstacle or suffering a repetitive strain injury.

Even though most employers will take great care in providing you with the best safety measures and a safe work environment, the unfortunate and unforeseen can still occur. Some injuries can have long-term physical, emotional, and financial effects on you.

In this guide, we will discuss the importance of understanding how to avoid injuries and what are the most common causes of workplace accidents.

Most common causes of workplace accidents

In many cases, an accident is an unfortunate freak incident that is not any specific person’s fault and could not have been easily prevented. However, sometimes accidents are caused by an employer’s failure to observe their duty of care to provide a safe working environment.

Here we will look at some of the most common accidents that happen in the workplace and could result in an accident at work claim:

Slips, trips and falls

33% of injuries in the workplace are from slips, trips and falls (excluding falls from heights). Housekeeping is one of the most important safety precautions to remove obstacles which could cause a tripping hazard.

Slips at work also happen frequently on wet floors and spillages without warning signs. With a large percentage of injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls, it’s essential to keep the workplace free from any hazards that may lead to these types of accidents.

Handling, lifting, and carrying

You may be required to move, lift or carry heavy objects in certain job roles. Your employer should provide the proper training and tools to minimise the risk of injury. You should be aware of the limits on the weight you are allowed to carry and the correct manner in which objects need to be moved or carried safely. Simply picking up one heavy object incorrectly with daily repetition could lead to permanent back injuries later on.

Training is therefore crucial in the workplace to ensure that you are not damaging your neck, back or shoulders by carrying or moving objects that are too heavy. In many industries and workplaces, such as factories and building sites, machinery is now used more frequently to reduce the strain of heavy lifting.

Struck by a moving object

You could be in danger of being struck by a moving object in almost any line of work. One of the biggest dangers is being hit by an object falling from a height, such as falling from a shelving unit. Materials can also fall from scaffolding or other platforms used to work at height.

Being struck by a moving object also includes forklift truck accidents or being hit with a trolley or pallet truck. These types of accidents can cause significant injuries and can be fatal, particularly if the moving object strikes an employee on the head.

Acts of violence

Acts of violence can be unexpected and unfortunate, but they are a common occurrence in certain industries, particularly in retail and security. Employees interacting directly with the public are at a higher risk of encountering violent situations for various reasons.

Customers could turn violent if they are unhappy with the service provided in retail shops. Security guards and door staff, in particular, may need to handle violent outbursts from members of the public. It is important for employers to provide adequate training and safety measures to help employees handle these situations safely and effectively.

Falls from height

If you work in construction, you must follow the necessary safety measures to protect yourself from falls from heights. Heights are considered as any floor level above ground level. Falling from a height could lead to serious and sometimes even fatal injuries, depending on the distance. Employers must ensure the correct safety precautions are in place to protect employees against falls.

Reporting accidents in the workplace

Your employer should have a reliable system in place for reporting accidents and injuries. The reporting system should help you to report your injury (or a co-worker’s) and potential hazards that might cause an accident.

Reporting potential risks and keeping track of accidents that have already occurred can help managers and employers conduct risk assessments more accurately. The recorded data is essential for planning the necessary changes for a safer work environment with less chance of injury.

It’s also important to record an accident in situations where you may want to pursue compensation for an injury sustained at work through no fault of your own. Failure to report your accident to the relevant person at your workplace could hamper your chance of making a successful claim.

If your employer does not have a reporting system in place, you should at least make them aware of your accident, either verbally or written, and then consult a solicitor for further advice.

Why do workplace injuries occur?

Workplace injuries occur for many different reasons, but the most likely culprit is a lack of the necessary safety precautions. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their employees and should actively inform them of any potential safety or health hazards.

In larger organisations, safety officers should be on-site, and they should advise you on the safety measures needed to protect yourself against injury.

Thankfully, most employers have the necessary safety precautions in place to prevent employees from harm. However, accidents can still happen, even if you follow the correct procedures down to the letter.

According to the Labour Force Survey, 441,000 employees in the UK sustained non-fatal injuries in 2021. Approximately 51,000 of these injuries resulted in employees being absent from work for at least seven days.

How to avoid getting injured at work?

To avoid getting injured at work, following proper safety measures and training for your specific job duties is essential. Your employer should provide you with the necessary safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as helmets, gloves, and hearing protection, to minimise the risk of injury.

In addition to following proper safety procedures, reporting potential hazards or safety concerns to your employer is also important. Conducting regular risk assessments can help identify potential dangers and implement measures to minimise these risks.

Remember, preventing workplace injuries is a shared responsibility between employers and employees. By following proper safety measures and reporting any concerns, you can help create a safer work environment for everyone.

What’s the average number of work hours lost due to accidents at work?

Workplace injuries not only cause physical and emotional harm but can also result in lost work hours and financial strain. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), an estimated 28.2 million working days were lost due to non-fatal workplace accidents and illnesses in the UK in 2018 and 2019. This equates to an average of around 15 days lost for each worker who was injured or became sick.

One of the most common causes of lost work hours due to workplace accidents is musculoskeletal disorders caused by handling, lifting, and carrying objects that are too heavy or moved incorrectly. The HSE estimates that musculoskeletal disorders account for 41% of all work-related illnesses, leading to an average of 13.8 days lost per employee in the UK.

In addition to physical injuries, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress can also contribute to lost work hours. The HSE reported that these issues accounted for around 54% of all work-related illnesses in the UK in 2018 and 2019, leading to an estimated 17.9 million lost workdays.

It’s important to note that these statistics represent only the reported cases of workplace injuries and illnesses. Many workplace accidents go unreported, and the actual number of lost work hours due to workplace accidents and illnesses is likely higher.

Stay safe in the workplace

You should always be doing your utmost to keep yourself safe from injury. Although nobody expects to be injured at work, it is an unfortunate possibility. If you do happen to get injured in the workplace, no matter how minor, you should report it to your employer or safety officer to raise awareness of the hazard.

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  • We are available 7 days a week
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers