Explaining The Personal Injury Claims Process
The personal injury claims process may seem daunting even if you are sure your accident happened because of someone else. How do you begin? What will you need to prove? How much could you realistically hope to be awarded? In this article, we aim to clarify and explain how to make a personal injury claim.
Whether you suffered an injury due to a road traffic accident, public accident or workplace accident, if someone who owed you a duty of care caused it, you could claim.
If you speak to our advisors, there’s no obligation to proceed but you could be connected with our solicitors. If your personal injury claims process starts under a No Win No Fee basis, there is not even a cost to starting your claim. Simply:
- Call us to discuss how we could help on 0800 073 8804
- Contact us via our site
- Or use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen
Select a Section
- A Guide About The Personal Injury Claims Process
- Personal Injury Claims – Meeting The Key Criteria
- What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
- Types Of Injuries For Personal Injury Claims
- Duty Of Care Legislation
- What Goes Into The Personal Injury Claims Process?
- Calculating Compensation For Personal Injury Claims
- Defining General Damages, Special Damages And Care Claims
- Steps To Take To Begin The Personal Injury Claims Process
- Working With No Win No Fee Solicitors
- Benefits Of Having Legal Expert To Represent You
- Contact Legal Expert About Your Claim Today
- Further Research About The Personal Injury Claims Process
In this guide, explore what makes a valid personal injury claim and what the process involves.
We look at the laws and rules that outline the duty of care of:
- Those in control of places accessible to the public
- Road users
What is the average payout for a personal injury claim?
It’s difficult to apply an average compensation payout for one claim. That’s because each claim is unique and compensation will depend on factors such as the severity of your injury and how it’s impacted your finances. However, in this guide, we have a section that shows you how personal injury claims are valued.
Commencing the personal injury claim process is something that you can do independently. But it could be easier with the help of a personal injury lawyer. We explain how a No Win No Fee agreement could enable you to access the services of a solicitor affordably.
It’s important to note that as you start on the personal injury claims process, your claim needs to meet specific criteria. You need to establish that the other party’s negligence caused your injury. You can do this by showing:
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
- They breached this duty, causing an incident or accident.
- You suffered an injury or illness as a result.
These points are crucial and if you need help to understand them, please get in touch with our advisors. They could help clarify whether the party owed you a duty of care and how you could launch a claim for compensation if their breach caused you injury.
People make a personal injury claim when someone who owed them a duty of care breached that duty and caused the individual injury.
You could claim for the injury itself (whether psychological or physical) and recover financial losses associated with these injuries.
Concrete evidence needs to be presented. With this in mind, you can start to assemble your proof with:
- Witness contact details (for statements at a later date)
- CCTV evidence
- Accident log reports
- Receipts and bills for associated costs
Personal injury can happen in a multitude of different scenarios. Below are some examples.
You could suffer an injury because of:
- Faulty machinery
- Lack of health and safety supervision
- Contact with noxious fumes or hazardous chemicals without Personal Protective Equipment
- Extremes of hot or cold or damp
You could suffer an injury because of:
- Poor hygiene in a restaurant (food poisoning)
- Slips due to an unattended spillage
- Hazardous fittings (such as broken sliding doors)
- Lack of clear signage resulting in falls or trips
On the roads
You could suffer:
- Serious or multiple injuries from a collision
- Burns from explosions or fires in the collision
- Amputations from limbs trapped or severed
- Scarring or loss of eyesight and injuries acquired during high-speed impact
With the correct evidence to demonstrate how your injuries were caused by a party that owed you a duty of care, it can be possible to initiate a compensation claim against them.
Certain parties have a duty of care under legislation.
Workplace accidents and illnesses
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers should take reasonable measures to ensure that the workplace is safe for employees. There are quite clear guidelines for all businesses to ensure they practice these requirements, such as:
- To regularly conduct risk assessments to stop accidents before they happen
- Liaise with safety representatives and ensure concerns are addressed
- Provide clear training, supervision and guidance on correct workplace practices
- Have a designated health and safety officer
- Ensure staff are aware and trained in the proper handling of materials
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) is always appropriately provided where necessary
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a government body that enforces health and safety legislation. It helps employers meet their duty of care. However, if the duty of care is breached and it causes you injury, you could start the personal injury claims process against them for damages.
It’s important to remember that your employer can’t dismiss you or discriminate against you for making an honest claim. What’s more, any compensation would be taken out of the employers’ liability insurance.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957
Accidents in public places can be frightening, especially as there is perhaps a tendency to assume all areas open to the general public are well regulated and safe to use. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 is legislation that requires all those in charge of a place accessible to the public to assume the responsibilities of ensuring they are safe for visitors. For example, unavoidable hazards should be clearly stated (such as low ceilings or steep stairs).
Road Traffic Accidents (RTA)
The Highway Code and the Road Traffic Act 1988 outline the duty of care for all road users to demonstrate a requisite level of skill and consideration when using the roads. For example, drivers should not speed, drive recklessly or drive whilst under the influence.
The rules also require drivers and motorcyclists to :
- Be in possession of the correct licence
- Have at least third-party insurance
- Be registered with the DVLA
- Drive a roadworthy vehicle
These requirements try to ensure that accidents and injuries are avoided. Often in road traffic accident claims, there is fault on both sides. You could still claim if you’re partially at fault for your injuries, you’d just receive a reduced percentage of compensation if the claim is successful.
Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
In certain cases, the driver who injured you may not have insurance. You may have been the victim of a hit and run.
To offer some form of compensation to the victim in cases such as this, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) is an agency that can offer damages if you have evidence of a valid claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you with this.
The Whiplash Reform
The car accident personal injury claim process has recently undergone some changes. The government initiated the Whiplash Reform Programme in 2021.
If you have whiplash injuries valued at £5,000 or under, and any associated financial losses bring the total amount to less than £10,000, your claim now has to be made through an online portal.
However, your injuries may be valued above £5,000 even if you think they’re minor. Speak to our advisors. They can value your claim for free.
For ease of reference, the checklist below can be followed as you start out on the personal injury claims process.
- Have your injuries properly attended to.
- If the accident happened at work, ensure it was reported in the accident log book.
- For accidents in public or on the roads, try to ensure you retain as much detail as you are able at the time (obviously this may not be possible if you are seriously injured).
- Obtain CCTV where possible.
- Get witness contact details for statements.
- Take photos with your phone if possible.
A personal injury lawyer can arrange an independent medical assessment that’s local to you. This could help with evidence. After this, they could negotiate with the other side to reach a compensation settlement. Most claims don’t go to court.
Compensation calculators can offer you a quick insight into the level of damages you could be owed, but it’s important to remember that compensation varies from claim to claim. When evaluating damages, a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can be referred to. This document lists a head to toe catalogue of award brackets as they relate to various severities of injury. The table below gives an idea:
|Injury||severity||Judicial College Guidelines award bracket||notes|
|head||(c) moderate brain damage||£140,870 to £205,580||personality alterations or damage to the senses of sight, speech or hearing|
|neck||(a) severe (ii)||£61,710 to £122,860||serious fractures to the cervical spine or discs, nerve damage resulting in permanent disability|
|back||(a) severe (i)||£85,470 to £151,070||damage to nerve root or spinal damage resulting in very serious or permanent disability,|
|hips and pelvis||(a) severe (i)||£73,580 to £122,860||dislocation of a lower back joint, bladder damage, intolerable pain and requiring spinal fusion surgery|
|leg||(b) severe (i) The Most Serious Injuries Short of Amputation||£90,320 to £127,530||extensive tissue damage, de-gloving or flesh and shortening of leg|
|knee||(a) severe (i)||£65,440 to £90,290||gross disruption of the joint, ligament damage|
|ankle||(a) very severe||£46,980 to £65,420||soft tissue damage, deformity and increased risk of future amputations|
|wrist||(a)||£44,690 to £56,180||complete loss of function in that wrist|
|psychological harm||(a) severe||£51,460 to £108,620||There'll be a poor prognosis|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)||(a) severe||£56,180 to £94,470||Acute problems with anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares or coping at pre-trauma levels|
If you’d like our advisors to value your claim for free, why not get in touch?
General damages compensate you for your physical and psychological injuries. you can see examples of potential general damages in the compensation table above.
In addition to general damages, you could seek special damages.
Special damages compensate you for financial losses that are associated with your injuries. This can include:
- Lost income while you were off work, recovering.
- Counselling or therapy that wasn’t available on the NHS
- Travel costs (to and from the hospital, for example)
- Childcare costs
- Adaptations or modifications to your home if you suffered impairment of mobility
- Loss of deposits for special occasions you had to miss
- Loss of your pension contributions or staff bonuses
All the relevant evidence including receipts, bills, invoices or other proof of purchase can be used to prove that you had to meet these financial losses. Speak to our advisors to see what other items might be eligible for inclusion.
Practical steps that you can take now should include the gathering of documentation to prove your financial loss.
Once your personal injury claim is settled, you can’t seek more compensation if you realise your injury is worse than you thought or when you realise you’re losing more money than expected because of the injuries. With this in mind, it is essential to include predicted costs for now and the future.
Calculating these anticipated expenses should be done correctly. The courts need to see how the amount was reached.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a 3-year timeframe for starting the personal injury claims process. This time period can start from the date of the injury or the date that you gain knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury (date of knowledge).
However, there are exceptions to this time limit. To find out whether you can still claim, get in touch with our advisors with no obligation to proceed with our services.
A No Win No Fee agreement allows people to affordably fund a solicitor’s services. Working with a personal injury solicitor could enable you to negotiate a full and fair settlement quickly.
The benefits of a No Win No Fee include:
- No solicitor fee upfront
- No solicitor fee as the claim goes on
- You only have to pay the solicitor’s fee if the claim is successful. This fee is a small percentage, capped by law and is only taken after the compensation comes through.
- If the case does not succeed, you wouldn’t need to pay the solicitor their fee at all.
There are numerous benefits to using legal representation:
- A No Win No Fee lawyer can arrange the independent medical assessment at a time and place that is convenient to you.
- They understand legal jargon and can explain how to process personal injury claims promptly and accurately.
- No Win No Fee lawyers have a vested interest in obtaining the highest award possible for you. This means that they can explore every avenue of compensation on your behalf
Whether it was an accident that occurred at work, a road traffic collision or an accident in a public place, reach out. It’s free. There’s no obligation to make a claim. Contact us by:
- Calling us to discuss how we could help on 0800 073 8804
- Contacting us via our site
- Using the ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen
The personal injury claim process can be more straightforward with proper guidance and an accurate evaluation. Here are some sources that could also help.
For more help with death and fatal accident claims, you can access our guide.
Read our guide on making successful injury claims.
we also have a guide on making a minor personal injury claim.
You can request CCTV footage to support your claim.
The NHS have advice on how to access your medical records from your GP.
There is further advice from the NHS about paying for your own self-care.
- £30,000 Compensation For A Forearm Fracture
- £3,900 Compensation For A Soft Tissue Shoulder Injury
- £25,000 Compensation For A Frozen Shoulder
- £15,000 Compensation for a Dislocated Shoulder
- £70,000 Compensation For Broken Femur
- £100,000 Compensation For A Broken Neck
- £5,000 Compensation For A Whiplash Back Injury
- £10,000 Compensation For A Broken Wrist
- £352,000 Compensation For A PTSD Sexual Abuse Claim
If you need to ask anything about the personal injury claims process, get in touch today.
Written by Waters
Edited by Victorine