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Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Claims Guide

By Marlon Cooke. Last Updated 27th July 2022. A personal injury may happen even when every precaution possible has been taken simply because of somebody else’s mistake or negligence. Every day across the UK people suffer some form of personal injury, whether it’s at home while walking on the pavement, in the workplace, because of a dog bite or simply while going about their daily activities.

If you have sustained personal injury in an accident or incident that was not your fault, you might be entitled to start a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering caused to you.

You may also be able to claim for medical expenses for treatment related to the injury as well as loss of earnings from having to stay off from work because of your injuries.

If you would like to get in touch with us about making a claim, you can use the methods below.

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Personal Injury Claims – What Could You Claim For?

A personal injury is the legal term for an injury to a person’s physical or psychological well-being. In certain situations, a person who suffers a personal injury can initiate a claim against the person or party responsible.

Examples of types of claims and who could be found liable in these instances can include:

Assault Claims: If you were injured in a criminal assault, you could be able to make a personal injury claim directly against your assailant. However, these claims are not always possible, as the assailant may not have the funds to afford your compensation. If so, you could potentially claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) instead.

Road Traffic Accidents: Every road user has a responsibility to ensure that they follow the rules of the road, and that their actions do not negatively impact other road users. If you were injured because of a driver’s negligent or reckless actions, you could initiate a personal injury claim against them.

Medical Negligence: If you are injured because a medical professional provides substandard care in some way, for example prescribing you the wrong medication, then you could potentially claim against the organisation responsible, whether this is private or public healthcare.

Accident At Work: Your employer has a responsibility to provide you with a practically safe working environment. If you are injured by a hazard present in your place of work, your employer could be found liable if they had failed to take suitable and reasonable actions to look for, address or manage the hazard.

Accidents In Public: People in charge of spaces open to the public have a responsibility to ensure that the areas they are in charge of are practically safe. They have a responsibility to actively look for hazards that could be present in their area and address any in due time. If they fail to do this, they can be found liable for an injury a person suffers within their area.

Are you eligible?

This is not a comprehensive list. Personal injury claims can be made in a number of different situations against different parties. If you have suffered an injury and are looking for personal injury advice about whether you could be eligible to make a claim, please reach out to one of our advisers.

They can explain liability in different scenarios and give you insight into personal injury compensation guidelines.

Accident At Work Statistics

Work-related injuries can take many forms. Statistics from HSE show that in 2020/21, 0.8 million workers reported in the Labour Force Survey that they were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. This made up 50% of work-related ill health cases for the period. People may not know this, but you can still make a claim for these kinds of injuries if they were caused by the negligence of your employer.

Employees also self-reported 441,000 non-fatal injuries in 2020/21, 102,000 of which required over 7 days of absence from work. If you’ve needed time away from work for an extended period of time and have missed out on income as a result of negligence, you could potentially claim this back in a personal injury claim.

Fatal accidents were also reported, with 142 workers being killed in 2020/21. If a fatal accident occurs, certain family members under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 could potentially claim compensation for their death. Call our team to find out more.

Why File A Compensation Claim For Personal Injury

When somebody’s been involved in some form of accident, many people just want to put the whole thing behind them.

The thought of filing a personal injury case can be unnerving as it could mean having to relive the trauma several times over while relating the details to their solicitor and potentially again in the courtroom. This only adds to what can already be a stressful situation besides taking up more time.

Having to take time off from work could mean further loss of income. What if after all that, you lose the case and are not awarded any compensation? However difficult it may be, it is always advisable to file a personal injury claim for compensation.

Any type of personal injury can put a strain on your physical and mental health as well as your finances. You would have had to pay for medication and treatment for your injuries. Depending on your injuries, you may require long-term treatment, which could turn out to be hugely expensive, both in terms of time as well as money.

Filing a claim is the first step toward getting the recompense you deserve. The money could help restore your financial position to what it was before the accident. Also, it allows you to take time to heal from the physical and psychological trauma without having to worry about finances.

By suing a negligent party you are also doing your part to prevent the same accident and injury from happening to anyone else. For example, filing a claim for a personal injury resulting from faulty equipment may highlight unsafe practices at work so other employees may not suffer the same injuries in future.

Personal Injury Compensation

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another, you could potentially claim compensation. This could cover both the pain and suffering you have experienced, under general damages, and the specific financial losses you have incurred as a result, under special damages.

The table in this section shows a variety of injuries or illnesses you could potentially claim compensation for. The figures shown are from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by legal professionals to help value personal injury claims. You should know that these figures are not a guarantee.

DeathImmediate Unconsciousness£1,290 to £2,620The incident will result in immediate unconsciousness, and death within a week.
Asbestos-Related Disease(A)£65,710 to £118,150Mesothelioma that negatively impacts the quality of life and impairs function. There will be related severe pain.
Impairment of Taste and Smell(D)£18,020 to £23,460Loss of taste.
Eye(D)£51,460 to £61,690The total loss of one eye.
Bladder(A)Up to £172,860Cases of double incontinence with related medical issues.
Pelvis & HipsLesser (i)£3,710 to £11,820Despite serious injury, there will be little to no lasting disabilities.
Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders(C)£8,110 to £10,090Symptoms resolve within 3 years.
AnkleSevere£29,380 to £46,980There will be a need for an extensive period of treatment. The result will be ankle instability and a limited ability to walk.
Complex Regional Pain SyndromeModerate£26,300 to £49,270Intense burning pain where touching the limb or moving it is intolerable. The prognosis indicates there will be improvement in the future.
Cheekbones(ii)£4,080 to £6,060A simple fracture but some reconstructive surgery will still be necessary. A complete recovery will be made with minimal or no cosmetic effects.

Under special damages, you could potentially claim for (past and future):

  • Travel costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of earnings

Examples of Criminal Compensation Payouts

You can also claim if you’ve been injured by a violent crime. This section will explain the process of claiming and provide insight regarding how you could find examples of criminal compensation payouts.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) provide a way for you to receive compensation if you’ve been injured by a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales. Many people seeking personal injury advice are aware of who is liable for their injury and can claim against them but, with criminal injuries, this usually isn’t the case.

In some cases, you could claim directly against the perpetrator if they are known and have the funds to pay your compensation. In other cases, you would make your claim through the CICA.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 includes a tariff of injuries that sets out specific amounts for particular types of injuries, based on various aspects including the severity and potential long-term effects of the injury.

If you’re a qualifying relative of the deceased, you may be able to seek compensation for incidents including a fatal car accident if the incident is deemed to be a criminal act. For example, the driver may have intended to cause harm by purposefully running someone over.

The criminal act would need to be reported to the police. This is because the CICA would need a police crime reference number to process the claim. Furthermore, the crime should be reported to the police as soon as possible and the claim should then be made to the CICA within two years of it being reported.

However, there may be certain circumstances where the two-year time limit differs. For more information on criminal injury claims, call our team. They can also provide additional personal injury advice.

Should I accept the first CICA offer?

Questions like this are one of the reasons you may find legal counsel useful when claiming for incidents, such as a fatal car accident that caused the death of a loved one.

While you can claim without hiring legal representation, our solicitors have years of experience dealing with criminal injury cases. As such, they will be able to tell you if the offer provided is sufficient for the pain and suffering that has been caused.

However, it’s important to remember that, unlike the compensation brackets listed above, the CICA tariff only provides set amounts for specific injuries. Furthermore, you would only receive 100% of the compensation for the highest value injury, 30% of the tariff for the second-highest value injury and 15% for the lowest value injury.

Filing A Claim Yourself vs Hiring A Personal Injury Solicitor

There is nothing to stop you from filing a personal injury claim by yourself. However, before you do so, you must understand what is involved. Without proper knowledge of personal injury law and legal proceedings, you may make a mistake that could cost you the case. That is not a risk that is worth taking.

Hiring a personal injury solicitor can give you a huge advantage when you are claiming compensation. Most solicitors will agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you get the benefit of their experience and expertise without having to pay any upfront fees. You only pay if you win the settlement.

Usually, the amount you have to pay will be a set percentage of the total compensation that you receive. This way you are never out of pocket at any stage.

When you hire No Win No Fee solicitors, they will explore all aspects of the case so that they can put together a strong case asking for the highest amount that you are entitled to. They will take into account all factors when calculating the compensation, from pain and suffering caused by the injuries to present and projected expenses for medicines and medical treatment as well as present and future loss of earnings.

You should also know that personal injury claims don’t often end up needing to go to court, as it is a costly and time-consuming process that all parties would generally rather avoid. However, if your claim does need to go to court, hiring the right solicitor could make this process easier for you.

If your injuries require you to get full-time care or do certain modifications in your home or vehicle, these costs are factored in too.

Personal Injury Claims Time Limits

It’s stated in the Limitation Act 1980 that you only have 3 years to start the process of a personal injury claim. This time limit begins from the date you sustained your injury. However, some injuries or illnesses may be cumulative or have delayed symptoms. In these cases, the time limit will only begin from the date you are made aware of your injury. This is known as the date of knowledge.

Child Injury Claims

For claimants under the age of 18, their time limit is suspended until they reach adulthood. This is because they cannot legally pursue their own personal injury claims. For the claim to be made before this date, it must be done by a litigation friend.

This is when an adult with the child’s best interests at heart, such as their parents. are appointed to pursue the claim on the behalf of their injured child. The litigation friend is not awarded the compensation if the case If successful. It is placed into a legally secured bank account under the child’s name that they can access from their 18th birthday.

If the child reaches 18 without a claim being started on their behalf, they have 3 years to start one themselves.

Claims On Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If the injured party has a reduced mental capacity, then their time limit is suspended. They would also require a litigation friend to act on their behalf.

If their mental state is due to something like brain damage and they are expected to recover, then their time limit will only begin when their mental capacity is restored. If it is never restored, then their time limit will also remain suspended.

Course Of Action After An Accident

In most cases, there is a lot of confusion after a personal injury. This can make it difficult for you to put together the evidence that could help you file a strong case. Being aware of what you should and should not do immediately after an accident can help you stay more focused at that time.

  • The first thing you should do immediately after an accident is check your injuries and try and determine how badly hurt you are. We recommend seeking medical help.
  • If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact details so that they can testify on your behalf as to whose fault the accident was.
  • Get photographs of your injuries, the scene of the accident, your damaged vehicle if any and the immediate cause of the accident.
  • Get your injuries treated at the nearest medical facility.
  • Report the accident and your personal injuries at the nearest police station and keep a record of the report.
  • Get in touch with a solicitor and get professional advice as to the best way to proceed with filing your compensation claim.

We also don’t recommend agreeing to any personal injury settlement that the defendant’s insurance company offers you without first consulting a solicitor. Most insurance companies rush in to offer compensation after any type of accident. It may seem like a fair and easy deal at first and you may be tempted to take it.

However, if you consult a solicitor, they may be able to negotiate on your behalf for more compensation.

Besides, you will have to sign an agreement waiving off your rights to claim any more compensation so you may not be able to claim for future injuries that may be related to the personal injury you have suffered.

Get in touch

If you’ve been injured due to a breach in duty of care and would like to start a claim, why not get in touch with us today? Our advisors can offer free legal guidance about your claim, and could potentially connect you with one of our expert solicitors who can help you.

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