How To Claim Police Compensation Payouts

Police compensation payouts guide

Police compensation payouts guide

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 25th August 2023. This guide will explain the circumstances that might entitle people to make police compensation payouts. The police force is responsible for upholding the law and protecting the public.

The police do not owe members of the public a duty of care to protect them against harm that they have not created. This means that you cannot claim if you were harmed by a criminal that the police failed to apprehend, for example. Members of the police must not abuse their powers or mistreat the public, however.

To see if you have a valid claim, please get in touch. You can:

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When Could Police Compensation Payouts Be Awarded?

The police need to abide by certain pieces of legislation. For example, they have to abide by the Bail Act 1976 which sets pre-trial conditions for people who have been charged with crimes. Moreover, they must comply with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and PACE codes of practice, which regulate how police interact with the public.

Some of the things you may be able to claim against the police for include:

  • An assault by a police officer, causing physical injuries
  • A malicious prosecution
  • A wrongful arrest, meaning that the officers did not have just cause to detain you
  • Excessive force

For more information on when police compensation payouts might be made, speak with an advisor on our team today.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Police Compensation Payouts In The UK?

As per the Limitation Act 1980, you would typically have 3 years to make a claim if police negligence caused you to be injured. This is the same time limit as in other personal injury claims. However, there can be exceptions to this time limit in some cases.

For example, your injuries may not be detectable until a date later than the date of the actual accident. Generally, the time limit begins on the date you were injured. However, the date of knowledge can also be used as the start date. This is the date you are made aware of your injuries.

Alternatively, if you’re claiming for a claimant under 18, or a claimant who lacks the mental capacity to do so, the time limit could be suspended in either case. However, a litigation friend could help by claiming on their behalf during this suspended period.

If you need more information on whether or not your time limit has expired, get in touch with our advisors today. We are here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have regarding personal injury claims. Call to see if you could be eligible for police compensation.

What Duty Of Care Does The Police Have?

For the police to carry out their work, they may have to use force. However, they mustn’t use excessive or unreasonable force. In other words, the force used must be proportionate to the situation at hand.

The police have a duty of care towards the public at large to keep the Queen’s peace, however, they don’t have a duty of care to individuals to protect them from harm that they themselves have not caused. This means that if you’re harmed by a criminal that the police failed to reprimand, then you would not be able to claim.

Furthermore, they need to have just cause to arrest you. If they don’t, you could sustain a psychological injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of their negligence.

Get in touch with our team today for a free valuation of your potential claim. Our advisors can offer you free legal advice about police compensation payouts.

Human Rights Breaches And Wrongful Arrest

Police compensation payout claims can be made for breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) that have caused an injury. The HRA brought the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law and made it illegal for a public authority to act in contrast with any of these rights.

The police have the power to stop and search when they feel you have “reasonable grounds” to believe that you’re carrying drugs, stolen property or something that you could use to commit a crime. You can be stopped and searched without these reasonable grounds, but only if it’s been approved by a higher-up police officer.

The power to stop and search could clash with several rights in the Conventions (for example, the right to liberty and security and the right to respect for private and family life). For this reason, all stop and searches must:

If they are not, and you sustain a physical or mental injury as a result, then you may be entitled to claim.

Furthermore, a police officer needs to adhere to certain guidelines when arresting someone. They should have just causes for doing so and shouldn’t make an arrest purely based on your appearance or background.

For an answer to the question “when might police compensation payouts be awarded?” speak with our team today.

Claims For The Use Of Unreasonable Force

If the police have used unreasonable force, causing physical injuries, the injured person may be eligible to claim a police compensation payout. As we have already mentioned, the police often have to use force in the course of their duties. However, when a police officer uses force, the force must be proportionate to the situation at hand.

Indeed, if a police officer uses force against a suspect without legitimate grounds to do so, it may count as assault. Moreover, the police must only use tasers or batons when appropriate.

If you’ve been arrested and the police have used unreasonable force, then get in touch with an advisor from our team today. They can offer you free legal advice.

What Other Claims Could You Make?

When on the road, the police owe other road users a duty of care. If on an emergency call, then they can use their sirens to alert other road users of this, and there are certain things they are allowed to do in these cases. For example, they can drive above the normal speed limit and pass through stop signs and red lights.

However, even when doing this, they need to take into account the safety of other people on the road. For example, if a police officer was travelling above the speed limit while on an emergency call, but caused an accident because they were looking at their phone, you might be able to claim. They are still subject to the same duty of care on the road that is set out in the Highway Code and the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Furthermore, when not on an emergency call, a police car cannot exceed the speed limit or ignore road signs. If they do and cause an accident in which you’re injured, you might be able to claim.

You might be wondering “when can police compensation payouts be made?”. For an answer to this question, get in touch with our team.

Calculating Police Compensation Payouts

If your personal injury claim is successful, your award could consist of two heads of claim. These are called general and special damages.

General damages compensate for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by your injury. To help when valuing your claim, legal professionals can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) from Judiciary UK. This text lists guideline compensation brackets for various injuries.

Our table below lists a few figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. However, these amounts do not represent what your claim could be worth.

Injury and Severity Payout
Loss Of Sight – One Eye £95,990 to £179,770
Loss Of Hearing – One Ear £31,310 to £45,540
Brain Damage- Less Severe £15,320 to £43,060
Neck Injury- Moderate (i) £24,990 to £38,490
Hernia £14,900 to £24,170
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder- Moderate £8,180 to £23,150
Psychiatric Damage- Moderate £5,860 to £19,070
Chest Injury £12,590 to £17,960
Shoulder Injury- Moderate £7,890 to £12,770
Mental Anguish £4,670

Police compensation payouts may also include special damages. This head of a claim is awarded to compensate for any financial losses experienced as a result of your injury.

A few examples of the financial losses you could be compensated for under special damages in personal injury claims include:

  • Medical costs, such as money spent on prescriptions and therapy.
  • A loss of earnings if you required time off work to recover.
  • Adaptations made to your home, such as costs connected to a wheelchair ramp, if these were required to manage your injury.
  • Costs related to care. For example, if you needed help cooking or bathing.

You should submit proof of your expenses. For example, with relevant receipts, payslips, and invoices.

If you have any questions about how police compensation payouts in the UK are awarded, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

When No Win No Fee Claims For Police Compensation Payouts Could Be Made

Public Interest Lawyers can handle your police negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement in place.

This means that you will not pay an upfront solicitors fee. You also won’t pay anything as the claim progresses. Therefore, it is a more affordable way to fund the work of a lawyer. Instead, you will pay a success fee if you win your claim. If the claim isn’t successful, then you won’t pay this fee.

To see if you can begin your No Win No Fee claim for police misconduct, please contact Public Interest Lawyers today. Our legal team has solid experience handling personal injury claims against public bodies. Furthermore, our lawyers can help you through the process of claiming.

Please use the details below to contact us:

  • Ask our advisors a question using the live chat on the bottom right-hand side of your browser.
  • Alternatively, call our team for free legal advice on 0800 408 7825.
  • Or you can contact us using our website.

Learn More About Public Authority Claims

We appreciate you taking the time to read our guide on police compensation payouts. If you would like to learn more about making a compensation claim against a public authority or another party, please feel free to read these guides. You can also get in touch with our team for more information.

Police Force Data Breach – Essential Claims Guide

Serious Injury Solicitors 

Can I Sue Someone For Assault?

A government guide to contacting your local police and crime commissioner (PCC) to make a suggestion or complaint

How to make a complaint to the Independent Office For Police Conduct

A Citizen’s Advice guide to your human rights

If you have any more questions about police compensation payouts, please get in touch.

Article by AH

Publisher ET