By Megan Webster. Last Updated 22nd August 2023. If you have been injured due to a relevant third party breaching their duty of care, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. Within this guide, we will discuss the personal injury claim process, and when you may have a valid claim.
We will also explore the various instances where you are owed a duty of care, and how a breach of this duty could lead to you suffering an injury. This guide will also provide information on how compensation is calculated in personal injury claims and the types of evidence that could be used to support your case. Furthermore, we will discuss some of the benefits of working with one of the personal injury claim solicitors on our panel on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you have any questions after finishing this guide, you can contact one of our friendly advisors. They are available to help you 24/7 and can be reached by:
Select A Section
- What Happens When You Make A Claim?
- What Pre-Action Protocols Must be Followed?
- Getting A Response From The Defendant
- Medical Reports And Witness Statements
- Negotiating Your Payout
- Calculating What Your Claim Could Be Worth
- Talk To Our No Win No Fee Claims Team
- Helpful Links
- How the accident happened.
- That a third party was at fault (and that they owed you a duty of care)
- The extent of your injuries.
Claims are possible against various parties like your employer, a business or the local authority. You would need to show that they neglected the duty of care that they owed to you in keeping you safe.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has defined pre-action protocols that should be followed when pursuing compensation. They give the opportunity for claims to be resolved amicably without the need for court action.
We’ll review what happens when you make a claim in the next few sections of this guide. If you’d like further information about making a claim, get in touch with our team of advisors today.
Pre-action protocols are a set of conduct that all parties in a personal injury claim need to follow. Essentially, they aim to improve information sharing between the defendant and the claimant.
The pre-action protocol for personal injury claims is designed for cases with a value of less than £25,000. Should they end up in court, they would take no longer than a day to be dealt with.
Other pre-action protocols exist for different types of claims including:
- Low-value road traffic injury claims.
- Medical or clinical disputes.
- Low-value injury claims for employers or public liability accidents.
- Industrial illness claims.
Notification and Letter Of Claim
Two letters should be sent to the defendant as part of the pre-action protocol:
- Notification letter. This will simply explain that you are going to make a claim against the defendant because a breach of duty of care has led to an injury.
- Letter of claim. Here, a more detailed letter will be sent. It will explain your injuries and losses caused by the accident.
After a letter of claim has been sent, the defendant (or their insurer) should investigate what happened. They should also issue a response within a reasonable timeframe- for simple cases, this is 14 days and should be no more than 3 months in complex claims. In their response, they’ll either accept liability for your accident or deny it.
Where liability is accepted, negotiations can begin over how much compensation you’ll be paid. If they won’t accept liability, the defendant will need to explain, in detail, why they were not to blame. They’ll also need to put forward how the accident happened as they understand it, alongside evidence to support this.
If no response to your letter of claim is received, your solicitor might suggest beginning formal court proceedings.
Evidence is key in a personal injury claim. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how you were affected. The more serious your injuries are, the higher the compensation award you could receive.
A medical assessment will be arranged as part of your claim. During the meeting, the expert will review your medical notes and discuss your injuries with you. They’ll also examine your injuries. Once the meeting has ended, they’ll write a report for all parties to explain your prognosis.
Other evidence that can be used to support a claim include:
- Witness statements. If liability is denied, your solicitor could ask anybody else who was present to explain what they saw. It’s important that you collect details of any witnesses so that a statement can be taken.
- Any photographs you took at the accident scene could be used to analyse what happened.
- Camera footage. Similarly, dashcam or security camera footage could be obtained if the accident was caught on camera.
- Medical notes. If you were treated in hospital or by your GP, your medical records could be used to show the injuries you sustained.
- Accident report forms. If you reported the accident, a copy of your accident report could be used to prove when and where the incident took place.
For more information on the evidence, you could provide to support your claim, speak to one of our advisors today. They could offer you free legal advice about the process of claiming.
After reviewing all of the evidence in your claim, solicitors and insurers will try to determine liability for the accident. They might agree that the defendant was solely responsible or that the defendant was partially to blame as well. The latter is known as split liability and will result in your compensation being reduced accordingly.
Once responsibility for the accident has been agreed upon, all parties will move on to look at compensation levels. This will be based on the medical records and reports we discussed previously.
The amount of compensation will be calculated with the help of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). These provide a range of settlement amounts for injuries based on severity and are based on previous compensation awards.
For more information on how much you could receive in a compensation claim, get in touch with a member of our team today. They could offer you a free, no-obligation assessment of the value of your claim.
The compensation table below provides potential compensation ranges for several injuries. As explained above, the amounts are taken from the JCG.
|Injury Type||Severity Level||Compensation Range||Extra Details|
|Jaw||(ii) Serious||£16,860 to £28,610||Where a fractured jaw causes permanent problems like paraesthesia or where it is difficult to eat.|
|Face||(c) Significant||£8,550 to £28,240||Scarring to the face which has been reduced by plastic surgery.|
|Neck||(a)(iii) Severe||£42,680 to £52,540||Injuries involving serious soft tissue damage or fractures of the neck.|
|Shoulder||(d) Minor||£4,080 to £7,410||Includes injuries that cause a lot of pain but where recovery is almost complete in less than 2-years.|
|Hips||(a)(i) Severe||£75,580 to £122,860||Covers the most serious hip fractures including those that involve a dislocated lower back with a ruptured bladder for example.|
|Arm||(F)(b) Substantial||£36,770 to £56,180||This bracket includes serious arm fractures that cause permanent disabilities.|
|Leg||(c)(ii) Simple||£8,550 to £13,210||Where a fractured femur doesn't result in the articular surfaces.|
|Ankle||(d) Modest||To £12,900||Includes undisplaced fractures, ligament damage and sprains.|
|Rib||(g)||Up to £3,710||Fractures of ribs or where soft tissue has been injured, causing serious pain and disability but only for a period of weeks.|
|Teeth||(i)||£8,200 to £10,710||Where several front teeth have been lost or seriously damaged.
These amounts are not guaranteed. For a more accurate assessment of the amount your claim could be worth, why not speak with a member of our team today?
We understand that nobody wants to be left out of pocket because of solicitor’s fees. That’s why our panel of personal injury solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This explains when you’ll need to pay for your solicitor’s work.
It states that you won’t be asked to make any upfront or ongoing payments. You also won’t be asked to pay them in the event of a successful claim.
Your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation if your case is won. If you aren’t awarded compensation, you won’t pay this fee.
To check if you can claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, please get in touch by:
- Calling our advice line on 0800 408 7825.
- Completing our contact form so we can call you back.
- Using live chat to discuss your case online.
Claim For Brain Damage – A guide on seeking damages if you or a loved one has suffered brain damage during an accident.
Minor Accident At Work Claims – Details on how to take action for less serious workplace injuries.
Council Slip And Trip Accidents – Here we review how to sue the local authority for tripping on pavement defects and similar scenarios.
Road Safety Advice – This guide from ROSPA provides advice and resources about improving safety on the roads.
NHS 111 Online – The service you can turn to for advice on when to visit a hospital.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – You could be compensated by the CICA if you’ve been injured as the result of a crime of violence.
Thanks for reading this article about what happens when you claim compensation. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.