Personal Injury Claims Explained

By Marlon Marquardt. Last Updated 2nd November 2022. Are you looking for a guide to personal injury claims? Look no further. You may have been involved in an accident at work, in a council-controlled space, or on private property such as in a shopping centre or car park. If it wasn’t your fault and you suffered injuries as a result, you could claim. 

personal injury claims

Personal injury claims guide

Our advisors may be able to connect you with our panel of personal injury solicitors. They could help you make a personal injury claim. To find out more, continue reading or get in touch by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
  2. What Accidents Do Personal Injury Claims Cover?
  3. When Can You Claim For An Injury?
  4. Evidence Needed For Personal Injury Claims
  5. How Does The Personal Injury Claims Process Work?
  6. Personal Injury Claims Calculator
  7. Talk To A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Solicitor
  8. Need More Help?

What Is A Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims allow you to seek compensation for an injury that was caused in a setting where you were supposed to be protected under another party’s duty of care. The injury should not have been your fault and should have happened as a result of the other party’s negligence. 

Employers or parties in control of a space that’s accessible to the public, such as the local authority, have a duty of care to everyone that is there. They should ensure they take reasonable steps to protect your safety. This is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957

Employers can breach their duty of care by not providing adequate equipment and training to staff, for example.

Those in control of public places could breach their duty by not attending to loose wires or hazardous road surfaces in a reasonable timeframe after they’ve found out about them. If this failure results in injury, you may have a possible claim. 

Road users also have a duty to use the roads with standard care and skill under The Highway Code. If you’re injured because another road user didn’t meet this standard and caused an accident, you could claim. 

Your claim would not be accepted if your injury wasn’t their fault, or a breached duty of care did not result in any injury. 

Not all personal injury claims are the same. As such, it is vital to get advice specific to your case, so speaking to a personal claims solicitor could help. Additionally, so could our advisors. They’re available 24/7 and give free legal advice. 

What Accidents Do Personal Injury Claims Cover?

Personal injury claims can cover a large range of injuries and incidents including road traffic accidents, accidents in a public place and accidents at work.

Road traffic accidents

Road traffic accidents can include:

  • Rear-enders
  • T-bone collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents

These can result in any kind of injury but road traffic accidents commonly cause whiplash. The Whiplash Reform Programme re-evaluated the process of claiming for injuries valued under £5,000.

If the injury happened on or after 31st May 2021 and is worth less than £5,000, you may need to use the Injury Claims Portal. However, you should always clarify the details of your claim with a personal injury solicitor for full accuracy. Your injuries may be valued at a higher amount than you expect. 

You could make a personal injury claim against another road user if they breached their duty of care on the roads, causing you injury.

Accidents at work

Workplace accidents are being tackled through the Reporting of Incidents, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 2013 (RIDDOR). This is where reportable injuries, many incidents, and certain near misses must be reported to help make workplaces safer. However, injuries can still happen, such as: 

  • Manual handling injuries
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Falls from a height

These can happen due to inadequate training or equipment being provided, for example.

You could claim against your employer if you suffered an injury due to their negligence. 

Slips, falls and trips

Slip and trip accidents can happen in a range of settings. This type of personal injury can happen due to unattended spillages, mopped surfaces not being marked with a sign, or loose wires trailing. 

However, your circumstances may be completely different. As such, it is always best to speak to a personal injury solicitor directly.

If a party, such as a supermarket or local authority, owed you a duty of care but breached it and caused you injury, you could claim.

Clinical or medical negligence

This is where a medical practitioner has given you substandard care that has resulted in further or new and unnecessary illness or injury. You may have been the victim of medical negligence if:

  • You were prescribed medication that triggered an allergic reaction, despite the doctor having access to your medical records that flagged your allergies. 
  • A doctor performed surgery on the wrong part of the body, despite having the correct notes and indications of where to perform surgery.
  • Your injury was misdiagnosed even though the healthcare professional had all the appropriate information that clearly indicated you were suffering from a different health condition.

In a case of medical negligence, you may wish to lodge a complaint to the NHS. You could claim if the negligence caused you avoidable and unnecessary suffering.  

Fatal accidents

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 outlines that if someone is killed in an accident, their family could still be entitled to claim for their injuries. Speak to a personal injury claims solicitor about a claim related to a loved one’s death that was caused by third-party negligence. 

When Can You Claim For An Injury?

Eligibility to claim relates to liability. If the injury is a result of a breached duty of care, you could claim. However, if an injury can be proven to be entirely your fault, your claim could be rejected.

However, if you’re partially responsible for your injuries but someone who owed you a duty of care also is, you could still claim. 

Claimants will generally have 3 years from the date of their injury to make a claim. This can start from the date they gained awareness of an injury being caused by negligence (as with industrial diseases, for example). Alternatively, it could be the date the injury actually occurred (such as with broken bone injuries after a fall from a height). 

The 3-year time limit would begin on your 18th birthday if your injury happened as a child. However, nobody should have made a claim on your behalf before this. A litigation friend can make a claim on a minor’s behalf at any time before their 18th birthday. 

A litigation friend can also claim on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim. However, if the person recovers mental capacity and nobody else has already claimed on their behalf, they would have 3 years to do so from the date of recovery.

If you are not sure of how long you have left to claim, contact our personal injury advisors as soon as possible. They can help. If you have a valid claim, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors who can provide specific advice about your claim and circumstances.

Evidence Needed For Personal Injury Claims

If you suffer a personal injury, the first thing to do is always to seek medical attention. Your personal health always comes first.

When you feel able to, you may wish to collect evidence for your personal injury claim. This can include:

  • Photographs from the incident
  • CCTV footage showing how the injury happened
  • Contact details from eyewitnesses for statements at a later date

Medical records can also be used as evidence. As part of the claims process, you’d attend a medical assessment. An independent medical professional would assess your injuries and create a report. The aim of the report is to:

  1. Prove that your injuries were caused or worsened by the accident.
  2. Show the level of severity of your injuries.

Your solicitor could use the report to support your claim and value your injuries.

If you need further information on what evidence is used in a claim, speak to our advisors. They can help you with the specific details of your case. 

How Does The Personal Injury Claims Process Work?

The personal claims process may seem daunting, but this guide is here to help you with each specific step. A rough, simple guide might go as follows:

  1. Work out who was liable for negligence. If you are not sure, a solicitor can help.
  2. Gather evidence.
  3. Arrange a medical assessment. (A solicitor can do this for you if you use their services.)
  4. Calculate compensation owed with your solicitor’s help.
  5. Reach a settlement with the defendant. This can involve an admission of liability.
  6. If no settlement is reached, go to court.
  7. If a settlement is reached, receive compensation.

It’s important to note that most claims don’t ever reach court. They’re usually settled before that happens.

Pre-action protocols for personal injury claims

Personal injury claims are subject to pre-action protocols which are steps both parties should take before the decision to go to court is made. These protocols aim to resolve claims without having to go to court. They can include: 

  • A letter of notification, which will outline the details of the incident and will be forwarded to the defendant. It outlines what the claimant is seeking, and the defendant can choose to accept or negotiate. 
  • Disclosures, which promote an exchange of information to make the claims process as transparent as possible. 

Injury Claims – How Long Do They Take?

The question of how long a personal injury claim will take to reach a settlement Is always dependent on the individual matters of the claim.

Some claims can be straight forward and settled relatively quickly, whilst others could take much longer.

As we have shown you in the personal injury claims process above, there are several steps that a claim could have to go through before a settlement is reached. If the faulting party is denying liability, this could lengthen the claims process.

If you have concerns about how long your personal injury claim could take, please reach out to a member of our team.

Personal Injury Claims Calculator

We have provided a compensation table below, listing possible settlements based on those found in the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines can give a rough idea of how much compensation various injuries have settled for in the past. Solicitors use the publication to help value injuries. 

InjurySeverityNature of InjuryPotential Compensation
Amputations of Arms(a) Loss of Both ArmsThe person will, as a consequence of the loss, feel helpless£240,790 to £300,000
Brain/Head InjuryModerate (i)Injury harming a person's intellectual capability & senses£150,110 to £219,070
Brain/Head InjuryLess Severe Injury that may cause issues with a person's ability to concentrate and affect their mood or ability to work£15,320 to £43,060
Neck(a) Severe (i)Associated with incomplete paraplegiaIn the region of
Neck(b) Moderate (i)Injuries such as fractures or dislocations that cause severe symptoms£24,990 to
Elbow(a) A Severely Disabling InjuryA Severely Disabling Injury£39,170 to £54,830
Elbow(c) Moderate or Minor InjuryMost elbow injuries (such as tennis elbow or simple fractures) will be in this categoryUp to £12,590

Pelvis and Hips(c) Lesser Injuries (i)A significant injury but little to no consequential disability£3,950 to £12,590

Cheekbone FracturesSeriousFractures requiring surgery that could leave lasting cosmetic and functional effects£10,200 to

The figures in the table above may not be reflective of what you could claim. Our advisors listen to the unique factors of each claim and value them for free. So why not get in touch?

Your compensation can be categorised in two ways: 

  1. You can receive general damages which cover medically-diagnosed injuries. This includes both mental and physical injury.
  2. There are also special damages that cover financial losses which occurred as a result of your injury, such as lost wages, and costs necessitated by your claim. Travel and certain therapy sessions are included in this. Try to keep hold of receipts and payslips or other financial documents if they can prove your losses. 

Talk To A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Solicitor

If you are concerned about the costs of starting a compensation claim with the help of a solicitor, you may be interested in No Win No Fee.

Essentially, you would enter into a No Win No Fee arrangement with a solicitor. This would mean you don’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing solicitor fees. 

If your claim isn’t successful, you will not have to pay any of the solicitor’s fees at all.

However, if your claim is successful, you will pay a success fee to the solicitor for their work. This fee is capped by law for your benefit.

To discover more about No Win No Fee claims and if they are right for you, get in touch with our advisors by: 

Need More Help?

Below are some more sources that could be of use to you.

Accidents at work compensation examples

Accidents at Work Legal Rights Guide

Accident In A Public Place What To Do? Injury Claim Guide

Compensation after an accident or injury

Types of reportable incidents – RIDDOR

Claim compensation for injuries caused by roads or pavements

We also have some other guides you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to personal injury claims.

Article by EC

Publisher UI