By Richie Billing. Last Updated 10th November. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of the negligence of someone who had a duty of care towards you, you could be considering making a claim for compensation. For the purposes of this article, this kind of injury can be defined as a very severe one that has a serious and negative impact on your quality of life.
Catastrophic injuries could result in a permanent and severe disability that negatively affects how you usually live your life. In some cases, people may die as a result of being catastrophically injured.
Read on to find out more about catastrophic injury claims. You could also get in touch with our team of advisors for free legal advice relating to your case. They may be able to pass you on to a solicitor from our panel to help you start your claim today.
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- What Is Considered A Catastrophic Injury And When Could I Claim?
- About The Catastrophic Injury Claims Process – What Evidence Do I Need?
- Interim Payments And Catastrophic Injury Claims
- Examples Of Catastrophic Injury Settlements
- No Win No Fee Catastrophic Injury Claims
Catastrophic injury claims are cases where the claimant is seeking compensation for at least one injury they’ve suffered that is either permanent or long-lasting and has done severe damage to one or several major body parts. Examples could include brain damage, spinal cord injuries, hearing loss or an injury that requires a limb to be amputated.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, you may be eligible to claim compensation for it if it occurred because another party breached the duty of care they owed you. If you do have valid grounds to claim, then a catastrophic injury lawyer could potentially advise you on claiming compensation. There are different types of accidents that could cause a catastrophic injury, such as:
- A road traffic accident (RTA) – You could potentially claim for a road traffic accident that caused you serious injuries if another road user caused the accident by breaching their duty of care. Road users owe each other a duty of care to minimise the risk of causing harm to one another. They must also follow the rules found within the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code.
- A work accident – If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries at work, then you may have grounds to claim against your employer if they breached the duty of care they owe you. Employers owe their staff a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect them from avoidable harm while they are working. This responsibility for employers is laid out within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
- An accident in a public place – A catastrophic injury in a public place, such as a shop or park, could lead to a claim against the controller of that space if they breached their duty of care. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 establishes that parties that control a public area should ensure reasonable safety for people who visit it.
For more advice on your eligibility to claim and how catastrophic injuries lawyers may be able to help, get in touch with our advisors for free today.
What Is The Time Limit When Making A Catastrophic Injury Claim?
Ahead of making a catastrophic injury claim, it’s important that you take action within the limitation period. This means that court proceedings should be issued within three years from the date of the accident that caused catastrophic injuries. This time limit is set out in the Limitation Act 1980.
However, should a child suffer a catastrophic injury, the limitation period would not begin until their 18th birthday. Therefore, it is possible for the child to begin a personal injury claim up until they turn 21 years old. It should be noted that a litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf. For example, a parent or guardian.
The three-year time limit will also be frozen for a person who experiences a catastrophic injury and has lost mental capacity to represent themselves. The limitation period is only reinstated if they regain the mental capacity required to start a claim. Again, a litigation friend may be enlisted by the claimant, but only under the pretence that they act in the claimant’s best interest.
In the unfortunate event that your loved one passes away from catastrophic injuries, you’ll have three years from the date of their death to bring forward a fatal accident claim.
Are you unsure whether you are within the time limit to begin a catastrophic injury claim? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our advisors work around the clock to answer your questions and can be reached at any time using our free 24/7 live chat service. Additionally, they could connect you with a catastrophic injury solicitor from our panel.
You may be wondering what steps you could take towards making a catastrophic injury claim. If you have been severely injured in an accident, we first recommend seeking immediate medical attention. This could include ringing 999 or potentially seeking out your nearest emergency services.
Once you have received the necessary medical help, you could then start thinking about the practical steps of making a claim. You could potentially start gathering evidence to help your case.
You can do this without a solicitor, but we always recommend hiring one. They have the relevant experience to know what evidence will give your catastrophic injury case the best chance for success. This could include:
- CCTV footage of the accident
- Photographs of the accident or your injuries
- Medical reports from the time of your injury
- Accident reports such as from the workplace logbook
- The contact details of any witnesses so that a statement can be taken at a later date
The next step of the claims process may be attending an independent medical appointment. If you hire a solicitor from our panel, they can help you organise this and ensure that it is in your area to reduce travel time and costs. A medical professional will assess the severity and effects of your injuries so that the general damages element of your claim can be more accurately valued.
If you hire a solicitor on our panel, they can support you every step of the claims process and work their hardest to settle your claim out of court. Settling out of court is preferable, as it can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Contact our advisors today to find out more about how the solicitors on our panel could help you with the claims process.
Types Of Catastrophic Injury
Examples of injuries that could be catastrophic include:
- A scald injury or burn injury that results in facial scarring.
- Loss of sight or hearing that necessitates independence aids
- Amputation, either traumatic or surgical
- Traumatic brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries that may lead to paraplegia
- Serious injuries to children
- Injuries that have resulted in death
You could claim for multiple injuries if your accident has caused you to experience more than one of the above. For example, you could experience a traumatic limb amputation and a loss of sight in a workplace accident.
However, this section is not exhaustive. There could be other injury types that could be catastrophic. To find out more, call our team of advisors today.
This section includes a table of potential compensation payouts and settlements in catastrophic injury claims.
These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a publication that produces compensation amounts based on previously settled claims. Legal professionals use this document to help value what a personal injury claim could be worth in general damages.
However, it is important to note that these figures are not guaranteed. A more accurate estimate of what you will receive will come from the independent medical appointment.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Multiple Serious Injuries Severe Up to £1,000,000+ Numerous kinds of physical injuries which are serious, as well as compensation for financial losses, such as lost wages.
Sight (A) In the region of
Total blindness and deafness.
Brain Very Severe £282,010 to £403,990
There may be some ability to follow basic commands and open the eyes at the top of this bracket. But there will be little if any meaningful response to the environment, little to no language function, double incontinence and full-time care will be necessary.
Brain Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010
Injury will result in a serious disability with a substantial dependence on others and a need for constant care. The disabilities may be physical, such as paralysis, or cognitive, such as intellect impairment. The life expectency may also be reduced and there may be a risk of future issues.
Arm Amputation £240,790 to £300,000
This is for the loss of both arms which reduces a person to a state of considerable helplessness.
Paraplegia - £219,070 to
The presence and extent of pain, degree of independence, life expectancy and impact on sexual function will all be judged.
Neck Severe (i) In the region of
There may be associated incomplete paraplegia with little to no movement in the neck and severe headaches.
Leg Amputation £104,830 to £137,470
This covers the above-knee amputation of one leg. This will be judged on the level of amputation, the severity of phantom pains, associated psychological issues, the success of prosthetics and other negative side effects.
Facial Disfigurement (A) £29,780 to £97,330
There will be very severe scarring in relatively young claimants (teens to early 30s) where the cosmetic effect is disfiguring and the psychological reaction serious.
Special Damages Loss of Earnings Up to £100,000 and above If your injuries mean that lost income has been incurred due to time taken off work, this may be reimbursed as special damages.
You could also potentially claim compensation for specific financial costs that have resulted from your injury. This is known as special damages. This could cover:
- Travel expenses
- The cost of independence aids such as a wheelchair or hearing aid
- The cost of adaptions to the home, such as a wheelchair ramp or shower room
- Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
- Loss of earnings
Another benefit of special damages is that you could also claim for possible future financial loss, such as future lost wages due to your injury.
To claim special damages, you need to provide evidence that the costs were a direct result of your catastrophic injury. This could include receipts for independence aids or invoices for adjustments to the home.
If you want more information about what you could claim, get in touch with our team of advisors today for personalised advice about your case.
After reading our article, you hopefully will understand a little more about catastrophic injury claims and how you could pursue compensation. However, you may still be concerned about the costs of hiring a solicitor to help you with your claim.
If you’re worried about affording a solicitor’s fees, a No Win No Fee agreement could be beneficial. The solicitors on our panel offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you don’t have to be concerned about upfront or ongoing costs. You don’t need to pay the solicitor for their work at all if your claim does not succeed.
However, a success fee will be taken from your compensation if your solicitor is successful with your claim. They’ll only deduct this once you receive your settlement. The success fee is also legally capped, meaning your solicitor cannot charge you over a certain percentage.
If this type of agreement is something you’re interested in, get in touch with our advisors to find out more. They could put you in contact with a solicitor from our panel who could help you start your claim today.
Where To Get More Help
Thank you for reading our guide. We hope it answers any questions you may have had. For more helpful resources, please see below.
- Have You Been Injured at a Public Train Station? – If you’ve been injured at a train station, our article can help you figure out how to claim compensation.
- Payouts for Below Knee Amputation of Both Legs – How much could you claim for the loss of both legs below the knee? Our guide could help you.
- Payouts for a Hand Injury Caused by Sawing – If you’ve severely injured your hand in a saw accident, you could claim compensation. Our article can tell you how.
- Health and Safety Executive – The HSE is an independent regulator for health and safety at work in the UK.
- Amputation – An NHS guide on amputation and what it could mean.
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – This is a registered charity aiming to reduce the number of accidents using advice and guidance.
Thank you for reading our guide on catastrophic injury claims.