Personal Injury Claims
Different types of personal injuries
Suffering a personal injury can have a devastating effect on your life, and the lives of your friends and loved ones. If that injury was due to the negligence of a third party, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. At claims.co.uk, we cover all types of personal injury claims, including:
For a more complete list of the different types of claims, click here.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you are absolutely entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. We can help connect you with a knowledgeable and experienced injury lawyer to help guide you through the claims process. Together you will work diligently to build a strong case with solid evidence. You’ll be well on your way to getting everything you deserve!
Making a personal injury claim
Anyone who has been injured due to the negligence actions of another and who is over the age of 18 is able to make a personal injury claim. However, this doesn’t mean that if you’ve suffered an accident while under the age of 18, you are out of luck. It just means that the victim will have to wait until their 18th birthday in order to make a claim, or their parents (or legal guardian) can claim on their behalf.
A no win no fee arrangement gives you the freedom to make a claim without any financial obligation before the case is settled. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be responsible for any legal fees, and if you win your legal fees will be paid out of your compensation. With no win no fee, you are able to access legal representation and make your claim, no matter what your financial circumstances. This levels the playing field and ensures justice for all.
No win no fee – the basic principles
When conditional fee agreements – the technical term for ‘no win no fee’ arrangements – were first introduced, it was with the aim of widening access to legal help to the largest number of people possible. The basic principles of the system were that no fees would have to be paid when launching a claim and the solicitor handling the claim would only get paid if the claim was successful. This not only removed the financial risk traditionally associated with launching a legal action, it also meant that solicitors were motivated to take on only those cases which they felt had an excellent chance of being successful, thus ensuring they would be able to claim their fees.
By 2008 the fear had grown that a ‘compensation culture’ had sprung up, in which spurious claims were launched as a means of cashing in rather than pursuing compensation which was genuinely deserved and needed. The first response to this was the commissioning of The Jackson Report, published in 2010, which recommended injury lawyers taking their success fees – up to a maximum of 25% – from any compensation awarded, instead of the costs being claimed from the losing party. The effect of this change was countered to a degree by increasing pay-outs by 10% across the board.
A follow up report, entitled Common Sense Common Safety, concluded that the ‘compensation culture’ was largely a media driven myth but still recommended implementing the steps recommended in the Jackson Report. Despite complicating the system to a degree, the changes in the law since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act came into force in May 2012 have done little to affect the basic principles of open access to legal help in the event of personal injury. Your solicitor will be only too happy to outline technicalities such as the insurance taken out to cover the risk of losing a case and having to pay the costs of the other side, and will work by your side to build the strongest possible case.
Personal injury compensation amounts
It’s impossible to say exactly how much personal injury compensation you could be awarded. Although there are guidelines published by the British judiciary which give a rough estimate of how much compensation to award for certain types of injuries, there are other factors outside of your injury which help determine the final compensation amount. These factors include any expenses, the cost of any future medical care, or lost earnings if the injured person was unable to work, or will be unable to return to work.
The amount you are compensated will depend on a variety of factors including: the extent of your injuries, the duration of your suffering and the evidence you can provide. Once your injury solicitor fully understands the merits of your claim, he or she can give you an idea of how much you can receive.
Building a compensation claim
The Law Society, the independent body which represents solicitors in the UK, has issued a set of guidelines setting out the things which you should and shouldn’t do when embarking upon a personal injury compensation claim.
The key to any effective action is to act as quickly after the event as you can, not least because, in the majority of cases, there is a legal time limit of 3 years after which a claim can’t be launched. The steps to take in the immediate aftermath of a negligent incident include:
- Take down the contact details of any witnesses to the event.
- Keep copies of these details for your own records as well as passing them on to your legal representative.
- Take photographs or videos of the scene of the accident, any injuries to your person and any damage to property.
- In some cases, it may be possible to gain access to CCTV footage of the accident.
- Report your accident to the police or any other relevant authorities as well as, if applicable, your insurance company. A failure to make such a report could lead to your claim being thrown out.
- Seek immediate medical attention. This will serve the dual purpose of ensuring that your injuries are dealt with and your well-being maintained, as well as producing a medical report detailing the effects of the incident in question. Take the time to explain all of your symptoms to the doctor, whether they are physical or mental.
- Keep a written record of the accident itself and any problems that you face in day to day life going forward. Also write down the details of any expenses arising from your accident, as well as keeping receipts. All of this will mean you don’t have to rely on memory if and when your case comes to trial.
The steps to avoid following an injury include:
- Accepting an offer from an insurance company before appointing a solicitor. Your professional legal team might be able to win a much higher figure.
- Automatically using a solicitor supplied by your insurance company. If your injury was caused by a car accident, your insurance company may offer the services of a solicitor. They may not seek a settlement as valuable as that which your own personal injury solicitor could gain.
- Settling too quickly – In the aftermath of an accident an insurance company may attempt to settle quickly, making an offer of compensation before medical evidence has been collected. Until you know the full extent of your injuries, however, you will not be able to gauge what a fair amount of compensation would be.
- Sign any documents or authorisations without having them reviewed and confirmed as safe to sign by your solicitor.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and have questions about your next steps, feel free to contact our injury specialists today to discuss your claim by calling us FREE on the number at the top or filling in our online claim form.