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Making a Claim

We can help you start your claim

Any accident can be very frustrating, but it can feel even worse if it wasn’t not your fault. Fortunately, we have provided here information that can help you claim compensation for your injury and the effects it’s had on your day-to-day life.

The compensation you receive can help to cover the financial and emotional impacts, such as:

  • Time you’ve taken out of work to be able to recover fully
  • Any medical treatment you’ve had to pay for yourself
  • Travel and accommodation costs, for example if doctor’s appointments were a long way from home
  • Costs to friends or family who looked after you while you were recovering

If you’d like to find out more about how the claims process works, visit our claims process page. Or, you can get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. They’ll never push you into making a claim – they’ll give you free, friendly advice and will let you know if they think you can make a claim.

Different Types of Accidents

No two accidents or injuries are the same, so you might be feeling unsure whether you’ll be able to make a claim.

Simply put, it’s likely you can make a claim if:

  • Your accident happened in the last three years
  • You were injured as a result of the accident
  • Your accident was caused by somebody else

The quickest way to find out whether you could make a compensation claim is to speak to a legal adviser on 0800 234 6438. However, we’ve listed some examples below of the types of accidents injury solicitors have helped people with in the past – you can click on each for more information:

DID YOU KNOW: If you are involved in an accident with a driver who isn’t insured, or who leaves the scene and then can’t be traced, it is still possible to claim compensation.

About your compensation amount

Because some cases can be very complicated, there are too many variables for us to be able to tell you straight away how much compensation you’ll receive – it’s simply too early in the process.

However, to get a rough idea of what your compensation figure might be, you can try our claims calculator. Your solicitor will also be able to give you some guidance on this, and will keep you updated as your claim progresses.

You will also be able to claim ‘special’ damages to cover your expenses and other financial losses such as loss of earnings, the cost of ongoing medical care, prescription costs and so on. To help you prove you have spent money on those things, keep hold of any receipts and invoices, as well as recent payslips showing your earnings.

Almost all personal injury claims are made on a no win no fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay your solicitor’s fee if your claim isn’t successful. But if you do win your claim and receive compensation, then you’ll need to pay your solicitor as a percentage of the money you get. You’ll know how much this will be before starting your claim, and it won’t take up more than 25% of your compensation.

The process of making a claim

We’ve broken the claims process down into three simple steps below. During your claim, a lot of the paperwork will be handled by your solicitor, so you don’t need to worry about being out of your depth. The process will be governed by the rules of the personal injury Pre-Action Protocol – until any formal court proceedings commence (if at all).

Starting a claim

Your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the other side which will set out the details of the accident and the circumstances in which it occurred, the injuries you sustained, and the effects on your life, finances and your family.

The other party then has 21 days to respond. They will then either admit or deny responsibility for your injuries or, in some cases, they may claim that they were only partly responsible.


In some cases, the other party will admit fault for your accident and the process of negotiating your compensation can then begin. However, it’s not uncommon for the other side to deny liability straightaway. If they do, your solicitor will gather the evidence necessary to prove that the accident was their fault.

Your solicitor will have a lot of experience helping people to make personal injury claims, so they’ll make sure you get the right amount of compensation.


If the other party denies ‘liability’ (refuses to accept that it was their fault), your case might need to go to court. Although this sounds daunting, your solicitor will be on-hand to help you, and it’s possible that you won’t even need to appear in person.

If this becomes necessary, your solicitor will pass the details of your case to the court, which will the let the other party know of your intention to start formal proceedings. This is done using a Particulars of Claim form which your solicitor will help you to complete – this will include the details of your accident and injury. A template can be found at the Ministry of Justice website.

If your solicitor is still unable to settle your claim with the other side, the court will decide whether your injury was the other party’s fault, and how much compensation you should receive.

In some cases, the other party admits liability, but the amount of compensation to be paid cannot be agreed. If that happens in your case, your solicitor would need to issue proceedings and ask the court to decide what is fair compensation for your injuries.

Making a claim on behalf of someone else

In some cases, it might not be you who was injured, but a loved one. In some situations, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf.

There are a number of reasons why someone might not be able to claim for themselves – for example, they might be under the age of 18, or they may be physically unable to claim because of their injuries.

When you speak to a trained legal adviser, they can talk you through the process of claiming on somebody’s behalf. However, they may need consent from the person you’re calling on behalf of, so it’s worthwhile having them nearby if possible.

Getting in touch with a solicitor

Suffering because of someone else’s negligence simply isn’t fair, and you have every right to claim compensation for any effects your injury has on you and those around you. Getting free specialist advice is the first step, and it’s completely free to speak to an expert legal adviser.

When you contact them, they’ll ask you to explain what happened during your accident, how your recovery is going, and any impacts your injury has had on your life. They’ll also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Then, your adviser will let you know if they think you do have a claim and will ask for your permission to put you in contact with a solicitor – you can say no, but if you do decide you’d like to go ahead then you’ll be put in contact with an experienced solicitor for a further free consultation.

If you’re feeling ready to talk about your experience, or the experience of a loved one, you can reach a legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or fill in one of the secure contact forms on this page.

How long do I have to make a claim?

In most cases, you have three years after your accident to start legal proceedings a personal injury claim – so it’s important to get in touch with a legal adviser as soon as possible. Starting your claim early also means the events are fresh in your mind which can make it easier to prove your case. If more than three years pass since you were injured (or became aware of your condition) then there’s a risk that you’ll be ‘time-barred’ under the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are exceptions to this three-year ‘limitation period’. If you’re a parent or carer and you’re making a claim on behalf of a child, then the three years doesn’t start until they reach their 18th birthday. This means you can make a claim on their behalf any time up until they turn 18, or they can make a claim for themselves within three years once they become an adult.

Also, if the injured person is mentally unable to make a claim in their own name (for example, they may have a mental disability, or their injuries may have affected their mental capacity), then the three years only starts to run once they’ve regained their mental capacity.

What can you do to help with your claim?

As well as contacting a trained legal adviser, it can be very useful to gather together as much information and evidence as you can to help when it comes to making your claim. For example, you can help your solicitor by keeping hold of:

  • Any photographs you have of the location of the accident and of your original injuries
  • Any sketches showing how the accident happened
  • A police incident report
  • Copies of any entry in an accident log book
  • Any diary you have kept that may be relevant
  • Details of witnesses

Once you start your personal injury claim, you’ll also need to give your solicitor the contact details of your doctor and any relevant hospital details so that they can request your medical records.

They’ll also arrange for you to go for a free medical assessment. Although this might sound like the last thing you want to do at such a difficult time, the assessment is actually a good way to get a free expert opinion on how your recovery is going. Where possible, the appointment will be local to you and will usually only take around 30 minutes.

Your solicitor will then use the findings of your medical assessment as evidence of your injuries, so that they can make sure you get the right compensation amount.

Once your claim is under way, they’ll be able to do most of the paperwork for you and will negotiate your compensation on your behalf – so you don’t have to worry about your claim taking up lots of your time.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.