Claim Compensation for Serious Accidents | ™
Or call free on:
0800 234 6438
We take your data seriously. See our privacy policy & terms.
By submitting this form you agree to be contacted by our partners.

Serious Injury Claims

Making a claim following a serious accident

Of course, compensation can give you the peace of mind that your bills will be covered and that you’ll have money to support you going forward. But more than that, a serious injury claim gives you the opportunity to hold the someone to account for your injury and the impact it’s had on your life.

An expert injury solicitor can make the process of claiming as straightforward as possible – in fact making a serious accident or injury claim is very similar to a typical personal injury claim.

It starts with you giving a trained legal adviser a call on 0800 234 6438, or completing one of the online call back forms so that they can get in touch with you. Then, you’ll get free, tailored advice on your injury and compensation, which will end with your adviser outlining your options and the next steps you can take.

They won’t pressure you into starting a claim, but they’ll let you know if they think you can make one – and, if you’re ready, they’ll put you in contact with a specialist solicitor.

Can I make a claim?

It’s likely you’ll be able to make a personal injury claim if your answer to the following questions is ‘yes’:

  • Did your accident happen in the last three years?
  • Did you suffer a serious injury?
  • Was your injury caused by somebody else?

However, because accidents vary so much, we know if can be difficult for you to tell straight away whether you have a claim – for example, you may be unclear who was at fault for your accident.

The best way to find out is to get in touch with a trained legal adviser. They’ll ask some questions about your accident to get a clearer picture of what happened and whether you could receive compensation.

Can I claim on someone else’s behalf?

You may be able to start a claim on behalf of somebody else – particularly if your loved one has suffered an injury that’s left them unable to act on their own behalf – such as a head or brain injury – or if they’re under the age of 18.

But even if you’re simply looking for advice for them, you can still seek help. Please call a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438.

What will my compensation cover?

You can be sure your solicitor will take absolutely everything into consideration so that you’re fairly compensated for the impact your injury has had so far, as well as in the future. With that in mind, your solicitor will consider:

  • The severity of your injury and the impact it will have on your ability to work, study and be independent
  • The care you’ve received, even when given for free by a family member
  • Any costs you’ve had to cover because of your accident
  • Any treatment or equipment you might need

As part of your claim, your compensation will also likely be divided into three categories – general damages, special damages and immediate needs payments.

General damages

General damages cover your ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’. This basically means your compensation is worked out based on any reduction to yours (or a loved one’s) physical, mental or financial capability – so it’s not just restricted to the physical injury itself.

Special damages

Special damages compensation is designed to repay you for the expenses of your injury, including replacing lost earnings, the cost of transport and any equipment you might need.

It also looks at the potential lost wages in the future and things you may have needed to purchase to make your life easier.

Immediate needs

Immediate needs are things considered to be urgent or critical to you now. This type of compensation comes before your final settlement, to help you and your family cover the immediate costs of your injuries.

Immediate needs are awarded on an assessment basis, judged case-by-case – but they’re something your solicitor can help you access if they feel you need financial support before your serious injury claim is settled.

Immediate needs compensation can cover the following things:

  • Home and transport: for example, the cost of getting to the hospital – or if you’re receiving reduced wages or no pay due to having to take time off work
  • Supporting equipment: this would include the cost of any equipment you need or adaptations to your home (e.g. to make it more accessible)
  • Treatment or care: any private medical or care costs can be included

Is there a time limit to making a claim?

In most cases, you have three years from when you became aware of your injury to start your claim, otherwise you may be ‘time-barred’. Ideally, you should consult a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident while the incident is still fresh in your mind, and that of any witnesses.

If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, they have until they reach 21 years of age to make a claim; and if you are claiming on behalf of someone under a mental disability, the three-year period does not start to run until they have regained their mental capacity.

How long does it take to get compensation?

The length of time it will take you to receive your compensation can vary a lot from case to case. For example, it can depend on:

  • How complicated your case is
  • The extent of your injuries
  • How much compensation you’re claiming
  • Whether liability is admitted
  • How long it takes to get medical reports and other expert opinions
  • Whether the other party is willing to agree an out of court settlement

Some personal injury claims can be settled within months if the other party admits liability early on. But if your case is complicated, the other side denies responsibility, or your case goes to court, then it can take longer.

If your injuries are more severe, your solicitor will want to wait until you have a final prognosis for how long your recovery’s likely to take before compensation is paid, as it’s not possible to go back to ask for more money once your case has been settled.

Can I make my claim on a no win no fee* basis?

Almost all injury claims are made on a no win no fee basis. The benefit of this is that you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money if your claim isn’t successful, and the other side’s costs are usually covered by insurance.

This means that there’s little financial risk involved in making a claim – if you don’t receive any compensation, then you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket.

If you win your claim, then you’ll need to pay your solicitor a ‘success fee’ out of the compensation you receive. The percentage your solicitor will take will be talked about and agreed with you before starting your case.

Can I still claim if I was partly at fault?

In some cases, you can still claim compensation even if you were partly at fault, as so long as the negligence of someone else also partly caused your injuries. This is called ‘contributory negligence’. Although it’s likely you’ll still be able to receive compensation, the amount of money you receive will be reduced according to how much it is decided you were to blame.

Will my case have to go to court?

Not all claims have to go to court. Your solicitor will work hard to negotiate with the other party to try and reach a settlement before the case reaches trial. They’ll also give you advice and guidance as to whether any offers of compensation are reasonable.

If your case does need a court hearing, your solicitor will be on hand to help you through the process. In some cases, you won’t even need to appear in court personally, as your solicitor might be able to go on your behalf if you prefer.

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.