We’ve all seen the adverts: ‘been injured in an accident that’s not your fault…?’ But what do you actually do if you need to claim compensation after an accident?
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, it is your legal right to seek compensation.
It can be a tricky path to navigate so we’ve put together a comprehensive, jargon-free guide to help you find out how to make a successful personal injury claim
What injuries can be included in a personal injury claim?
Personal injuries can range from soft tissue damage or broken bones, through to permanent disability, and can have a severe impact on your quality of life – this could be for a short-term period, or for the rest of your life.
How much personal injury compensation could I claim?
In short, any compensation awarded is intended, as far as possible, to restore you to the original personal and financial position you were in prior to your accident, or to compensate you for any elements where this is not possible.
Until your claim has been assessed by a specialist personal injury solicitor it is difficult to say exactly what level of compensation you may be entitled to.
You should be wary of anyone who makes promises to gain you thousands of pounds in compensation before they have been able to fully assess your case. While compensation can vary greatly from case to case, they can range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
What is a personal injury claim and how is compensation calculated?
The first criteria for any personal injury compensation claim is that the injury was caused by an accident that was not your fault.
The second factor is that there must be a third party that, at least, partial blame can be attributed to. It will be the third party – or their insurance company – where compensation will be retrieved from. However, if you are involved in a hit and run road traffic accident, you still may be able to claim. Calculating compensation is not an exact science as every case is different. There are however two main categories that are taken into consideration:
What must I prove to receive personal injury compensation?
Your specialist personal injury solicitor’s first job is to look at who is to blame and why. This may involve collecting evidence such as statements from witnesses, documents and official reports (for example, from the police if you were injured in a road tragic accident).
The type of personal injury will greatly determine the level of compensation awarded. For instance; a sprained wrist may take a few weeks to heal and limit your ability to perform some day to day tasks, whereas a fractured leg could leave you incapacitated for some time and require weeks or months of rehabilitation. It is the job of a professional personal injury lawyer to take into account all of the various factors when considering the level of compensation you could be entitled to.
In order to win your case you will need to show that:
- There is a person or organisation against whom a claim can potentially be made
- He or she had a duty to prevent your injury and could have taken reasonable steps to avoid that injury
- The injury suffered was a direct and foreseeable consequence of the failure to take reasonable steps to avoid injuring you.
Personal injury accident categories
There are various personal injury claim types, with the 3 biggest categories being:
Road traffic accidents personal injury claims
Road traffic accidents not only affect drivers, but also passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. While injury types vary, muscular damage and whiplash are amongst the most common.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident, your personal wellbeing is of the utmost importance, and you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible.
There are also a number of things you should remember. Do not admit liability. Even if you think you are to blame you should never admit to being at fault as you may later realise that the accident could have been avoided if the 3rd party had acted differently. Your specialist personal injury lawyer will be able to ascertain whether you or the 3rd party are to blame.
The information you will be asked to provide will include:
- Weather conditions on the day
- Speed of travel
- What happened
- The 3rd parties details
- Witness details (if any)
- Police attendance (if any)
As well as helping to gain you the compensation you are entitled to, some personal injury solicitors can help you with car hire and repair. Rather than you having to call up insurance and car hire companies, and arranging for your car to be repaired, they can take care of everything with a simple phone call.
Employer’s Liability personal injury claims
Your employer has a duty of care to you, so an injury caused by an accident at work that was not your fault could entitle you to compensation. Different professions carry with them their own levels of risk. Whilst working in construction or agriculture may carry more risks than working in an office, all employers must provide a safe working environment.
If you are injured at work through no fault of your own, your personal wellbeing is of the upmost importance, and you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible.
When submitting a personal injury claim for compensation you will be asked to provide some important information to help asses and process your claim.
The information you will be asked to provide will include:
- Who you work for
- Your job title and brief description
- Did the accident happen while carrying out a task under your job description?
- Were you wearing / provided with protective clothing if necessary?
- Are you aware of any changes to working practices as a result of the accident?
This information will help your personal injury solicitor assess your case and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Public Liability personal injury claims
Public Liability accidents can happen in a number of places. An example of an accident that would fall under Public Liability would be someone slipping over on a spillage in a supermarket and tripping over an uneven pavement in the street.
Remember that your personal wellbeing is of the upmost importance, and you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible.
As with all types of accident claims, you will be asked to provide some important information to help assess your case including:
- What kind of accident was it?
- Was the defect reported to the defendant?
- If a slip or fall, what footwear were you wearing at the time?
- What were the weather conditions like (if the accident occurred outside)?
- Location of the accident
The information you will need to supply will depend on the location and type, but it is worth remembering that the more information you can provide, the better chance you have of your claim being accepted by a personal injury solicitor
Personal injury claims legal advice
The best advice for anyone who has been injured in an accident that was not their fault is to seek professional legal advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor. Whether you feel you have a claim or not, by talking to the right people you will be able to know if you are entitled to compensation as a result of your accident. A professional personal injury solicitor will deal directly with the insurance company and aim to gain the highest level of compensation possible.
When selecting who should represent you, we recommend you appoint a specialist personal injury solicitor. Check they are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and look out for SRA authorisation on their website and any documentation. If not, you may well find yourself dealing with “middle men” who will probably exchange your details with external solicitors for a marketing levy. This can mean that you are not always aware of who is going to represent you.
Hopefully this guide has put your mind at rest in regards to some of the issues you may have in seeking legal advice, and that you now have a greater understanding on the compensation claim process.
Accident Advice Helpline
24hr helpline 0800 740 8894
Accident Advice Helpline, who represent the UK’s leading personal injury specialist law firm, have a dedicated team of expert personal injury solicitors will be able to provide you with the best possible advice and make sure you know what’s happening throughout the process.
They are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which means that you have the peace of mind knowing you are dealing directly with a specialist personal injury solicitor’s law firm from the first phone call, and not a “middle man” who will just be passing on your details to a third party.
They are incredibly proud to be personally recommended by consumer champion Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.
All of their solicitors work on a 100% No-Win No-Fee * basis, so if your claim is unsuccessful you won’t pay a penny. Their solicitors will take all the stress out of your claim and work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation possible.
Should you be involved in a non-fault road traffic accident, they are also able to offer a full vehicle repair and hire service. One call to them and they can provide you with a replacement vehicle while they arrange for yours to be repaired, with all costs recovered from the third party. Not only will it save you time and hassle, but it also means you won’t pay your insurance excess.
Starting your personal injury compensation claim with Accident Advice Helpline is simple, quick and best of all completely risk free.
Click here or call 0800 740 8894
Accident Advice Helpline Copyright © 2017 – *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client’s request – + Service rating based on reviews between October 2014 – August 2016.
– No part of this document can be reproduced or amended without the express prior permission of Accident Advice Helpline. For information only. This document does not constitute legal advice.
– Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon – Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.