In this guide, we explore the answers to some frequently asked questions relating to personal injury compensation claims. Firstly, we explore who might be eligible to start a personal injury claim after a third-party breached their duty of care, and caused you to sustain harm. We also look at the different third parties who owe you a duty of care, including employers, road users and occupiers, and the accidents that could occur if this duty is breached.
Later on, we explain the evidence needed to support a claim.
In addition to this, we discuss what types of compensation could be awarded if the claim is a success.
Our article concludes by explaining how a personal injury solicitor, offering their services in a No Win No Fee capacity, could assist you in seeking compensation.
For more information regarding your potential claim, simply speak to our advisors using the contact details below:
Choose A Section
- When Are You Eligible To Claim Personal Injury Compensation?
- How Much Personal Injury Compensation Could I Receive?
- How Do I Make A Personal Injury Claim?
- Can I Make A Personal Injury Claim After 3 Years?
- What Are The Benefits Of Making A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claim?
- Learn More About The Personal Injury Claims Process
In order to have an eligible personal injury claim, the following three criteria need to be fulfilled:
- You were owed a duty of care by a third party.
- They breached this duty.
- You can show that this caused or contributed to your injuries.
These three points lay the foundation of negligence. If you have evidence that negligence occurred, you could seek personal injury compensation.
In the following sections, we look at the laws that outline the duty of care different third parties owe, and how a breach could occur, leading to an accident in which you sustain harm.
Accidents In A Public Place
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 outlines the duty of care for any party in control of a public space. It requires them to ensure the reasonable safety of the public using the premises. One example of how an occupier can uphold their duty of care is carrying out regular risk assessments and addressing any hazards that pose a risk of injury.
Below are some examples of how an injury can be caused by a failure to uphold this duty of care:
- A member of the public may have reported a faulty handrail in the stairwell of a shopping centre, but this wasn’t addressed or fixed in a reasonable timeframe. As a result, someone sustains a fractured wrist or dislocated shoulder injury after they lose their grip and fall down the stairs.
- If wet floor surfaces from spilled products in a supermarket aren’t cleaned up or signposted within a reasonable timeframe after the occupier has been made aware, it could cause a member of the public to slip and fall, shattering a kneecap.
Road Traffic Accidents
The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires road users to navigate the roads and operate their vehicles in a way that prevents causing harm to themselves or others. This is their duty of care. Additionally, the Highway Code provide guidance on road users responsibilities, as well as rules that they must follow.
A failure to uphold their duty of care could potentially lead to the following road traffic accidents:
- A driver may collide with another vehicle in a rear-end accident because they were looking at their mobile phone. As a result, the driver of the other vehicle could sustain a soft tissue injury to the neck.
- A road user may fail to check it was safe to turn right resulting in them colliding into the side of another motorist. This could lead to the other driver sustaining a serious knee injury.
Accidents At Work
Employers have a duty of care outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This states how they should take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the workplace and equipment to prevent employees from suffering harm.
Failure to do so can cause an employee to sustain a workplace injury in the following ways:
- An employee could fall from a height and suffer spinal or head injury because their employer supplied them with a faulty ladder.
- A back injury could be sustained when an employee was asked to move objects without any manual handling training.
To learn whether you could seek personal injury compensation following an accident at work, public place accident, or an accident on the road, please contact an advisor.
A successful personal injury compensation claim can mean you receive a settlement consisting of two heads of loss. General damages compensate the person for the pain and suffering, both physical and mental, that they have experienced as a result of their injuries. It also considers the overall impact the injuries have had on their quality of life.
To value injuries, legal professionals can refer to a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG contains a list of guideline award brackets that correspond to different injuries. We have included an excerpt of this below but it’s important to note that each claim will vary according to individual circumstances.
|Neck||(a) Severe (iii)||£45,470 to £55,990||Severe soft tissue damage or ruptured tendons leading to chronic conditions and significant permanent disability.|
|Leg||(b) Severe (iii)||£39,200 to £54,830||Compound or comminuted fractures of a serious nature that cause the need for prolonged treatment.|
|Back||(b) Moderate (i)||£27,760 to £38,780||Cases of compression and crush fractures in the lumbar vertebrae leaving a substantial risk of osteoarthritis, as well as pain and discomfort.|
|Pelvis||(b) Moderate (i)||£26,590 to £39,170||Injury to the pelvis or hip that is significant, but any permanent disability is not major and the future risk posed is not great.|
|Elbow||(b) Less Severe||£15,650 to £32,010||Cases of impaired function that does not require major surgery or leave a significant disability.|
|Head||(d) Less Severe||£15,320 to £43,060||A good recovery takes place but a full restoration of normal functions may not take place and some problems, such as with concentration and memory, may persist.|
|Knee||(b) Moderate (i)||£14,840 to £26,190||Dislocations and torn cartilage or meniscus injuries that leave minor instability, and wasting, as well as other future disability of a mild nature.|
|Ankle||(c) Moderate||£13,740 to £26,590||Fractures and ligament tears that cause problems with walking on uneven ground and awkwardness on stairs.|
|Shoulder||(c) Moderate||£7,890 to £12,770||Frozen shoulder that cause persisting discomfort, as well as limited movement, for about 2 years.|
|Wrist||(d) Recovery is longer than 12 months||£6,080 to £10,350||A fracture or soft tissue injury with a recovery period of over 12 months. However, the recovery is mostly complete apart from some minor symptoms.|
Can I Claim For Financial Losses?
Special damages is the second head of loss that can be awarded as part of a personal injury settlement. This reimburses costs that were paid out or lost because of the injuries a personal sustained. For example:
- A loss of earnings
- The cost of medical care, such as paid prescriptions
- Travel expenses
It is important to collect evidence that shows any losses, such as receipts, payslips and invoices.
Call our team to discuss the personal injury compensation you could potentially receive after making a successful claim.
There are steps that need to be taken when making a personal injury compensation claim. These are known as the Pre-Action Protocols for Personal Injury Claims. Some of the actions that will need to be taken include:
- Sending a letter to the defendant to notify that a claim is likely to be made. This is called a Letter of Notification.
- Sending a letter that provides an overview of the facts on which the claim is based and an indication of any injuries suffered. This is called a Letter of Claim.
- The defendant needs to respond to the Letter of Claim.
- All evidence needs to be disclosed, and expert witnesses can be instructed.
If you instruct a solicitor to represent your claim, they will carry out all of these steps on your behalf.
What Evidence Could I Gather To Support A Personal Injury Compensation Claim?
Evidence can help prove liability in a personal injury claim. It can also provide details on the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by a third party not upholding the duty of care they owed to you. As such, it may benefit you to gather the following:
- CCTV and dashcam footage that shows what happened
- A diary that details your emotional and physical state after the accident
- Medical evidence, such as X-rays and specialists reports
- Photographs of the injury and the accident site
- Contact details for witnesses to the accident
A personal injury solicitor can assist you in gathering evidence and building your case. Additionally, they can take all the steps needed as part of the pre-action protocols. If you have a valid claim and wish to seek legal representation to help you through the different aspects of the personal injury claims process, please contact an advisor. They may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
There is normally a three-year time limit for personal injury claims as set out in the Limitation Act 1980. This usually starts from the date of the accident. In certain cases, there can be exceptions to the time limit.
For instance, the time limit is paused for injured people under 18. A litigation friend can be appointed to start a claim for them while the time limit is paused. If this is not done, the three-year limit starts from the date of their 18th birthday. This allows them to start their own claim up until the age of 21.
The time limit has an indefinite suspension for people who lack the mental capacity to claim themselves. A litigation friend can also be appointed to act on their behalf and launch a claim during this time. If the person who has been injured regains their mental capacity, and no claim has already been made on their behalf, the three-year time limit starts from the recovery date.
To learn more about the exceptions and how long you have to seek personal injury compensation, please speak with an advisor on the number above.
If you choose to work with a personal injury solicitor from our panel, they could offer their services under a kind of No Win No Fee contract. Although there are different types, the one that they may offer is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
The advantages of working with a solicitor in this way include no need to pay upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Should the claim fail, the solicitors typically ask for no payment for the work completed on your claim.
A small amount is deducted from the compensation award as a success fee if the claim has a positive outcome. Capped by law, it ensures that the claimant always receives the majority of the payout.
Find out more about how a solicitor could help you seek personal injury compensation by contacting an advisor. You can:
For more of our personal injury guides:
- When can you claim for a workplace accident?
- When could you claim for nerve damage after an accident in a public place?
- A guide to making a claim after a road traffic accident
Some helpful external resources:
- Health and Safety Executive – Information on causes and prevention for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.
- Think! – Guidance on the road safety laws.
- GOV.UK – Find out if you could be eligible for statutory sick pay.
Thank you for reading our guide on when you could seek personal injury compensation. If you have any other questions, please speak with an advisor on the number above.
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Published by NL