Coffee with a neighbour should be a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. But what happens if that neighbour has a dog which gets loose and bites you? Driving home from the cinema, your friend pulls a dangerous manoeuvre and you’re the one left with whiplash. Who’s to blame for that? Injury claims against friends and family can be awkward. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them.
In this article, we offer advice about making a claim for compensation if you were harmed by the actions of a friend or family member. Perhaps you are considering claiming on behalf of a child or someone under the age of 18? We can help.
Personal injury claims can hold those responsible for the accident to account. If you have costs and damages you have incurred trying to cope with injury or disruption to your life, speak to our team today. Our personal injury claims specialists are available 24/7 to discuss claims including those where you or your child were:
- Involved in an accident that resulted in injury at someone’s house
- Injured in a road traffic accident as the passenger in a car
- Suffered an injury through a dog bite
- The victim of a slip, trip or fall that was the fault of a friend or family member
We recognise that suing family or friends is an unpleasant concept. But the stark reality is that accidents and injury can be created by the negligence of others. Why should you or your child have to deal with all the health and financial consequences? Speak to us today about injury compensation by:
- Calling our team on 0161 696 9685
- Emailing us at Advice.co.uk
- Using the live support option to speak to Natalie
Select A Section
- A Guide To Injury Claims Against Friends And Family Members
- Calculating Your Compensation Settlement
- Could I Claim For Other Expenses And Losses?
- What Are Injury Claims Against Friends And Family Members?
- How Does The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 Apply?
- Accidents That A Friend Or Family Member Could Cause
- Slips, Trips And Falls On A Friend’s Or Family Member’s Property
- Whiplash And Other Road Traffic Accident Injuries
- What Do You Do If Your Friend’s Dog Bites You?
- Assault And Abuse Claims Against A Family Member
- Child Accident Claims
- Who Settles My Claim Against Friends And Family Members?
- No Win No Fee Injury Claims Against Friends And Family Members
- Contact Us
- What Percentage Of Accidents Occur At Home?
- FAQs On Injury Claims Against Friends And Family Members
It’s a common misconception that you cannot sue family or friends. But if they or their actions harmed you they can be just as liable as any workplace or private company. This article will explain the common types of accidents and injuries caused by family and friends. We examine how a personal injury solicitor could help you build an effective case for compensation against them.
The areas that we cover are designed to equip you with all the relevant advice you need to make a decision about starting a claim. We will discuss:
- How two types of damages can combine to arrive at your estimated compensation amount.
- How the law supports your right to seek damages if negligence can be proved.
- What evidence you will need to provide.
- How working with a No Win No Fee lawyer can give your case the edge it needs to succeed.
We are all independently responsible for the choices and actions we take. If those choices could affect other people, we must be extra careful. Personal injury can cause real disruption and harm in your life. It’s only fitting that those responsible do their part to put it right.
When we talk about compensation, how much are we really talking about? Firstly, it’s important to point out that settlement amounts are never absolutely set in stone. Each case differs. The possible award amounts depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injury and how profoundly those injuries have impacted your life, both physically and financially.
Using two types of compensation, your personal injury lawyer—if you choose to use one—can calculate your possible award and give a really accurate idea of how much you could be eligible for. The first type of compensation is referred to as general damages.
General damages compensate you for your injuries themselves. A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines can help with valuation. Basically a list of bodily and mental injuries, it gives personal injury lawyers an idea of how specific injuries could be valued based on past cases.
The table below gives approximate guidance on a brief cross-section of general damage amounts.
|What injury type?
|up to £139,210
|Injuries at the higher level of award include incomplete paraplegia.
|up to £151,070
|Injuries at the higher level of award include damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to severe consequences.
|up to £58,100
|Injuries at the higher level of award include those that have reduced the hand to about 50% capacity.
|up to £56,180
|Injuries at the higher level of award may result in complete immobility of the wrist.
|up to £122,860
|Injuries at the higher level of award can be severe but fall short of amputation.
|up to £51,460
|Injuries at the higher level of award include loss of the thumb.
|up to £52,620
|Injuries at the higher level of award include amputation of all toes.
|up to £65,420
|Injuries at the higher level of award will be severe, limited and unusual.
|up to £189,110
|Injuries at the higher level of award will be for amputation of both feet.
General damages should be commensurate with the severity of your injuries. This includes matters such as the pain and suffering your injuries have caused you or any mental anguish associated with what happened. Your compensation may also reflect an enhanced risk of consequential problems like depression, anxiety or phobias. Detrimental impact on your relationships can also be acknowledged and may be a key issue with lawsuits that involve family or friends.
If you choose to use a lawyer, they can help arrange a medical assessment for you and then use the results of that to cross-reference injuries with the JCG. By doing so, they can get a good estimation of the possible compensation you could be eligible for.
The second head of claim is called special damages. They compensate you for how the injuries have affected you financially. For example, you may have had to take unpaid time off work to recover. Perhaps you were unable to fulfil future work commitments and lost money that way? Did you need care at home? If someone came in to look after basic domestic tasks, these costs can really stack up.
You may have lost money on a special occasion you had to miss. Cancelled plans or lost deposits can comprise part of your claim. Travel costs to hospital or child care costs might start to accrue but you could recover them so long as they’re a consequence of your injuries.
You can collect together any out-of-pocket expenses incurred and build this amount into your total claim for damages. If you can prove the financial losses, you could recover them. Evidence can be in the form of statements, bills or receipts that demonstrate your need to pay expenses to cope with the injuries.
It’s important to bear in mind, a time limit of three years applies to making personal injury claims. You didn’t ask to be injured and don’t deserve to be burdened with unwanted costs as you try to recover. At Advice.co.uk, our panel of personal injury solicitors can help you construct a case using all the right evidence and give you the best opportunity of winning these monies back.
You have a right to seek compensation if you sustain an injury in a public setting through no fault of your own. Injury claims against friends and family can be started if they did something, or failed to do something that resulted in you being hurt.
There are many ways that this might happen, but the foundation of your claim should be that whatever form their carelessness took, you suffered actual harm as a result of it.
It’s really important to remember that when you make an injury claim against friends and family, in many cases you are actually making a claim against their insurance. You might feel it’s a betrayal to sue your family or friends but it can be the insurance company who would take care of your costs.
The law outlines the duty of care others have to protect your safety in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This piece of legislation states that those in control of an area have an applied duty to ensure that no harm befalls others in that area as far as is reasonably practicable.
We have a responsibility to look after ourselves under this law and it’s important that the accident you suffered could be deemed unavoidable.
The Act requires people in control of public spaces to exercise diligence in spotting and preventing possible hazards. So, if your family member or friend failed to protect your safety in a place where they were required to do so and you suffered injury as a consequence, they (or their insurance company) could be liable to pay you compensation.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act is quite detailed. If something happened and you are quite sure that you sustained injuries because of something that should have been avoidable were it not for the other person, speak to our team today.
At Advice.co.uk, our personal injury claims team can offer free legal advice that explains occupiers’ liability and cuts through the jargon, providing you with on the spot clarity about the potential of your case.
It seems unlikely that a friend or family member would willfully put a hazard in your path with the intention of causing you injury. It’s this belief that prevents many people from pursuing claims as they feel it would be unpleasant or in bad taste to hold a loved one to account for it. We shrug off the pain or put the accident down to our own silliness.
Whilst it might feel awkward, you should consider the injury and financial damage you’ve endured (or may continue to endure). Did your family or friends really do everything they could have to prevent that accident from happening? Could claiming help your situation?
Accidents that a friend or family member could cause include road traffic accidents, falls on their unsafe property or dog bites. You may have suffered assault or abuse at the hands of someone you know. If so, you could claim.
You go around to visit family. Have they just jet-washed their patio? Is the kitchen floor wet? Perhaps there’s a new carpet being fitted on the stairs. All of these domestic improvements are things that it’s important to alert visitors to.
A slip on a wet kitchen floor can cause serious head injury if you collide with a kitchen worktop on your way down. A fall from a top step could be enough to render you paralyzed in the right circumstances. These are extreme examples and most injuries may be of a lesser degree, but the idea is the same.
Family and friends’ decisions behind the wheel can have direct consequences for you. Perhaps someone you know has a nice car and they might be trying to impress you. Maybe their driving skills are less than ideal and they regularly take manoeuvres or risks that you would not. If their negligence caused your injuries, you could claim. Their car insurance company may cover the compensation.
Passengers in a car accident can be as severely injured as the driver, or worse. Whiplash is an injury with varying degrees of severity, but a bad case can be life-altering. Who will pay for all the resultant financial problems your family or friend caused you by breaking too hard with you in the car?
Dogs are pack animals and territorial by nature. Just because the animal is well-behaved around its owner does not mean it will be the same way with you. Even if you have met the animal before, if it’s not properly trained or if it has specific care needs that its owner fails to attend to, it may react defensively and the next thing you know you’re on your way to the hospital to get stitches from a bite.
The owner has a responsibility to care for their animal and protect others, and this includes within their own home. If you were visiting a family member or friend and their dog attacked you, it may be down to them to be responsible for damage caused.
A serious dog bite can sever tendons or mutilate body parts and that could leave you with permanent injury or mobility problems. You could have the situation properly rectified, however awkward it may seem at first.
Other Incidents Caused By Family And Friends
There are other possible scenarios where injury claims against family or friends may be necessary:
- Something in their home is unsafe and it causes your injury, such as fixtures or fittings being loose, bad wiring or loose flooring.
- They hurt you with a sharp or blunt object.
- They failed to properly supervise your child when in their care or at their house.
- During a social occasion, events get out of hand and you are harmed in some way because of their drunkenness or irresponsible behaviour.
- Toxic substances are left in such a way as to allow contamination.
Your case may be something completely unique to you. The central idea is the same. If any form of unchecked hazard caused you injury because of their failure to reasonably prevent it, you could seek compensation.
There are potentially two ways of approaching a claim like this. The first is to hold that family member personally to account and sue them directly for injuries. If they lack sufficient funds to pay your damages, then you could look for another avenue to claim compensation.
The second approach is to use the services of a government organisation called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This organisation helps victims of violence and serious crime receive compensation to assist with their immediate needs and concerns.
CICA will assess your case. They will seek the relevant evidence of injury in the form of a police report and may also require a medical report. They then try to award you whatever is appropriate in your circumstances.
If you qualify, you could be paid compensation through them. You need to report the crime yourself but after that, a personal injury lawyer could step in and give expert advice on how to win your case for maximum settlement amounts. Talk with our personal injury claims team now to see how a No Win No Fee lawyer can help guide your case through the CICA.
Do you need to start an injury claim on behalf of your child? Perhaps they had a play date at a friend’s house and the adult in charge failed to prevent a serious injury? Any designated adult in control of young people has assumed the responsibility of their care and could be liable if they fail in that duty.
You can start a claim on their behalf. You would act as a ‘litigation friend’, meaning that you are representing someone who is a minor or is an adult who lacks the mental capacity to present their own case in court. Litigation friends can work with a No Win No Fee lawyer in a similar way to any other claimant and our team can talk you through the process.
After the case has been started, negotiations between the two parties occur as they try to arrive at a figure that is considered reasonable. Cases can settle quickly if both you and the friend or family member can agree promptly on a suitable amount that reflects the physical, mental and financial suffering you’ve endured. Disagreement can drag the case out and it’s in everyone’s best interests to be reasonable.
When your friend or family member (in this case, ‘defendant’) proposes an amount, their lawyer will contact yours. Our panel of lawyers would either challenge this offer or, acting on your instructions, accept it. You can settle a case yourself at any point but it’s useful to listen to the advice of your No Win No Fee lawyer.
Accepting too quickly or being too obstinate are the two extremes of settling personal injury cases. The ideal is a middle ground that is appropriate and fair.
Our advisors can put you in touch with our panel of lawyers if you have a valid claim. They give confidential, expert counsel, so you could find the right representative for you.
No Win No Fee agreements or Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) offer a financially risk-reducing solution for people who wish to start a personal injury case but may lack the immediate funds necessary to hire a solicitor. Also, as the term suggests, if your case does not win there is no fee to pay the lawyers. There are many other benefits to using a personal injury solicitor in this way, such as:
- Having no solicitor fees to pay as the case moves forward.
- If your claim is successful, there is a small fee to pay your lawyers. This amount would be deducted from your CICA payout or the damages you win from the liable individual.
- This fee is capped by law, ensuring it benefits you most.
- No Win No Fee solicitors have a vested interest in getting you the highest award appropriate so they’re committed to your case.
- If compensation looks unlikely, the lawyer will tell you this and will not waste your time.
- Legal fees are only payable after you have been paid compensation. You can simply relax and wait until the compensation arrives before paying your lawyers.
Combined, these advantages make No Win No Fee the overwhelmingly sensible choice for many. In addition to all the practical advantages, using a lawyer can give you the expertise and insights to really improve your case. You could see your compensation award far exceed what you originally imagined. Anyone can start a personal injury case, but it takes an expert to understand the law and really make it work for you.
We know that injury claims against friends and family may seem unpleasant. Calling to chat over what happened can help ease these concerns. The free legal advice our advisors give might be the answer to your money concerns, offering you an avenue to compensation for whiplash, a car crash, dog bite injuries or any form of injury caused by a family member or friend. Our personal injury claims team is available right now to get things started:
- Call our team on 0161 696 9685
- Email us at Advice.co.uk
- Use the live support option to speak to Natalie
- Please refer to our guide for more information about car crash accidents and whiplash.
- In addition to friends and family injury claims, compensation amounts can also be calculated for accidents in the workplace claims. Visit this site for advice on this topic.
- If someone sexually abused you, whether a family member or someone you didn’t know, you could claim. Read our guide on how to make a sexual abuse claim.
- Read government advice on how to protect children from the risk of dog bites.
- Being bitten by a dog can be dangerous in many ways. Please refer to the NHS to learn more about the appropriate medical steps to take after a dog bite, especially if you were bitten by a dog and it drew blood.
- Friends and family injury claims may put additional strain on your relationships. Please refer to Cafcass for advice about how to stay safe through this difficult period.
Statistics demonstrate that the home is the most common place for accidents and every year across the UK there are approximately 6,000 deaths that happen at home.
It’s mainly children and people over the age of 65 who are at risk of accidents indoors, with the over-75s being particularly prone. Falls are the main culprit.
How do child accident claims work?
As we discussed, you would need to act as a litigation friend for the child. Only certain people can be litigation friends, such as parents. The case would go ahead with you acting on the child’s behalf, though you can still use the help of a solicitor.
Injury claims against friends and family: what if the family member denies liability?
If the case is not strong enough, your lawyer can advise. Evidence in the form of statements from other witnesses or medical proof helps.
What is the average personal injury claim?
Each case varies depending on the extent of the injury. Every repercussion has a value adjustment to it.
How long will my claim against a friend or family member take?
Once again, there is no set time pattern for personal injury claims. CICA can take several months to gather all the appropriate evidence and information to make a decision. Also if negotiations between the two parties are difficult, this can add substantially to the time it takes to settle.
Who pays out for personal injury claims?
CICA can compensate victims of serious crimes and violence. Car insurance may cover road traffic accident claims. Employers’ liability insurance may cover workplace accident compensation and public liability insurance may cover public accident compensation.
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