What is a Personal Injury Claim?
Have you got a personal injury or illness caused or worsened by the negligence of another person. Doesn’t feel right, we can help you.
The term ‘personal injury’ is a legal term that refers to the injury or illness caused or worsened by the negligence of another person. People who suffer under such circumstances can make a personal injury claim to recover compensation from the responsible parties.
In general, claims have to be made within the first three years from the date of the accident or the date the illness was diagnosed. Nonetheless, if you doubt whether you have a case or not, give us a call for a free initial consultation.
What Types of Personal Injury Claims?
Some of the most common personal injury claims we help people file for include:
- Medical negligence including surgery, misdiagnosis, and GP intelligence
- Accidents or illnesses contacted abroad, such as food poisoning and holiday accidents
- Road traffic accidents such as cyclist, pedestrian, and passenger accidents
- Asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma
- Industrial diseases including respiratory problems and hearing loss
- Accidents at workplaces such as head, back, and manual handling injuries
- Work related injury or disease, including things such as mesothelioma from working with asbestos
- psychological illnesses that were brought on by stress at work
- injury resulting from car crashes or other traffic accidents.
- injuries caused by using a faulty product or by receiving poor service
- slips and falls in public places
- psychological illness that comes from being abused as a child
- injuries caused by medical professionals, such as errors made during hospital treatment, or adverse reactions to medications or vaccines
- physical or psychological injuries sustained by the victim of a crime
- psychological illness that is caused by harassment or discrimination while in the workplace
If you are a victim of personal injury, or you are acting on the behalf of a person who has sustained an injury, then you should consider a few things before you make the claim:
- do you want to put in a complaint to the person or the organisation that you believe was responsible for causing your injury?
- do you wish to put in a claim for compensation in order to recover any losses that were sustained following your injury?
- is there any pressing financial problem that you are going through, or are about to go through, because of the injury. Are you, for example, currently unable to work?
- are you looking for help from an organisation that can offer counselling or other forms of support?
What Action Do You Need to Take
No matter what your next planned steps are, there are a few actions that you should consider:
- contact the police to report the incident if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident or you have been the victim of a crime.
- report the accident to your insurance company. If you were involved in a car accident and fail to report it, then this could invalidate your insurance.
- report the injury to your doctor, both so that it is on record, and so that you get a proper diagnosis so that a minor injury is not allowed to develop into a more serious one.
- collect evidence of the accident. Take photographs of the scene, and make written notes about what happened while it is still in your mind. Collect the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. If you have any physical evidence, retain it.
What to Do Following an Accident at Work
If you were involved in an accident at work, then your employer should record the details about it in an accident book. You should write out a brief report to send to your employer, and retain a copy of the report for your own records.
Your employer may have included something in your contract about how accidents should be reported. If you are self-employed, then you may be required to report the details of some accidents to the Health and Safety Executive or to inform environmental health, depending on the nature of the accident in question.
The HSE.gov.uk website has a lot of information for residents of England and Wales, to help you understand your reporting obligations, and who to inform about incidents.
How to Make a Complaint for Injuries
In some cases, you can contact the person or organisation that you feel caused your injury, and get an explanation of what went wrong, as well as an apology. There may be a formal complaints procedure that you can follow to request this. Unfortunately, complaints procedures can be time consuming, and in some cases the end result is nothing more than a written apology.
If you have suffered a severe injury and are seeking compensation, then you should note that there is a time limit on taking legal action, and if you go through a complaints procedure then you may end up wasting time and missing out on the window of opportunity for going to court.
If you decide that you would like to make a complaint, and feel that the procedure will potentially provide you with sufficient remedy, then you should do so promptly and politely. Some organisations that you can put in complaints to include:
- government departments
- local authorities
- schools, colleges and universities
- doctors, hospitals and other National Health Services bodies
If you live in Wales, then the complaints process is slightly different for the NHS than it is in England. You may be able to use the NHS Redress Arrangements process to put in a complaint and also claim compensation.
If you would like to know more about putting in a complaint, then you should look for some specialist advice. There are experienced advisers that specialise in navigating the complaints process.
You have a number of options when it comes to claiming compensation:
- work with a claims assessor
- take a case to the civil court
- make a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
- apply for a criminal compensation order
- apply for compensation through a government compensation scheme, or Special compensation scheme, such as the ones that exist for asbestos related diseases
- use the NHS Redress Arrangement, if you are resident in Wales
How Much Compensation Can You Get?
Usually, your claim can be either special damages, or for general damages. With general damages, you are applying for compensation for pain and suffering, and also for any loss of future earnings. The courts will determine how much compensation can be paid.
With special damages, the payment is for actual financial loss that was caused by the accident, up to the date that the hearing takes place. Special damages can include damage to your possessions, the cost of travel to the hospital, the cost of your hospital treatment and even the cost to hire a car if your own car was damaged during the accident.
The damages that you receive will be reduced if the court determines that you were partly at fault for the accident. If, for example, you were involved in a traffic accident, and you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time, then this could be classed as you being at fault.
Benefit Payments and Compensation
Be aware that if you are in receipt of social security benefits that are being paid because of an accident, then if you are awarded compensation you may have to pay the benefits back.
The rules relating to social security and compensation are quite complex, so it is well worth seeking specialist advice before taking any action.
Legal Action & Going to Court
If you are considering taking legal action, or putting in a claim for compensation for a personal injury,you should get advice from a solicitor who specialises in this type of case. It is important to act quickly, because there are time limits, and if you wait too long then you will not be able to make a claim.
How Long Do You Have to Claim
The time limits for putting in a claim can vary massively. You should seek legal advice urgently if you want to claim compensation. If you delay, you risk losing out completely.
The most common kind of claim is for negligence, and there is a three year time limit for that. This means that you must issue court proceedings within three years of becoming ware that you have an injury. In some cases, the courts will extend that time limit, but this depends on the circumstances of the case.
If you are considering taking a person or company to court but have not yet sought legal advice, then you should be aware of the time limits, and make sure that you act with the urgency that is required.
Legal action can be expensive. Some legal firms offer conditional fee arrangements, and there are some insurance policies that will cover the cost of legal action too.
Conditional Fee Agreements
Conditional fee agreements are also known as no win, no fee. With these, you don’t pay if you lose your case, but you may have to pay the legal fees for the other side. You will often be advised to take out insurance to cover this scenario. If you win, then your solicitors fees will be paid by the other party.
It is a good idea to discuss the costs, and the risks, with an experienced advisor.
When someone is convicted of a criminal offence, they are often ordered to pay compensation to the victims of the offence, for any injury, damage or loss that the crime caused.
If you sustained an injury or loss, then you cannot apply for that compensation yourself. You should inform the prosecution of the loss that you faced, because
it is the role of the prosecution to put the case to the court.
The amount of compensation to be paid will depend on what the offender is able to pay, and it is set to a maximum of £5,000. When a compensation order is made, the court will be responsible for ensuring that the offender makes the payment.
Using Special Compensation Schemes
The government sometimes mandates special compensation schemes for injuries or losses that affected a large number of people.
People who suffered damage as a result of being given vaccinations can put in a claim to the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit.
People who suffer from asbestos related diseases caused by working with asbestos or in environments where they were exposed to asbestos can claim the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and also have the option of making a civil claim against their employer.
If you contracted an asbestos related disease in some other way, such as through washing the clothing of a family member, then you have the option of making a claim for a special, one-off payment awarded by the government, but there is a time limit to making this claim.
You can talk to a specialist solicitor to find out if there is a compensation scheme available for people with your injury. The solicitor will tell you whether your best option is to make a civil claim, or to follow the special compensation route.
NHS Redress Arrangements
Those who live in Wales have the option of combining making a complaint with putting in a claim for compensation, thanks to NHS Redress Arrangements.
This arrangement applies if your complaint relates to services that were provided by or on behalf of an NHS Trust or a Local Health Board in Wales. You can contact the Community Health Council to find out more, and there is a list of CHCs on wales.nhs.uk
Complaining About NHS / Social Care
Fixing A Problem With The NHS: Where To Start
The standard of care from the NHS is usually satisfying. Most people have no complaints about it, but every now and then you run into a problem. Read on to find out what steps you should take to fix it.
Which NHS Services Are Open To Complaints?
You are free to take issue with any aspect of treatment or care provided by the NHS. There are methods available for making complaints about any NHS body. The list provided below shows some of the most common bodies people choose to complain about:
- Hospitals (including private hospitals, in cases where the NHS provides funds for treatment)
- Prison health services
- Ambulance services
- Optical services
- Health visitors
- Mental health services
- Special health authorities such as the National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) or the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Options For Complaints
The proper way to lodge a complaint depends on your situation and what you hope to achieve. There are many steps you could take. Common ones include:
- Complain directly to your service provider or to the body responsible for the services in question. Hospital services, for example, full under the control of the clinical commissioning group. Dental services are controlled by NHS England.
- Turn your complaint into legal action. An example would be filing suit for clinical negligence.
- Report your problem to an appropriate third party, like local Healthwatch or the Care Quality Commission.
- Report a specific individual (like a doctor or midwife) to the regulatory body responsible for their conduct.
- Use the Friends and Family Test to send feedback on certain services provided by the NHS.
The NHS Friends And Family Test
The Friends and Family Test gives you a simple way to give feedback to the NHS regarding the treatment you receive. Your input helps improve future services. Patients who take the test simply tell whether or not they would recommend the treatments, services, and service providers they have experienced to friends and family. The NHS Choices website collects national Friends and Family Test results for hospitals and maternity services. To learn more about the Friends and Family Test, look it up at ww.nhs.uk.
Medical Records Issues
A copy of your medical records can be a great deal of help when you are considering a medical complaint. Secure copies of all relevant records about the treatment you did or did not receive before starting your complaint.
If you are employed directly by the NHS or work in other healthcare fields, you may be concerned about care shortfalls, unsafe work procedures, or other faults in care. Special procedures are available to help you raise your concerns in a safe and effective manner.
If your injury resulted in you experiencing financial difficulty, then you may need to consult an advisor to get help with debts and benefits.
For example, you may want to get financial advice if a member of your family has been seriously killed, or injured, because of a crime. In such an instance, you may be entitled to financial aid to pay for the funeral, as well as other help and support.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty because of an injury that you or a member of your family has suffered from, then you should seek expert advice.
There are many voluntary organisations that are out there which can offer support and advice to people who have, or care for,someone who has suffered a serious injury or been involved in an accident.
No Win No Fee injury claims
As mentioned earlier, we handle most of the claims on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that you don’t need to worry about spending an extra penny out of your pocket to seek compensation, and that there’s no financial risk in case the claim is unsuccessful.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
The consequences of the same illness or injury vary between individuals. As such, the amount of compensation that a person can receive will vary. Our lawyers are experienced in valuing claims accurately based on the circumstances at hand, to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Our specialist solicitors have the knowledge needed to cover each of the following areas:
- Accident at work claims
- Air, sea, and rail related claims
- Accident and illnesses abroad
- Group claims
- Mesothelioma and asbestos claims
- Medical negligence claims
- Industry illness and disease claims
- Military injury claims
- Serious injury claims
- Abuse, neglect, and criminal injury claims
- Defective product claims
- Road traffic accidents claims
Regardless of your situation, you can be sure that we have the knowledge and expertise to ensure the best outcome for you. We will always aim to do the following:
- Receive the compensation to reimburse your expenses and cover for your medical care and rehabilitation
- Help you receive ongoing payments, also referred to as interim payments, before the case is settled
- Treat you and your circumstances as unique, and sensitively deal with your case
- Keep in close contact, ensuring that you are up to date with everything that’s going on and when Ready to make your personal injury claim? Call us today on 0808 164 9153.
How Will My Personal Injury Claim Be Handled?
1. Free initial consultation
Once you contact us for the first time, you will speak with one of our friendly staff, who should walk you through the details of your injuries or illness. Be sure to discuss your case and situation in detail in order to receive the best advice.
The initial consultation is offered free of charge, and is confidential. From there, we will advise you on the right steps to take moving forward, and discuss with you of any steps that you should take immediately to help with the case and your immediate needs.
2. Contacting the Party Responsible for your Injury
The next step will be contacting the parties who were responsible for the accident or illness to find out if they accept the responsibility for what happened. In case they accept responsibility, we will try to secure you ample interim payments, which can help to settle immediate medical care needs, rehabilitation, and other expenses incurred while your claim is underway. The interim payments will be subtracted from the final compensation award.
3. Collecting the Necessary Evidence
Our experts will analyse your case in detail, and collect all the evidence from the relevant parties such as independent medical professionals and witnesses. We will also employ expert medical practitioners to determine how your illness or injuries have impacted your health. They will also recommend the kind of care, support, and rehabilitation you’ll need in the future to make your recovery as effective as possible.
4. Award of Compensation and Final Settlement
We always try to negotiate claims out of court. Nonetheless, if the responsible party fails to accept the responsibility or fails to agree with the amount of compensation that we determined you need, the case will go to court.
Even before the trial dates are set, many claims are often settled before they reach the court. In case the claim will have to be decided in court, our lawyers will be there with you to help with every step of the way. They will talk you through everything that is expected during the process, and make sure that you are as comfortable as possible.
What Can the Injury Compensation Pay For?
Since each compensation case is different, there isn’t a pre-determined amount of compensation that you’ll receive. The final amount you will receive depends on your unique circumstances, how severe the injuries or illness is, and their long term impact on your health and lifestyle.
To determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to, the following factors will come into play:
- Loss of earnings: covers the time that you have been away from work, and the time off you might need in the future as a result of the injuries. This figure may also cover consequences such as not being able to return to the same role as before, or not being able to return to work at all.
- Expenses: this includes everything from medical appointments to travel expenses, the medical equipment you need for recovery, and other items that are necessary for a practical day-to-day living
- Pain and suffering as a result of the illness or injury
- Adaptations: this amount will help you adapt your home and vehicle during recovery, so that you can live independently
- Rehabilitation: helps to provide with the necessary rehabilitation for a quicker recovery and well-being
- Care: will provide for any extra care and support needed.
Can you Take Over From the Lawyers I Have Currently?
If you have already begun a personal injury claim with another law firm, and you have concerns over how they are handling the case, it’s always wise to seek a second opinion. We have helped many people who were not satisfied with the service or advice they received from their previous firms, and we make the transition as smooth as possible.
So, if you’ve been receiving poor quality service, we suggest that you present you concerns to your current firm first. If you’re still dissatisfied, we will be happy to provide a second opinion and independent advice (free of charge) on your claim so that you can make an informed decision before moving.
We will offer you honest guidance about your claim, and decide the best way to proceed with your case. If you do choose to move the case over to us, you don’t need to worry about anything, as we’ll take care of all the required arrangements.
If you are dissatisfied with how your personal injury case is being handled, and would like to seek a second opinion, talk to us free on 0808 164 9153.
Do You Accept Now Win No Fee Claims?
TheYEC accepts personal injury cases that are funded under the No Win No Fee agreement, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). This funding ideally lets you make a personal injury claim without the need to worry about incurring legal costs while the claim is underway. You don’t pay anything in case you lose the case, which removes any financial risk on your part.*
There are other options to fund your case, such as:
- Legal expenses insurance: some car or home insurance policy policies provide a legal expenses cover that can help with your legal costs
- Trade union: some unions provide assistance for legal issues
- Legal aid: this is only available in cases involving children with neurological or brain injuries that result in severe disability, which arises during childbirth, pregnancy, or up to 8 weeks after birth.
- Have you got a personal injury
- What is a Personal Injury Claim?
- Medical negligence
- Accidents or illnesses contacted abroad
- Road traffic accidents
- Asbestos related diseases
- Industrial diseases
- Accidents at workplaces
- No Win No Fee injury claims
- How Will My Injury Claim Be Handled?
- What Can the Compensation Pay For?
- Can you Take Over From the Lawyers I Have Currently?
- Do You Accept Now Win No Fee Claims?