We provide free information on personal injury claims. You should always seek expert advice before taking any form of legal action.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Usually, claims are made against somebody else’s insurance policy if they caused the accident.
Generally, personal injury claims are possible when:
- The accident was caused by another party’s negligence.
- That person or organisation owed you a duty of care.
- You sustained injuries as a result of the accident.
Why Make A Personal Injury Claim?
Any type of physical or psychological injury can take its toll and prevent you from living a normal life. They can also cause financial difficulties if, for example, you can’t work whilst injured. The idea of any personal injury claim is to help you to deal with any suffering and to aid your recovery as much as possible.
Common Personal Injury Claims
The term personal injury claim is a phrase that covers many different types of accident claims. Some of the most common are:
Slips, trips and falls
While falling over can lead to quite minor injuries such as bruising or scratches, you could also sustain more serious life-changing injuries. You could claim for injuries sustained after slipping on a wet floor (where warning signs were missing) or tripping on some sort of trip hazard in a public place.
Find out more about claiming for a slip, trip or fall.
Employers have a duty of care to try and make your working environment as safe as possible. If they fail to check for problems regularly, train you in how to do your job safely, provide protective equipment or maintain and repair workplace equipment, they might be deemed negligent. If you’ve been injured because of your employer’s negligence, a personal injury claim may be possible.
Learn more about accident at work claims.
Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs)
Legally, you can claim for any injuries suffered during an RTA caused by somebody else. This applies to all road users including drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists. It is even possible to claim for injuries caused by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers.
Read our guide on road traffic accident claims
Fatal Accident Claims
Unfortunately, some accidents lead to fatal injuries. If you are responsible for the estate of somebody who has died in an accident, you could claim compensation for their death and any prior suffering. Compensation might also be paid to cover funeral costs and other expenses linked to the death.
If you’ve lost a loved one and you were financially dependent on them, you could also have grounds to make a claim.
Another of our guides has more information on fatal accident claims.
Medical Negligence Claims
While not strictly a personal injury claim, you could claim compensation for suffering caused by a negligent medical professional. Such mistakes can lead to injuries, worsening symptoms or conditions such as cancer becoming untreatable. It is, therefore, only right to think about claiming compensation for medical negligence.
Find out more in our guide about medical negligence claims.
Personal Injury Claims Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?
The time limit for personal injury claims time limits is the Limitation Act 1980. It sets a 3-year time limit in which you must begin your claim.
Section 11(4) of the act states that the time limit begins from a) the date you were injured or b) the date of knowledge (if later) i.e. when you became aware of your injuries or illness. Read more about personal injury claims time limits.
How do I pay for a personal injury claim?
If you want legal representation, you’ll need to find a solicitor who will agree to represent you. Many offer No Win No Fee services where you only need to pay for the solicitor’s work if the claim is successful and compensation is awarded.
Find out more about
Useful tips when making a personal injury claim
If you decide to make a personal injury claim, it’s important to try and collect evidence. This should make it easier to confirm how the accident occurred, who was to blame for it and the extent of your injuries.
Therefore, following any type of accident, you could:
- Collect contact details for those involved and anybody who witnessed the incident.
- Report the accident so there is an accident report form or similar document that can be used to confirm the accident happened.
- Go to a hospital or visit your GP for a proper diagnosis of your injuries.
- Take pictures on your phone of the accident scene to try and capture the root cause and any damage. Also, ask for copies of any video footage of the accident.
- Keep a record of any problems caused by your injuries such as days off work or events you missed because you were injured.
- Retain all receipts and financial documents if you wish to claim back expenses linked to your injuries.
Do personal injury claims go to court?
Taking a personal injury claim to court can be expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, if you are represented by a personal injury solicitor, they’ll probably try to deal with the matter out of court. This means negotiating with the defendant’s insurers to try and agree upon who was liable for the accident and the extent of your suffering.
Most personal injury solicitors only take on claims they believe will be won to try and avoid the need for a court hearing. However, in a small number of cases, personal injury claims might need to be settled in court if an amicable solution cannot be found.
How Long Do Personal Injury Claims Take?
There are no fixed timescales for personal injury claims, unfortunately. Although the Ministry of Justice has set out pre-action protocols for personal injury claims, some claims will still take longer than others. For example, if you’ve made a full recovery and liability for your injuries has been accepted by the defendant, you might be compensated in less than 6 months. However, if your injuries are ongoing and it’s not clear how long you’ll continue to suffer, your claim might take longer than a year. That said, if liability has been accepted in a longer-term case, you might be paid interim payments before your claim is settled to help you do with any financial consequences (lost income, private medical fees, care costs etc).