Personal Injury Compensation Guide

Personal Injury Claims Process

Every client’s story is different, but these steps will give you an idea of what happens during a serious injury case. The stages may change to make sure that you and your family’s specific needs are taken care of so you can focus on your recovery.

We’ll always keep you up-to-date with the progress of your case, talking you through each step and explaining any legal jargon clearly.

Step 1 – The Initial Consultation

After you get in touch with us, we’ll discuss the details of your case and decide if we think you have a case. If you choose us we’ll agree how best to fund your case. Most of our cases are funded on a No Win No Fee basis, at no financial risk to you.*

Step 2 – Work Out Who Is Responsible For Your Injury

We’ll then work out who was at fault for your injuries or illness. This includes:

  • Getting evidence about how the injury happened – e.g. speaking with the police/hospital/your employers, looking at the police report, photographs, visiting the scene
  • Speaking to anyone involved in your injury or illness who might be responsible, and talking to their insurance company

Step 3 – Assess The Nature And Extent Of Your Injuries

Next, we’ll look at the exact nature of your injury or illness by getting access to your medical records and arranging for an independent assessment by medical experts.

We’ll find out from these specialists what rehabilitation and care you will need, and what your future looks like if you receive such treatments.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury, one of our client liaison managers will meet you and work out what rehabilitation services you need, including care support, therapy and specially adapted accommodation. Your client liaison manager will also give you advice on any health and welfare issues you’re facing.

Step 4 – Rehabilitation

With serious injury claims, as soon as we’ve established who was responsible we’ll look to secure interim payments which will enable any immediate rehabilitation or care requirements.

We believe strongly in the importance of rehabilitation and think that any rehab programme should be tailored to your needs. The main thing is for your rehabilitation to get you back on the road to recovery, maximising your wellbeing and quality of life.

Step 5 – Continue To Assess Your Injuries After You’ve Made Progress

We’ll review how you’ve got on. We’ll ask the medical specialists who first looked at you to meet with you again, and see what they think about your progress.

You might see new experts who specialise in post-rehabilitation assessments. They’ll take a detailed look at your condition and make some recommendations about your long term outlook, including the likelihood of a return to work and what future support you might need.

We won’t be able to move onto the next step of your claim until these experts have decided that they can make a final, accurate assessment of your case.

Step 6 – Work Out The Compensation Amount

It’s important that we have a decisive, expert view on your prognosis before we begin to settle your claim. If we put forward an offer to the opponents too soon, there’s a risk that the full extent of your injuries won’t have been recognised and that you could be under-compensated.

There are lots of different factors to take into account when deciding your compensation amount. These include:

  • Compensation for your injury/illness itself
  • Any pain or suffering you’ve endured
  • Any income you’ve lost as a result of the injury
  • Any future income you might miss out on
  • The cost of care, whether this has been given by your family or professionals (future care costs are also included)
  • Any other expenses

Once we’ve added all this together, we’ll share this with those responsible or their insurance company so they understand the impact and implications to you and your family.

Step 7 – Settlement

Most of the time, it’s possible to reach an agreement with the insurance company that gives you a good settlement, without having to go to court.

However, the insurers won’t always agree immediately to settling the case. This often happens and is not unusual. At this stage, we would issue a court claim which asks the court to take over and supervise the process so that there’s a suitable timetable for your claim.

For a court claim, we’ll prepare various documents for the court to “issue” the claim, then the court will send these documents to the solicitors working for the insurance company. The insurers then have to reply, and the court creates a timetable for the claim.

If we can’t agree on the right compensation amount with the opposing solicitors, the court will appoint a judge to decide the sum during a final hearing. This is nothing to be afraid of and you’ll have support from our solicitors every step of the way. Please visit our court process page for more information.

Step 8 – Final Conclusion

Your claim will end when

  • a judge has ordered what amount should be paid
  • we have been able to negotiate the right amount of compensation for you from the insurance company.

At that stage, we need to agree exactly how your compensation will be made up and paid. Usually, compensation is paid as a single lump sum. Some sums may be paid up-front to help fund rehabilitation and other expenses as the claim goes along – these are known as interim payments. Any interim payments will be deducted from the final settlement, as they have already been received.

Sometimes, the court may order that insurance companies should break the settlement up into “periodical payments”, usually a sum of money paid annually or monthly, rather than a big lump sum. This may happen if you are claiming for a long term care package which will need to be paid for annually for a long period of time.

The medical experts have to reach a decision about whether you are capable of dealing with your own finances. This affects the way in which the compensation is paid.

Step 9 – Payment Of Compensation (With Capacity)

If you’re capable of managing your own financial affairs, the compensation is paid out directly to you or to a trust account in your name. It’s important to take investment advice on how to best manage your money for the future.

Step 9 – Payment Of Compensation (Without Capacity)

If you’re assessed as being incapable of managing your own financial affairs, your compensation will be paid into a special account at court, and the court will manage your money, until you’ve regained capacity. Our Court of Protection department, the UK’s largest, can offer expert advice on protecting your finances.

If you have any questions about making a claim, please get in touch for a free initial consultation with one of our legal advisors who can explain the process. Call us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online.

The above information relates to the law in England and Wales.

* Subject to entering into a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement in conjunction with our Allianz Litigate insurance policy and complying with your responsibilities under its terms.

Please note that we do not deal with Scottish medical negligence cases. Contact the Scottish Law Society on 0131 226 7411 who can advise on the options available to you.

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