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Serious Injury Claims

Serious Injury Claims – FAQs

Making a serious injury claim can seem daunting, but our solicitors will guide you through the process, explaining each step in clear, straightforward language.

You can find information on more specific topics by visiting our dedicated pages on:

We’ve answered some of our clients’ most common queries below, but if you’re unsure about anything please don’t hesitate to phone us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online.

How Do I Start A Serious Injury Compensation Claim?

To begin your claim, please phone our team on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation or contact us online. We’ll talk about what happened to you and your injury, with no obligations. If we believe you have a case, we’ll begin to investigate the circumstances around your injury, gathering witness statements and contacting the relevant insurers.

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What Are The Steps In The Claims Process?

First we need to decide if your claim has a reasonable chance of success. This varies from case to case, but we’re proud of our ability to take on more complex claims. We’ll often be able to offer help, even if your case has been turned away by other solicitors.

Once we’ve taken your case on, we’ll work out who was to blame for your accident (known as liability). Sometimes more than one person will be responsible for the injury, and in these situations they’ll share responsibility.

We often inspect accidents using our in-house investigators, employing external experts when needed to prepare reports. For example, in the case of a road accident we might get a report from our own accident reconstruction expert.  Similarly, when we investigate a serious accident at work, we may ask a health and safety officer or an engineer to prepare a report on the system of work or on a particular piece of machinery. 

If we can establish who was responsible for your injury, we’ll work out how much compensation we think you should receive by getting reports from independent experts in a variety of fields, such as:

  • Medicine
  • Care
  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Employment

After we’ve finalised all the evidence, we may meet face-to-face with the insurers to talk about settling the case out of court. This is an increasingly popular way of resolving serious injury claims. 

If we can’t agree on the claim’s value with the insurers (or those responsible don’t admit liability), your case may go to court for a judge to decide. However, trials in serious injury claims are rare. Being represented by competent and experienced solicitors means that it’s more likely that your case will conclude before trial, with the best possible outcome.

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What Is A No Win No Fee Agreement?

A No Win No Fee agreement means that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees when you’re making a personal injury claim.*

If your case is successful, a proportion of your compensation will go towards our legal costs, while your opponent will pay the majority of the fees. In the event that your case isn’t successful, the costs will be fully covered by an insurance policy designed to protect you.

For more information, please visit our No Win No Fee page.

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How Long Will My Claim Take?

Every case is different, but usually the time it takes for a case to settle depends on you and your recovery. We recognise that it can be difficult to move on until your case has finished, so we’ll work hard to settle claims as quickly as the evidence allows. 

With serious injuries it’s vital to wait until the full extent of your injuries becomes clear before making a final claim. This is so that we can be sure that your compensation will cover the cost of your long term needs. It sometimes means that cases can take many years to resolve, but we’ll provide you with a clear estimate as to how long your claim is likely to take, keeping you fully informed as your case goes on.

It’s also worth remembering that in many cases we’ll be able to secure interim compensation payments for you, which will help cover the costs of your rehabilitation and care, until the case has finished.

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How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

The value of a claim depends on the kind of injuries you’ve suffered and how they’ve affected you. The more serious and far-reaching injuries will require more compensation to pay for things like adaptations to the home, medical bills and loss of earnings.

Broadly speaking, personal injury compensation is broken down into two parts: general damages and special damages.

General damages is money that you receive for what the law calls “pain, suffering and loss of amenity.”  It’s calculated using recognised guidelines and by looking at what others have received in similar cases.

Special damages (the legal phrase for financial losses) is a more significant part of most serious injury claims than general damages. This covers a range of costs and expenses, including:

  • Past and future loss of earnings
  • Private care (past and future)
  • Surgery and other medical expenses
  • Transport
  • Rehabilitation
  • Counselling
  • Physiotherapy
  • Any other expenses relating to your injuries

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How Long Do I Have To Make My Claim?

Adults have three years from the date of an accident to start a claim for compensation. For children, the three year time limit begins on their 18th birthday.

There’s no time limit for people who don’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions – this often applies to those who have suffered serious brain injuries.

In fatal cases, the family of the person who died have three years to make a claim, starting from the day they died.

The time limit for cases involving an accident outside the UK can be shorter. This is different for the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme, where applications have a two year time limit.

It’s important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident, so that we can contact witnesses, preserve evidence and take witness statements before memories fade.

If in doubt, you should seek specialist legal advice by calling us on 0800 056 4110 or contacting us online

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Is My Case Likely To Go To Court?

This depends on the circumstances of your accident. Some cases go to court when the parties can’t agree the correct compensation amount or who was to blame, but the majority of cases don’t get to that point.

Often the threat of court proceedings is enough to persuade the person at fault to make a sensible settlement offer. But, if we can’t reach an agreement, your case might have to go to court for a judge to decide who is to blame for your accident, and how liable they are. It’s worth bearing in mind that even if we do issue court proceedings, claims are still often settled out of court before the hearing takes place.

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Will I Have To Attend A Medical Appointment?

In order to put a fair and reasonable value on the extent of your injury, it’s normal to have a number of medical appointments with independent specialists. Some of these will be arranged by us, and some will be arranged on behalf of the person defending the claim.

We’ll do our best to minimise the number of appointments, and our dedicated client liaison managers will often be on hand. They’ll help with the arrangements for appointments, organising transport and, in some cases, attending with you if you need extra support. 

We will make sure that these appointments cause as little disruption as possible, and are carried out at convenient times and venues for you and your loved ones.

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Can I Make A Claim If A Loved One Has Died?

Yes, if your loved one died as a result of someone else’s errors, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf.

If the main earner in a family is killed in an accident at work, for example, their partner might have no way of providing for their children afterwards. Any compensation claim will need to take this loss of earnings into account, and could help make your life less stressful after such a tragic event. For more information on the support we can help you access after the death of a loved one, please visit our bereavement page.

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Who Do I Claim Compensation From?

Claims are almost always directed against insurance companies. These insurers might cover drivers, homes, hospitals or businesses.

Even though insurance companies will sometimes choose to strongly defend claims if they think they can avoid responsibility, we’ll battle for your best interests. Our solicitors are experienced in dealing with large cases against insurance companies and have a proven track record of success.

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If It Was My Employer’s Fault That I Got Injured, Can I Make A Claim?

Yes, your employer has a legal responsibility to keep you safe from risks and dangers at work. If they fail to provide the proper safety measures or equipment to prevent accidents and injuries, the consequences can be life-changing for their workers.

Your employer should have an insurance policy to cover any legal costs, so you don’t need to worry that you’re doing damage to their business by making a claim.

Please visit our workplace injury page for more information on claiming against an employer. 

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Will I Get Sacked If I Make A Claim Against My Employer?

It’s illegal for your employer to sack you for making a compensation claim. Any claim is completely separate from your working life and doesn’t have an impact on your right to work for your employer. As a full service law firm, we have a dedicated employment law team who can advise you on your rights after making a claim against your employer.

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Do You Accept Legal Aid Cases?

Unfortunately we are only able to offer legal aid for medical negligence claims involving serious neurological birth injuries.

However, if you fund your claim using a No Win No Fee agreement there are no up-front costs or unexpected fees, but you may have to pay some legal costs from your compensation once your claim has settled. Alternatively, many household insurance policies include legal expenses, so it’s always worth checking yours to see if you’re covered.

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To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

This data will only be used by Irwin Mitchell for processing your query and for no other purpose.

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