Personal Injury Claims: A Comprehensive Guide

Thinking about making a personal injury claim? We answer our most frequently asked questions about recovering compensation.

What is a personal injury?

A personal injury is any physical or emotional damage you suffer as a result of an accident that should have been prevented by someone else.

Which personal injuries can I claim for?

You can make a personal injury claim for most types of injuries.

At The Law Superstore, we can help you to find quotes for common personal injury claims, including:
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Accidents in a public place
  • Medical negligence
  • Industrial disease

When can I make a personal injury claim?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have three years from the time of the accident to make a personal injury claim.

How do I prove my personal injury claim?

Proving a personal injury claim comes down to two things: that your injuries were caused by a particular accident, and that the accident was caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence.

Your case is more likely to be successful if you have lots of evidence to support your claim. Evidence that can help you prove your personal injury claim includes:
  • Photographs and video footage of the scene of the accident
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Statements from people who witnessed the accident
  • Your medical records

Will I have to go to court?

Not necessarily. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court through negotiations with the party at fault (the defendant). It’s only if you’re unable to reach an agreement with the defendant that your case might need to be settled in court by a judge.

Even if your case does end up in court, you probably won’t have to be there in person. Usually, your personal injury solicitor can represent you on your behalf.

There are only a small number of more complex claims where you may need to attend court yourself, such as:
  • Serious work injuries
  • Medical negligence
  • Injuries to the back, head, and spine
  • Injuries to children
  • Fatal accident claims
If you do need to attend court in person, your personal injury solicitor will help you to prepare and support you throughout.

How do I pay for my personal injury claim?

Personal injury claims are typically taken on by solicitors using a ‘no win no fee agreement’. This means you won’t have anything to pay upfront.

How do no win no fee personal injury claims work?

Most personal injury solicitors will agree to take your case on a no win no fee arrangement.

No win no fee is a type of contract that means you’ll have no legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor will pay themselves from the compensation you’re awarded. You’ll agree this percentage with them well in advance, and it will never be more than 25%.

Find out more in our guide, ‘No win no fee personal injury claims explained’.

What happens if I lose my personal injury case?

In case you lose your case in court, you’ll need to have legal expenses insurance to cover against paying the other side’s legal costs. Without this insurance, you could be faced with expensive legal fees if you lose.

Getting the right insurance policy for your situation can be complicated, so it’s recommended you speak to a personal injury solicitor before starting your claim.

Do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim?

You don’t need a solicitor to make a claim, but many people choose to get one since making a personal injury claim yourself can be stressful, confusing, and time consuming.

With the help of an experienced personal injury solicitor, you’re much more likely to get all the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.

You can find personal injury solicitors on The Law Superstore who can help you to get your claim started.

How much compensation can I claim?

The amount of compensation you can claim depends on a number of factors: the nature of your injuries, how they’ve affected your life, and how they might affect your life in the future.

Personal injury compensation is intended to be proportionate to the extent of your suffering. This means that you can expect to be awarded compensation that increases in line with how bad your injuries are.

Should I accept an offer out of court?

You should talk to a personal injury solicitor before accepting an offer out of court.

A solicitor can tell you whether the settlement you’re being offered is fair, and how much compensation you could expect to win if your case went to court. You can then decide whether you want to accept the offer or not.

Can I make a personal injury claim if I was at fault?

No. You can’t make a personal injury claim if you were entirely at fault.

However, you might have a claim if you were only partly to blame for the accident. This is common for road traffic accidents, for example, where the fault for the accident is shared by two drivers.

In personal injury claims where fault is shared, your compensation will be reduced in line with how much you were to blame.

For example: if you were 50% responsible for causing the accident, and were awarded £20,000 compensation, you would get £10,000.

How long will my personal injury claim take?

The time it takes settle a personal injury claim will be different for everyone.

The length of your case depends on: the circumstances of your accident, the severity of your injuries and how they’ve impacted your life, as well whether the other side admits, disputes or denies responsibility for causing the accident.

A good rule of thumb is that the more complex your case is, the longer it will take to be resolved.

Can I be fired for making an accident work claim against my current employer?

No, it’s illegal for your employer to fire you for claiming against them.

If you think your employer has fired you because you claimed against them, you should contact an employment solicitor

What are special damages?

Special damages make up part of the compensation you’ll be awarded if you win your personal injury claim. They reimburse you for any financial losses you suffer as a result of your injuries.

To successfully claim for special damages, you’ll need to provide evidence of all your financial losses.

Expenses you can claim for as part of special damages include:
  • Any medical care, treatment, travel, or accommodation costs
  • Any modifications you have made (or may need to make) to your home or car
  • Any rehabilitation programmes prescribed to you by a medical professional
  • Any other daily expenses caused by your injuries
Learn more about what damages you can claim for in our guide: How is personal injury compensation calculated?

Will my personal injury compensation be taxable?

No. Any personal injury compensation you’re awarded will be tax-free.