Serious Injury Claims
Serious injuries that result in lifelong medical problems or permanent disability can cause significant disruption to the lives of the injured person and their family. Specialist care and support may become necessary, and you may have to rethink your employment, living arrangements, personal care and daily activities. For some people, serious injury will put an end to their working lives.
Our serious injury claims lawyers offer dedicated and compassionate support to those who have been seriously injured by the negligence of others. Compensation can ease the financial burden and help you to live the fullest possible life after serious injury.
What are serious injury claims?
Serious injuries are life-changing injuries that have a catastrophic effect on the injured person’s quality of life. Examples include brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, severe burns and blindness.
Anyone who sustains a serious injury will be facing a less-independent future in which they will require expert care and support. On a practical level, they may have to change jobs or give up work altogether which can place a strain on their finances. Specialist equipment such as wheelchairs, prosthetics or visual aids may be needed, and modifications may need to be made to the family home. Some injured persons will require 24-hour ongoing support.
No amount of compensation can reverse the impact of a serious injury but it can cover the cost of rehabilitation. Our panel of serious injury claims solicitors are on hand to ensure that you get all the care and support you need.
Common causes of serious injury claims
Any type of accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injury and give rise to a compensation claim. Here are the types of serious injury claims that our solicitors frequently deal with:
- Brain injury claims
- Spinal cord injuries, including partial paralysis, paraplegia and tetraplegia
- Loss of eyesight claims
- Amputation compensation
- Chronic pain disorders such as post-traumatic fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome
- Burns claims
- Poisoning claims
- Fatal accident claims
- Road traffic accidents
- Accidents at work
- Holiday accidents
- Assault and criminal injury claims
This list is not exhaustive. Any accident that has a profoundly negative impact on your quality of life might open up the possibility of compensation.
What is meant by negligence and causation in serious injury claims?
“Negligence” and “causation” are the two legal tests that you must satisfy in order to establish a cause of action in serious injury claims.
To show negligence, your solicitor must demonstrate that someone owed you a duty of care, and that they breached that duty of care. For example, you may be able to prove that another driver was using their mobile phone while driving, and that their lack of due attention caused the car crash in which you were seriously injured.
To show causation, you must demonstrate that the injuries you sustained were caused by the accident. In serious injury claims, proving a causal link is usually straightforward since the severity of the injury leaves little room for doubt.
Can someone claim if they are partly responsible for the accident?
Occasionally, the issue of liability is not clear cut. The Defendant may refuse to take the blame wholly for an accident if they can show that you did something, or failed to do something, that contributed to the seriousness of your injuries. This scenario can arise in road traffic accident cases, for example, where a motorcyclist does not wear a helmet and suffers head injuries that are more serious than they might have been had the proper headgear been worn.
It is still possible to make a serious injury claim in this situation. However, compensation may be reduced on the basis that you could have done more to reduce the extent of your injury.
What is the likelihood of a serious injury claim being successful?
Serious injury claims have a good chance of success if the other side admits fault. Admitting liability is quite common in serious injury claims – you will be pleased to hear that most claims do not end up in Court. However, even if the Defendant admits liability, they may still fight hard on the issue of damages.
If the other person denies liability or argues that you were partly to blame for your injuries, you may have a lower chance of success. It really depends on the evidence that is available to prove your claim.
How do I choose a serious injury claims solicitor?
Pursuing a serious injury claim can be a difficult, lengthy and stressful process and it may be many months before your legal case is ready to put to the other side. You are going to be speaking with your solicitor frequently, so it is especially important to hire someone who is approachable, trustworthy and supportive. The solicitor you choose should:
- Be experienced in serious injury claims
- Have access to the right medical experts and specialist serious injury claims barristers
- Provide an initial consultation without charge
- Visit you in your own home or in hospital if needed
- Appoint a case manager to coordinate a personalised care regime
- Obtain interim payments to pay for your care and assistance.
At The Compensation Experts, our ethos centres on ensuring that our clients and their families feel safe, comfortable, supported and well looked after. We work hard to negotiate the best compensation settlement so you can live the best and most comfortable life possible.
What is the compensation in serious injury claims?
There are two types of compensation in serious injury claims, which are known as “damages.”
General damages compensate you for pain and suffering caused by the accident and for the impact of the injury on your day-to-day life. The value of general damages is assessed by reference to a tariff known as the Judicial College Guidelines.
Special damages cover the out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the accident such as lost earnings, medical bills, travel expenses and personal care costs. It is important that you keep evidence of these expenses such as receipts, tickets and invoices as this will help to ensure that you recover all of your expenditure.
Special damages can also cover any future financial losses such as the loss of future wages if your injuries are such that you are unable to return to work. Part of your solicitor’s role is to investigate any future losses that may be associated with your injuries so that you can be compensated for them.
How do you put a value on serious injury claims?
The “value” of your claim is how much compensation you are likely to receive if the claim were to go to Court. Damages are largely assessed on the basis of medical evidence about your current and future symptoms as well as any ongoing needs arising from your injuries.
Throughout your claim, various experts may need to examine you and give evidence about your injuries. These include:
- Medical experts such as neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopaedic consultants, psychiatrists and psychologists to assess the physical and psychological impact of your injuries
- Physiotherapist to assess the impact of your injury on day-to-day function and to provide advice with regard to physical rehabilitation needs
- Occupational therapist to assess your current and future needs in relation to mobility and care aids to assist with daily living
- Health visitor/ social care worker to assess your personal care needs (washing, dressing and feeding assistance) in the immediate and long term
- Home consultant to assess whether your home needs any alterations such as wheelchair ramps, shower rails, stair lifts or personal alarm systems
- Employment consultant to consider your future employment and retraining options.
Serious injury claims are different to other types of personal injury claims because the injuries you have sustained are more serious and long lasting. Your medical needs may be complex, and it may be some time before the future prognosis become clear.
We will not advise you to settle your claim until the experts have concluded their assessment and are certain what your future care needs will be.
How long do serious injury claims take?
The answer to this question is not definitive since it depends on the length of your recovery and your prognosis. No competent solicitor will settle your claim until the full extent of your injuries is known; otherwise, you may end up settling your claim for less money than it is worth.
While your claim is ongoing, we may be able to apply for interim payments from the other side, assuming they have admitted liability. These payments will be advanced to you from your compensation, and will be deducted from your final award.
Will compensation affect my benefits?
Receiving personal injury compensation means that you may lose your entitlement to means-tested benefits or local authority care, even after the damages money is spent. This can cause problems if your injuries are such that you may have to think about long-term nursing or residential care.
If you receive an offer of compensation, it may be possible to protect your damages with a trust arrangement whilst still allowing you access state benefits. A trust essentially ring-fences your compensation in a separate bank account so that it falls outside the means-testing process.
A trust is not appropriate in every case, but it can help some Claimants manage the long-term security of their damages. We will consider whether a trust is a cost-effective and suitable option at the outset of your claim.
Are there any time limits for making serious injury claims?
Court proceedings for serious injury claims must be issued within three years of the accident or the date on which you became aware that you had suffered a serious injury as a result of the accident, if this is later.
For children, the three-year period does not start to run until the child’s 18th birthday.
Can serious injury claims be made on behalf of someone else?
If the injured person is too seriously injured to bring their own claim, perhaps due to brain injury, then a claim may be made on their behalf. Such Claimants are known as “protected parties.”
The person who makes a claim on behalf of a protected party is called a “litigation friend.” The litigation friend will be responsible for conducting the claim and negotiating the compensation settlement in the best interests of the protected party. In cases of incapacity, the three-year window for making a claim does not start to run until the injured person recovers the ability to conduct litigation for themselves.
As an additional safeguard, any settlement agreed on behalf of a protected party must be approved by the Court of Protection. If you are thinking about making a claim on behalf of someone else, it is important that you choose a solicitor who regularly works on behalf of protected parties and their families, and who understands the issues involved.
How much do serious injury claims cost?
There are several funding options available for pursuing a serious injury claim. Which one you choose largely will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
- Legal expenses insurance may be provided as part of car or home insurance policy. It is sensible to check if you have this type of cover as it may pay for some or all of your legal expenses.
- Legal aid is no longer available for personal injury claims but funding may be available for catastrophic birth injuries affecting children.
- Conditional Fee Agreement or No Win, No Fee is an agreement that your solicitor will not charge you if you do not win your case. In return, you agree to pay a success fee from your compensation if you do win the case. Most of the serious injuries claims we handle are funded through No Win, No Fee.
- Trade unions sometimes fund work-related serious injury claims.
We can provide more details of these options when you contact us about your claim.
Starting a serious injury claim
The Compensation Experts have years of experience making serious injury claims on behalf of clients and their families across the country. Our specialist panel of No Win, No Fee solicitors are dedicated to delivering the highest level of service and securing the maximum compensation on your behalf.
Simply call for a no-obligation chat about making a claim or fill out our contact form and we will call you back about your claim.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: extent of your injuries, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be keep up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee*
We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be. This service is 100% free.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information provide, which aids us determine its likely success rate.
Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our personal injury solicitors are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
Each client is provided with their own Personal Injury solicitor who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of the solicitor.
Expert solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case you don’t pay! Once you make contact, our experienced team will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.