Suffering an injury can have a significant impact on your life and the lives of those around you. If this happens, and it was the fault of somebody else, it is only right that you are able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused, and to help you return, as near as is possible, to your situation prior to the incident.
But, how do we define personal injury? And what is needed in order for a personal injury claim to be made? How much might you expect to receive from such a claim? These are all questions we will attempt to answer here.
What is a personal injury?
Personal injury can come in many forms, and can be either a:
- Physical injury, disease or illness
- Psychological injury or illness
There are many different types of personal injury, and among the more common are:
- Accidents at work
- Road traffic accidents
- Slip and trip accidents
- Head injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Burns accidents
Personal injury also encompasses other forms of injury, however, that may not be quite as immediately apparent, or are considered more ‘specialist’. These include:
- Industrial disease – this can include, for example, asbestos and mesothelioma claims, or industrial deafness claims
- Group incidents – these can include, for example, transport crashes or outbreaks of food poisoning
What do you need to start a personal injury claim?
It is important you gather as much evidence and information as possible about both the incident and the injury you have suffered. This can include:
- Photographs of the scene
- A written account of what happened
- Taking note of the names and addresses of any witnesses
Our experts can of course assist with the above information gathering.
How will your personal injury claim likely progress?
When you make a claim, the process varies depending on what type of accident it is. For straight forward road traffic accidents, accidents at work or trip/slip claims, the claim will initially be dealt with under an electronic portal system that the Ministry of Justice implemented for all these types of claims in 2013.
For these types of claims the process can take between three to nine months. This process involves sending an online claim notification form to the defendant’s insurer, who then has a set number of days to respond on liability, depending on what type of case it is.
You will then be examined by an independent doctor and details of your losses, which could include earnings loss, travel costs, care costs, vehicle and/or clothing damage and medication costs, will be taken.
An offer to the defendant’s insurer to settle the claim will then be made, and they will come back with a counter offer. The negotiation period lasts for up to 35 business days and nine out of ten cases settle in this negotiation period. However, if an amount cannot be agreed within the negotiation period, the case will go to an informal court hearing, where a judge will read the evidence and make a ruling on an appropriate award.
For more complicated claims, where liability is likely to be in dispute or your injuries likely to remain serious for some time, the claim is instigated by a detail letter of claim to the defendant insurer.
- You will be referred to a relevant medical specialist for an expert opinion. This will usually be a consultant of a specific discipline, such as an orthopaedic consultant, who may then refer you on for further opinion to experts such as a psychologist or orthotist
- The defendant will reply to the letter of claim, stating whether they accept or deny liability
- Should they accept, your solicitor will attempt to settle out of court once the medical evidence has been finalised and all losses fully documented. Most cases are usually settled out of court through negotiation
- Should the defendant deny liability, extensive evidence gathering will begin and you will be advised on whether or not court action is required
How much can I expect to claim for my personal injury?
All compensation amounts will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. However, personal injury claims have been known to range from thousands to millions of pounds. See our case studies section for some examples of recent settlements.
We are confident that we are the right firm to get you the best award possible. We are an Association of Personal Injuries (APIL) Accredited Practice. There are now only 171 firms nationally recognised (out of many thousands of firms) by the country’s leading organisation in bringing claims for injured persons.
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about how our tailored services can best suit your needs, do not hesitate to get in touch. Although based in Greater Manchester, we can provide high-quality legal assistance to those who need it around the UK. Call us today on 0161 928 3848, or fill in the online contact form.