Compensation claims for your injuries
If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, our experienced team of personal injury solicitors can advise you on making an accident compensation claim.
We can help with accident claims for all types of injuries, including:
- Accidents at work or in public places
- Animal attacks
- Asbestos claims
- Child abuse
- Food poisoning
- Holiday claims
- Road traffic accidents
- Sports injuries
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a three-year time limit to make an accident claim. If a claim is not formally brought before the expiry of this limitation period, then it will become statute-barred, which means that you will be unable to pursue the claim any further. For further information regarding time limits for accident claims, please watch our video below.
Accident claims FAQs
Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions in relation to accident compensation claims.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury is a physical or psychological injury that you or a loved one has sustained through no fault of your/their own and which has been caused by someone else’s negligence.
You may be able to make a claim for compensation for the injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
What type of accidents can I make a personal injury claim for?
Personal injury claims can include but are not limited to:
- Accidents at work or in public places
- Animal attacks
- Asbestos claims
- Child abuse
- Food poisoning
- Holiday claims
- Road traffic accidents
- Sports injuries
The list above is not intended to be exhaustive so, if you think you have a personal injury claim, and you cannot see an example above, please contact us for advice.
What evidence do I need to make a personal injury claim?
The evidence required to bring a personal injury claim is dependent on the circumstances of your case and your injuries.
A claimant must be able to prove his case on the balance of probabilities and we can help you to do that.
Firstly, you will need to be able to prove that another person is responsible for causing your injuries. Examples of such evidence include photographs of the accident location and your injuries, written reports of the accident from the Police and witness statements.
Secondly, you need to be able to prove the extent of the losses and injuries you have sustained as a result of the accident and that those injuries were caused by the negligence of the other person. We will obtain medical evidence on your behalf and you will need to be able to produce documentation which references your loss of earnings and receipts for medical treatment and other losses.
What does the 'balance of probabilities' mean?
The balance of probability standard means that a Court is satisfied an event occurred. If the Court considers that, on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not, i.e. the balance tips in a claimant’s favour.
What is causation in a personal injury claim?
Causation in a claim is the process of proving that the guilty party caused and was responsible for your injuries. It must be proved that the defendant caused the injury and/or loss, and the injuries were not remote or unforeseeable. If either of these elements are not proved then it is likely that the claim will fail.
What can I claim for?
The compensation you receive in a personal injury claim aims to put you back into the position you were in before the accident as far as that is possible.
It aims to compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured and also to reimburse you for the losses you have incurred such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Medication and treatment costs
- Travel expenses to include travel to/from medical appointments in relation to your injuries
- Rehabilitation costs – e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychological treatment, etc.
Can I claim even if the accident was partly my fault?
If you have a legal claim, you can still claim even if you were partly to blame. However, any compensation you receive is likely to be reduced to reflect your contribution to causing the accident and your injury.
Will I have to pay for an initial meeting to discuss my potential personal injury claim?
As part of the process of determining whether a personal injury claim is viable and how we can assist, it is very helpful for us to talk through the details with you. This can be done over the telephone, but it may well be preferable for a face-to-face meeting to take place.
There will be no charge for any initial discussions about your potential claim, unless there is an excessively large amount of documentation which we have to review in order to assess your claim. In such a case, we may have to charge you for the time involved in going through that documentation. We would, of course, discuss this with you first. Once we have established whether we are able to take on your case, we will consider the best funding option for you and put that in place as soon as possible to cover the future legal fees.
What if I receive an offer directly from the other side?
Injured people often receive offers directly from the other side or their insurers shortly after the accident. Such offers are often made before the true extent of a claimant’s injury is known.
Consequently, you run the risk of being under-compensated if you accept such an offer without advice from a specialist personal injury claims solicitor.
What happens when I make a claim?
Once we have obtained all of the relevant information from you, we will put together your claim and submit it to the defendant who will have a certain time limit for responding.
If the defendant admits liability, we will obtain medical evidence and draft a schedule of all of your losses and attempt to negotiate a settlement. If we are unable to negotiate an acceptable settlement, it may be necessary to issue Court proceedings in order to resolve the matter.
If the defendant denies liability, we will obtain the advice of a barrister on the strength of your claim. If the barrister believes that you have more than a 51% chance of succeeding in your claim, we will issue Court proceedings and gather together all of the evidence necessary to prove your case.
Once your case is issued, the Court will set out a timetable which we have to follow all the way to a trial, although it is possible to reach a settlement at any time up to the trial.
How much compensation will I get?
Personal injury compensation awards are calculated based on the severity and type of your injury, together with any other losses you have suffered as a result, including loss of earnings if you are unable to work.
The amount of compensation you will receive is based on national guidelines which set out damages for different injuries and cases similar to yours previously decided by the Courts.
To see how much your injury claim might be worth, visit our personal injury claims calculator.
How will I fund my personal injury claim?
This is a common concern when considering bringing a personal injury claim. There are various options which may be available to you to fund your personal injury claim, including:
No Win, No Fee Agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA))
This is a funding arrangement between you and your solicitor which enables you to cover the legal costs of bringing a personal injury claim.
The way that the agreement works is that if the case fails, you will not pay anything to your legal advisor for their costs and they will write-off their costs to date at the point that the case fails. An After-the-Event insurance policy will have been put in place to cover other expenses, such as Court fees, expert fees, records fees, etc.
If the case succeeds, you will then be required to pay your solicitors fees plus a success fee. If you have won your case, you will usually be entitled to recover your costs from the other side. However, the success fee is not recoverable from the other side and will be payable from any compensation awarded. The amount of success fee is set at a percentage of your solicitor’s base costs and the level of that percentage will be assessed on a case-by-case basis at the outset, depending on the risks and merits of the case.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance refers to any pre-existing insurance policy that you have prior to the injury, such as house or life insurance, that would cover your legal expenses in the event of a personal injury claim.
Visit our Legal Expenses Insurance FAQ page for further information.
This means that you pay your solicitor incrementally for the work they have done for you. If your claim is successful then your solicitor will recoup their costs from the other side and you will keep all of the compensation.
However, should you lose your claim you will most likely be liable for both your solicitor’s fees and those of the other party.
Are there any time restraints on making a personal injury claim?
As mentioned above, under the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a three year time limit to make a personal injury claim. If Court proceedings are not issued before the expiry of this limitation period, then it will become statute barred, which means that you will be unable to pursue the claim any further.
The limitation period for a personal injury claim will either start:
- From the date that the injury occurred; or
- From the date that you became aware of the injury.
There are certain exceptions to the time limits in personal injury claims. These exceptions are generally when a child is involved, an adult who lacks mental capacity or where the victim has sadly died.
How long will my personal injury case take?
The time it can take to conclude a personal injury claim varies depending on the type of claim (e.g. accident at work, road traffic accident, etc.), the severity of the injuries sustained and whether the other party admits fault.
The average personal injury claim can take between six and 12 twelve months to complete but can be much longer, depending on the circumstances.
Will I have to go to Court to settle my personal injury claim?
The majority of personal injury claims will not reach a final Court hearing. Cases usually reach a settlement out of Court or the evidence obtained shows that the claim is not viable and the matter is brought to a halt before a Court hearing.
However, there can be no absolute guarantees, as it is possible that a suitable resolution cannot be reached and the input of the Court is required to determine the case. In those circumstances, the likelihood is that you would have to attend Court and give evidence.
Will I need a medical examination if I make a personal injury claim?
As part of the claims process, it is important to prove that your injuries have been caused by the person at fault for the accident and to determine the impact of those injuries on your life. As a result, it is likely that a medical expert will need to see and examine you. The medical expert acts as an impartial assessor of the injuries that you have sustained and will provide a medical report.
If it appears that the injury or problems caused by the accident will be on-going, your legal advisers will need to properly investigate your current condition and your prognosis for the future, e.g. whether you will have continuing or further issues as a result of the accident.
Can I make a personal injury claim on behalf of a child or person without mental capacity?
Claims on behalf of a child
If you are the parent or guardian of a child, you can bring a personal injury claim on their behalf.
Anyone under the age of 18 is deemed in law to not have capacity to bring a claim in their own right. They will therefore need someone to act on their behalf in order to bring a personal injury claim. This person will act as their “Litigation Friend”.
If the claim is successful, any agreed settlement will also need to be formally approved by the Court at an Infant Approval Hearing. Provided the Court is content that the settlement represents a fair and reasonable settlement for the child, approval will be provided and the compensation monies for the child must then be paid into a Trust to be held for them until the age of 18.
The time limits for bringing a claim on behalf of a child are different. The general time limit of three years from the date of the incident or date of knowledge does not apply in the same way for a child and instead, the three years will begin to run on their 18th birthday and expire when they reach 21 years of age.
Claims on behalf of a person without mental capacity
If the patient is an adult, but is lacking the mental capacity to bring a claim in their own right, they will need someone to bring the claim on their behalf.
This person will also act as their “Litigation Friend”. Any settlement reached on behalf of a person lacking capacity will need to be approved by the Court.
The general time limit of three years from the date of the incident or date of knowledge does not apply whilst a person does not have capacity. If, during the course of the claim, the patient regains capacity, the three year limitation period will then start to run. However, if they do not regain capacity at all, then the limitation period does not start to run.
Can I make a personal injury for someone who has died?
When someone passes away, a personal injury claim can be brought on behalf of their estate. Who is entitled to bring that claim will depend on whether the deceased person left a Will.
If a person has left a Will, they will have appointed executors in the Will to act on behalf of their estate in the event of their death. Those who are named as an executor will therefore be entitled to bring a legal claim on behalf of the estate. The executors will need to obtain a Grant of Probate in the estate to give them formal legal standing to deal with the estate.
If there was no Will, then the rules of Intestacy will apply, meaning that the nearest relative (usually spouse, parents, siblings and/or children) will be entitled to apply for a formal legal document known as a Grant of Letters of Administration which will give them legal standing to act on behalf of the estate of the deceased.
At Nelsons, we have a specialist Wills, Trusts and Probate team who can assist you in obtaining the appropriate documents to enable a person to act on behalf of someone who has passed away.
A claim can also be made for compensation for the dependents of someone who has died, e.g the spouse or children of someone who has been killed in an accident and who were financially dependent on that person.
Will I have to attend meetings at your offices?
The majority of personal injury claims are dealt with via telephone/video conference calls, letter and email. However, a face-to-face meeting is sometimes preferable.
We have offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham and meetings can take place at whichever office is most convenient for you.
If you are unable to travel to our offices, home visits are possible.
Do you assist with inquests?
Yes. We have a team of experienced inquest specialists who can help.
Do I need legal representation at an inquest?
While you are able to attend an inquest without legal representation, a specialist inquest solicitor will ask questions of witnesses that family members need to have answered.
A solicitor will also be able to advise you on the information obtained at the inquest and whether there are grounds for bringing a claim for compensation.
We are experienced accident claims solicitors
Compensation claims for accidents and injuries can arise from many different circumstances, so our range of experience advising on different types of accidents is very important:
- Understanding how accidents happen, based on experience, makes it easier for us to prove your case or negotiate a settlement.
- We know the common defences insurers are likely to try to use to resist your claim and are experienced in overcoming them.
- We have a strong track record of winning cases and securing compensation on behalf of people injured by accidents throughout the UK.
- We have specialist knowledge of injuries and have helped many victims with brain damage, spinal injuries, amputations and other serious injuries.
How our accident claims solicitors can help
Our leading team of accident claim solicitors have extensive experience of different types of injuries and accident claims and can provide advice and support throughout.
- No win, no fee services
- Help with rehabilitation for your injuries
- A friendly team of experts
Our team is recommended by the independently-researched publications, The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, as one of the top teams of specialists in the country. Additionally, the team has been shortlisted as finalists for the second year running for Claimant Team of the Year in the national Personal Injury Awards.
We are also members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel – a specialist qualification held by experienced personal injury solicitors – and work with a number of local and nationwide charitable organisations, including Headway.
To find out if you have a claim or if you have any questions, please contact us to discuss how our accident claim solicitors in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham can help you. For a quick response to your enquiry, call us now or use our online chat.
"...The team is knowledgeable about a broad range of severe and catastrophic injuries on both the personal injury and clinical negligence fronts, including spinal and orthopaedic injuries. Multi-party actions and inquest-related litigation are also areas where the group demonstrates a proven track record..."Legal 500
“Excellent personal injury group with broad-ranging expertise encompassing industrial disease, public liability and RTA claims. Frequently handles cases involving severe injuries. Also experienced in employers' liability mandates.”Chambers & Partners
"Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an experienced personal injury team that specialises in handling severe and catastrophic injury cases. The firm features on all appropriate and approved personal injury panels, including Headway...”Legal 500
"I am really happy with the level of service I received. Thank you so much."Client Feedback