Accidents that lead to long-lasting or life-changing injuries can have a massive impact on you and your loved ones. Serious injuries that require ongoing treatment, long hospital stays or stop you from working can be both time-consuming and costly. If the accident you were injured in was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may wish to claim compensation for your suffering. This article about serious injury claims will explain how the claims process works and the types of scenarios that could allow you to take action.
We believe it’s easier to take on a serious injury claim with specialist support. For that reason, we offer a free initial consultation so that you can discuss your options. There’s no obligation to claim with a personal injury solicitor from our panel but if your claim is strong enough, one might offer to represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis. As a result, you won’t be asked to pay any legal fees unless compensation is paid.
For more on serious injury compensation claims, please read on. Alternatively, call 0800 652 1345 to discuss your claim with us today.
What is a serious injury?
Catastrophic injuries or serious injuries are those that are life-changing or cause long-lasting problems for the injured party or their families. In terms of claiming compensation, serious injury claims can be some of the most complex cases to deal with. We would certainly suggest that you seek legal advice before claiming for serious injuries and take on a specialist solicitor to guide you through the claims process.
Can I claim compensation for a serious injury?
Our panel of solicitors has decades of experience in handling personal injury claims. If you ask a personal injury solicitor to help you to claim compensation for a serious injury, they’ll first want to check whether:
- The defendant in your case owed you a duty of care; and
- The defendant acted negligently in some way; and
- You suffered serious or complex injuries as a consequence of that negligence.
The first thing your solicitor will need to do is to reach an agreement with the defendant over liability for the accident. Then they’ll need to prove the extent of your injuries – this can take a while with more serious injuries as your prognosis might not be immediately obvious.
Serious injury claims are some of the most complex cases taken on by a personal injury solicitor. It’s not just a matter of asking for a lump sum of money to be paid to settle the claim. Instead, your solicitor will need to look at your immediate needs (care, rehabilitation, transport, mobility aids etc) as well as what compensation you’ll need to help you in the future.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence and you believe that compensation should be paid, please call our team today.
Types of serious injuries you could claim compensation for
Examples of the types of injuries that could result in serious injury compensation claims include:
- Loss of hearing or sight.
- Severe burns.
- Multiple or complex injuries.
- Serious childbirth injuries.
This is not an exhaustive list but gives some idea of the types of injuries that our specialist solicitors deal with. If you work with one of our specialist solicitors, they’ll work hard to secure compensation to cover your care needs, treatment and rehabilitation.
Types of accidents that can lead to a serious injury claim
In theory, any type of accident could result in serious injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Road traffic accident claims including high-speed collisions, accidents involving HGVs and cyclists and motorcycling accidents.
- Accidents involving pedestrians hit by a vehicle while walking or crossing the road can result in serious injuries to adults and children alike.
- Accidents at work such as being crushed by falling items in a warehouse, falling from height or having an arm amputated by a faulty piece of machinery.
- Electrocutions caused by faulty wiring or damaged electrical products.
- Criminal assaults including acid attacks, stabbings and shootings. These incidents are handled as criminal injury claims rather than personal injury claims.
- Avoidable childbirth injuries where a doctor or midwife failed to spot the baby was in distress or not receiving enough oxygen.
- Trips, slips and falls caused by hazards such as wet floors, cracked pavements or torn vinyl flooring. These are more likely to result in serious injury claims if an elderly or vulnerable person is involved.
Again, these scenarios are just some examples of the types of accidents that our solicitors could help you claim for. If you or a loved one has suffered life-changing or complex injuries requiring extensive treatment, please call our team today to see if we could help you to start a serious injury compensation claim.
How much compensation do you get for a serious injury?
Serious injuries can be extremely complex so you must think carefully about all of the ways in which your life has been affected. Firstly, you could claim damages for the pain and suffering your injuries have caused (general damages). Secondly, your claim for serious injuries could also recoup any financial losses caused by the injuries.
In essence, each case is unique but serious injury compensation could consist of elements covering:
- Physical pain, suffering and discomfort.
- Any psychological injuries including depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or anxiety.
- The expense of modifying your home or vehicle to simplify coping with any permanent disability.
- The cost of a fulltime carer.
- Rehabilitation costs including surgery or regular physiotherapy.
- Travel-related expenses.
- Lost income for you or a loved one who has stopped working to support you.
- Mobility aids including wheelchairs.
The value of any serious injury claim will be based largely on the severity and impact of your injuries. As such, a claimant with life-changing injuries such as a spinal cord injury resulting in tetraplegia should be paid more than someone with an amputated hand, for example.
Can I make a serious injury claim on behalf of someone else?
In many cases, someone who has suffered serious injuries may not be in a position to claim compensation themselves. As such, the litigation friend process exists to facilitate your ability to claim compensation on behalf of your child or a loved one who lacks the mental capacity to take legal action.
Our solicitors can help with the application process and you can take control of the claim once you’ve been approved. As a litigation friend, you’ll instruct the solicitor with your loved one’s interests in mind. If compensation is secured, a court will manage the funds until the claimant turns 18 or until they regain their mental capacity. Until then, you can write to the court whenever funds are needed to support the claimant.
Providing proof for serious injury compensation claims
A vital part of claiming compensation for serious injuries is proving that the defendant was liable for the accident. After that, you’ll need to prove the injuries you sustained and how badly they have and will affect you in the future. As such, your solicitor will work tirelessly to find the proof needed to support your claim. This could include:
- Medical records. Your initial hospital records will be requested to prove the initial diagnosis of your injuries. After that, independent medical reports will be obtained to get a full understanding of your prognosis.
- Video footage. CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage is a good way of proving exactly how the accident occurred and who caused it.
- Photographic proof. If anyone took pictures at the scene of the accident, these could be a helpful way of presenting the cause of the accident.
- Witness statements. If there’s any argument over liability for your accident or the severity of your injuries, your solicitor might use statements from anyone else who witnessed what happened.
- Accident investigation reports. Some serious accidents need to be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the emergency services. These reports can help to understand the reason for the accident. Similarly, an accident report form could prove when and where your serious injuries were sustained.
- Financial information. There can be a significant financial impact on you or your family if you’ve suffered serious injuries. So, your solicitor might use wage slips, benefit statements, receipts and other financial records to help you claim back any out-of-pocket expenses.
The more proof that can be put forward to support a serious injury compensation claim, the better. If you’ve got any such information already, please let us know when you call us on 0800 652 1345.
Serious injury claim time limits
A 3-year time limit applies to serious injury claims. This typically starts from when the accident happened or from when you were aware of your injuries. However, some exceptions may apply when claiming for serious injuries such as:
- No time limit applies if the injured party lacks the mental capacity to deal with a personal injury claim. In these circumstances, the 3-year time limit will only begin if a doctor confirms that the claimant has regained their mental capacity.
- Claims for children don’t have an immediate time limit. As such, parents, guardians or responsible adults can claim on behalf of a child before their 18th A 3-year time limit will apply if no claim is made by then and the claimant has the mental capacity to take action for themselves.
Even if some time has passed since the accident, it’s worth calling to see how long you have left to lodge a serious injury claim. We’d suggest doing so as soon as possible to try and avoid missing out on any compensation you may be entitled to.
No Win, No Fee claims
Compensation claims for serious injuries can take a long time to be processed as it can take a while to get a full understanding of the extent of the injuries involved. For many, the thought of paying for legal representation in such a long case can be off-putting but if you work with a solicitor on our panel:
- You won’t have to pay advance legal fees at any point during the serious injury claims process.
- If the claim doesn’t work out in your favour, you won’t pay any legal fees at all.
- Your solicitor will only be paid if the claim is won. In this scenario, a percentage of any compensation awarded will be deducted as a success fee.
So that your solicitor can start working on your claim quickly, they’ll send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This contract will detail the level of success fee you’ll pay should you be compensated. Legally, it can’t be higher than 25 per cent of any settlement if a CFA is used to fund your solicitor’s work.
Once you’ve signed the CFA, your solicitor will begin working on your claim. They’ll start by collecting proof and medical reports to prove how you were injured and then contact the defendant to explain that you’re going to be claiming against them.
Your solicitor will continue working on a No Win, No Fee basis to try and ascertain how long you’re likely to suffer because of your injuries. As this can take some time, they may be able to secure interim payments to cover your care and medical expenses plus any financial hardship caused by lost earnings.
Again, you’ll only pay for your solicitor’s work if the claim is successful. Before any settlement offer is made, it’ll be discussed with you to review its fairness.
Start a serious injury compensation claim today
We hope this guide has helped you understand your options when it comes to serious injury compensation claims. If you call 0800 652 1345 today, we’ll provide free legal advice about starting a claim.
There’s no obligation to go any further after your initial consultation but we could appoint a personal injury lawyer from our panel to help if you do wish to proceed. They’ll operate on a No Win, No Fee basis so, no matter how long the process takes, you’ll only pay their legal fees if compensation is awarded.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions on serious injury claims, or claim your free consultation here.