COMPENSATION GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL INJURY
Every year around 4 million people will suffer from a personal injury that wasn’t their fault. However, only 1 in 4 will make a claim for compensation. This is often because they are unsure if they are entitled to compensation or because they are wary of complicated, confusing and lengthy court proceedings. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury can be a physical or psychological injury, disease or illness. A personal injury could result in death.
Examples of personal injuries are
- Injuries at work or work-related illnesses, such as disease caused by working around asbestos.
- An injury caused in a traffic accident
- An injury caused by faulty goods
- An injury caused by the negligence of other such as Dental Negligence
- An injury caused by a trip or fall
What can I claim for?
If you have suffered a personal injury you are entitled to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as a consequence of the injury and for all the losses you may have suffered as a result of the injury (use our compensation calculator). These can include:
- Loss of earnings
- Any insurance excess you might have had to pay
- Damage to your clothing and property
- Rehabilitation and the cost of ongoing care
- Home adaptations required
- Any future losses, for example, inability to work or loss of promotion prospects.
The compensation you receive will usually be split into two categories, special damages and general damages. Special damages are those which are easily quantifiable. Examples of special damages could be medical expenses or taxi fares. It’s a good idea to keep a record of any expenses (including receipts) that you incur as a result of the personal injury so that your solicitor can claim them back on your behalf though there are no guarantees that these will be paid by your opponent General damages tend to be more difficult as they are ‘assessed.’ A monetary value must be placed on the pain and suffering you have endured, your possible future losses and the effect the injury might have on your lifestyle, along with many other factors.
Lawyers and judges will seek a medical report to allow them to value your claim. Your case will be compared to similar past cases and use the level of damages awarded as guidance for your claim. The Judicial College which provides training and instruction for all judges in England and Wales also periodically issues guidelines for the assessment of general damages in personal injury cases. These figures are used in our trusted claims calculator.
If a court feels that you are partly responsible for a personal injury they may reduce the general damages you receive. For example, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt in a road traffic injury or if you didn’t follow the correct safety procedures in your workplace.
Can I make a claim?
To make a personal injury claim you must either be at least 18 years old or have a family member or friend who is aged over 18 and prepared to speak on your behalf as your ‘litigation friend.’
When should I claim?
If you feel that you are entitled to compensation for your personal injury you should be aware that there are time limits on taking legal action. The time limits differ which is why we would advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you hope to claim compensation. The most common claim in personal injury cases is negligence. The time limit for negligence claims is three years. This means that court proceedings must be issued within three years of your first being aware that you have suffered an injury. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this limit may be extended for instance, for cases involving a minor.
How long will my claim take?
Every claim is unique so the time it takes will vary according to the individual circumstances. Whether the third party admit or deny responsibility for the personal injury will also affect how long the claim takes.
How much will it cost?
An insurance policy might cover your legal fees for instance, many house, car and travel insurance policies have legal expenses cover attached. A more common and much more accessible option is using a conditional fee agreement, also known as ‘no win, no fee.’ This means that if you lose your case your solicitors will receive no fees. However, you might have to pay the legal fees of the other side and any expenses incurred by your solicitors (disbursements). Your solicitor may ask you to take out insurance to cover this outcome. If you are successful in winning your case, the other side will pay part of your solicitor’s expenses and fees and you will most likely be asked to contribute a pre-arranged percentage of your compensation to cover the remaining fees. At Smith Jones specialist personal injury solicitors, we operate on a no win, no fee basis in the majority of cases.
I want to make a claim, what should I do?
If you feel you are entitled to compensation for a personal injury contact Smith Jones personal claim solicitors today. With over 30 years’ legal experience, our personal injury solicitors team are here to help you. Our lawyers are all specialists in personal injury litigation and we are supported by a national network of medical experts and accident investigators, this allows us to provide an outstanding service throughout England and Wales. Every year we deal with a huge variety of injury claims for thousands of people. We understand that every case is unique and one approach doesn’t fit all that’s why we tailor our approach to suit you. Personal injury cases can often be of a sensitive nature so we deal with every claim with the utmost professionalism and compassion.
Call our Accident Helpline for free on 0800 195 95 90 to see if our personal injury claim solicitors here at www.smithjonessolicitors.co.uk can act on your behalf.