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Personal Injury Claims FAQ

If you have been injured or become ill through no fault of your own, then you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Below are the most commonly asked questions about personal injury law.

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Personal Injury 'Claim Studies' & Testimonials

Below we have further expanded on the different injury types from cases we’ve handled at Smith Jones Solicitors. Click here if you would like to read more. Furthermore, if you have any further questions at all, we have a handy personal injury FAQ below – or you’re more than welcome to give our friendly and experienced team a call on 0800 195 95 90

Incident at a Theme Park

Serious Traffic Accident

Personal Injury Claims - FAQ's

What Does Personal Injury Compensation Pay For?

Each case is treated individually, so there isn’t a way to give a set or expected financial sum. We can’t compare one case to another as it is difficult to consider all the unique factors that separate the two. The compensation that you receive takes into account how serious your injury/illness is and the effects that it has had on your life and ability to work long term. There are also several other factors which can impact the compensation amount that you receive, a few of which are listed below:


  • Your pain and suffering. This covers the trauma and/or stress that was caused by your accident or illness.
  • This Includes travelling costs, medical equipment or treatments, as well as any items which help you with general day-to-day life.
  • Loss of earnings. Any time that may have had off work or time which you may still need. This includes outcomes such as never be able to return to work.
  • Medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Adaptation Costs. Any requirements or changes to your home/car.

Personal Injury Compensation – How Much?

The final compensation you are awarded is different in every case. The outcome will never be the same for any two people, so the final compensation amount that is awarded will be different and tailored to your specific needs. It is hard to give an exact timeframe between starting legal proceedings and settlement. How long it takes depends on so many factors, including:

  • How severe your illness or injury is
  • If the defendant has accepted responsibility for your injury
  • How complex your injury is
  • How long it takes to gather all the evidence
  • The response from your opponents


When working out your compensation, we will need to get a thorough understanding of the long-term effects that your injury will have on your life. This is important as to properly calculate your settlement. It can be the case that if we settle too early you may receive less compensation than you are entitled to. Read More

Compensation Claim Amounts

When it comes to compensation claim amounts, there is no “one size fits all” approach. The amount of compensation an individual can claim for personal injury, therefore, depends on a number of factors, including the ability of the individual to continue working, the length of time it takes for them to recover, and the reaction of the opposing side of the claim.


In addition to this, the claims process should also take into account any extra costs which may occur as a result of long-term discomfort. For example, a compensation pay-out for severe back injury may cover not only the cost of surgery but also the treatment for any further physical distress. Potential psychological distress is also a factor which must be considered throughout the personal injury claims process. In cases where the claimant has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), shock, or depression as a result of the injury, they may be entitled to an extra pay-out in compensation known as ‘special damages’. Read More

Compensation Guidelines For Personal Injury 

The compensation you receive will usually be split into two categories, special damages and general damages. General damages are those which are easily quantifiable. Examples of general 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,  although there are no guarantees that these will be paid by your opponent. Special 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. Read More

What Is The Personal Injury Claim Process?


Initial Call

We’ll discuss the details of your case and the best way to take it forward. This initial consultation is free and confidential. There is no obligation attached to this so feel free to ask us all the questions you may have. It is ultimately up to you if you wish to proceed. If we feel that the case is not worth pursuing or if you run a significant chance of losing we will make sure you are aware at this point.


Determining Responsibility

We’ll then work out who is responsible for your injuries or illness. If this isn’t obvious we have an experienced team of investigators to look into it in more detail.  Once we have determined where the responsibility lies, we’ll contact them (often their insurers) to see if they accept responsibility and to understand their take on the events. Remember we are here working on your behalf to put forward your version of events.


Understanding Your Needs

We’ll look at the exact nature of your injury and the impact it has had on various aspects of your life, including any financial, psychological and physical implications. We obtain reports from independent medical experts where required to help support your case and further understand your needs. From this, we’ll have a better indication of the amount of compensation we think you’ll be entitled to recover.



With serious injury claims, we’ll look to recover interim payments wherever possible. These are payments that are received before final settlement (and taken from the total at the end) to cover any immediate needs you have. We also have a specialist team to help you access any required support to assist with your recovery. Naturally waiting until a case is concluded is not an option for many people who need help immediately.


Final Compensation Settlement

The majority of personal injury claims we deal with settle out of court. This is often the preferred course for claimants and is the sensible route, especially if it’s clear where the responsibility lies. However, in some cases, the responsible party doesn’t accept liability or they don’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need. In these circumstances, we’ll start court proceedings. If this turns out to be the case then we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel comfortable at all times.


Once your case has been settled, your opponent will have to pay some of our basic legal costs. If this doesn’t cover the complete costs of them, we may deduct it from the final compensation amount awarded to you. This amount is capped at a pre-arranged percentage, meaning there won’t be any surprises and you’ll always keep the vast majority of your compensation payout. We’ll further explain this all well before you instruct us. Further details can be found in your agreement with us, which you’ll receive and sign at the start.


In recent years, in order to help with your legal costs, the government has introduced a 10% increase in the compensation amount awarded to you for the ‘pain and suffering’ aspect of your compensation. This was done to encourage people who may not have brought a claim forward to seek the help they may need.


Unfortunately, at the same time, the government also reduced the total costs that lawyers could recover from the defendant. This means that some of the legal costs are taken from the final compensation amount awarded in order to cover the shortfall in legal fees accrued in the pursuit of compensation. If this is successful, unfortunately not all expenses are paid by your opponent. This includes:

  • The insurance premium on your policy that protects you fully against any risk of legal costs.
  • Any basic legal costs which can’t be recovered from the opposing side.


We cannot guarantee that every case we take on is going to be successful. We have a proud history and reputation and will always do our utmost to ensure that your case has a high chance of success. However, if we think it may not go through, we will inform you at the earliest indication. If we lose the case for whichever reason, you are protected from any financial risk through your CFA¹³.

How Will My Claim for Compensation Be Managed?

After contacting our friendly team, initially, we’ll talk to you about your accident, illness or injury. We’ll assess the merits of your potential claim and determine whether it’s something we can help you move forward with. Any and all advice that’s given to you at this stage is completely free, confidential and you are under no obligation to use our services after speaking with us. Any conversation you have with our team is strictly private and all details that you provide to us will remain confidential.


Contacting the Responsible Party

Once you choose to pursue a personal injury claim with our help, we will contact those responsible for your accident or illness (most often the insurers of those responsible) and ask them if they’re aware of your damages and if they accept responsibility. If they accept full responsibility, we’ll help you get the right treatments and rehabilitation, as well as start negotiating your compensation. If they don’t accept responsibility, then we’ll discuss with you the best ways to proceed.


Putting Together Your Case

We will examine your case in a detailed manner and will gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Witness statements and professional opinions from independent medical professionals may also be used. This will allow us to determine the precise circumstances which caused your illness or injury, how it has affected your life, as well helps us arrange any care or support that you may need to aid in your rehabilitation and recovery.


Final Settlement and Compensation Awarded

We will always do our best to settle your claim before it goes to court. In an ideal scenario, the responsible party accepts fault for your injury or illness and agrees to pay you compensation. In the event that they do not accept responsibility, then your case may go to court to establish liability. In scenarios where the defendant doesn’t accept liability, your case may still settle before it goes to court.


A majority of personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. If those responsible do accept liability, our team will try to reach the best possible outcome which takes into account your physical and emotional suffering as well as any expenses you have incurred due to your injury and any financial loss.


If we’re unable to obtain a suitable compensation, or if liability isn’t accepted, then we’ll commence court proceedings.


What Happens If My Case Goes To Court?

Before your trial begins, it’s our job to give the court all of the documents that are relevant to your case. These are documents such as independent medical reports and statements by witnesses etc. You should let us know of anything that you feel may be useful and if you receive any new documentation during the process. This is to ensure everything is up to date and your claim progresses properly.


Before sending final drafts of documents to the courts, we always ask the clients we represent to confirm all details are correct. We’ll always ensure that you fully understand the process and are happy with the progress of the case.


The court will often try to set the trial on a day that is suitable for all involved, considering matters such as your health, obligations, work commitments and other aspects of the case. If the case goes go to trial, we will be there to advise and support you at every stage.


Compensation settlements before trial

If the case goes to trial and a date is set, it still may not make it to a courtroom. A lot of cases are settled before the trial begins, even when the other party hasn’t accepted responsibility. If this seems like it will happen, we will make sure that any offers are acceptable to you and appropriate in the circumstances.

Can You Help Me If I Have Started A Claim Already?

If you already have an ongoing claim with another legal practice and are unsatisfied with their service, you may be able to transfer it to us depending on which stage it has reached and your agreement that you have in place with them. If this is the case, our team is able to advise you further on the transfer process.


If you decide to choose Smith Jones to represent you, as No Win No Fee Solicitors, most of the personal injury cases that we take on are funded on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This agreement is also known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’ or ‘CFA’. This way of funding a case allows our clients to start their case without having to pay legal fees until they receive their compensation. This method also protects the client from any financial risk in the event that their claim is unsuccessful.


When you start your pursuit for compensation, be assured that we‘re in this together. Part of our commitment ensures:

  • There’s no financial risk for pursuing the claim and you won’t be out of pocket as a result of you bringing it forward. Only once the case is successfully completed will we look for our expenses.
  • There’ll never be any surprise fees, and when your claim is successful you’ll keep the vast majority of damages awarded. *
  • You’ll receive a high level of skill, legal expertise and advice when pursuing your case: with nearly 30 years of legal experience, we have a proud history of winning very difficult cases, a lot of which were previously turned down by other law firms.


*Full terms & conditions will be in your CFA.