If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in an accident that was not your fault, this guide should help. While the process of making a serious injury claim is similar to a personal injury claim, it may be more involved if your injuries are life-changing and prevent you from working for example. We’ll explain how the serious injury claims process works, how a claim is assessed, and how much compensation for a serious injury you might be entitled to.
Our specialist advisors can help you to understand your options during an initial consultation. Their free legal advice is provided on a no-obligation basis and they could introduce you to one of our personal injury solicitors if your claim is strong enough. Should your claim proceed, you’ll benefit from a No Win No Fee service. That means that you don’t need to pay solicitor’s fees unless you are awarded compensation.
To find out if you might be eligible to claim compensation for a serious injury, please call our free accident claims line on 0800 6524 881 today. Alternatively, to find out more before calling, please read on.
Table of contents
- What Are Serious Injuries?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Serious Injury Claim?
- Common Causes Of Serious Injuries
- How Much Compensation For A Serious Injury Could I Claim?
- Serious Injury Compensation Calculator
- Evidence To Support A Serious Injury Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Serious Injury Compensation
- Starting The Serious Injury Claims Process
Serious injuries (or catastrophic injuries) are those that have a long-term impact on the claimant such as chronic pain, psychiatric damage, physical disabilities etc. In a successful serious injury claim, the severity of any injury is assessed and compensated accordingly. Compensation for a serious injury might be possible where:
- The claimant needed surgery to resolve their injury and may have spent an extended time as an in-patient in a hospital.
- An injury will have permanent (or lasting) implications for the claimant which may reduce their ability to work or increase their reliance on others.
- An injury that ultimately leads to the claimant’s death.
Some examples of serious injuries include:
If you have been seriously injured following a no-fault accident and would like to claim compensation for your suffering, please contact our team today.
To determine whether you might be eligible to make a serious injury claim, please try to answer the following questions:
- Did the defendant in your claim owe you a duty of care?
- Did the defendant’s actions (or lack of action) cause an accident or incident (i.e. were they negligent)?
- Did you sustain serious injuries in that accident?
You might not realise it but there are many scenarios where you’ll be owed a legal duty of care. For example, you are likely to be owed a duty of care if your accident was caused by the negligence of a driver, medical professional, business, local council, charity or employer.
Don’t worry too much about proving a duty of care. Your solicitor will check this before they agree to proceed with your claim. However, you could help make the serious injury claims process easier by providing supporting evidence (if possible) to show how your accident happened. We’ll provide more information on this later on.
While it’s possible to sustain serious injuries in essentially any type of accident, some of the more common claims our personal injury solicitors deal with include:
- Serious road traffic accident claims (including those involving motorcyclists, pedestrians and pedal cyclists).
- Medical negligence (medical misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes etc).
- Falls from ladders at work.
- Birthing injuries.
- Severe burns.
- Asbestos exposure.
- Fatal accidents.
Even if your accident is not listed, why not call today if you’d like to check if you’re entitled to claim compensation for a serious injury?
As with any personal injury claim, a serious injury claim will need to consider how you’ve suffered and how you will suffer in the future (general damages) and how you’ve been affected financially (special damages). The types of compensation that could be awarded in serious injury claims include:
- Physical pain and suffering. This could cover pain suffered at the time of the accident as well as any ongoing pain or phantom pain.
- Loss of amenity. This is compensation to cover any negative impact your injuries have on your social life, family life and other usual activities (including your hobbies).
- Care costs. In serious injury claims, the claimant will often require support with their usual activities. Whether this involves a professional carer or a family member, the associated costs could be claimed back.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle. If such changes will make it easier for you to cope with your injuries, the cost could be included in your claim. For example, you could claim for the installation of handrails, ramps, lifts or hoists.
- Medical expenses. In some cases, physiotherapy or remedial medical treatment might be available privately and the cost could be included in your claim.
- Mental harm. As well as any physical injuries, you could claim for any psychological injuries in a serious injury claim. This could include suffering caused by depression, anxiety or PTSD linked to your injuries.
- Loss of earnings. It is likely that any serious injury would result in time away from work. Therefore, you could claim back any loss of income. Additionally, if your injuries will affect your ability to work in the future, you could claim back any future losses too.
- Travel expenses. As part of your claim, you could also claim back any fuel, parking or public transport fees you’ve incurred because of your injuries.
The importance of including everything in a serious injury claim cannot be understated as you can’t request more compensation once your claim is settled. We believe you have a better chance of winning a fair compensation amount if you have a specialist solicitor on your side.
The Judicial College provides a list of compensation amounts for a range of injuries. Solicitors and courts may use these figures to help determine compensation levels. Our compensation calculator uses these figures to give you some idea about potential payouts that could be awarded as general damages in your case.
Please bear in mind that a) these figures are not guaranteed and b) the amounts listed do not take into account any special damages award for financial costs and losses.
Your solicitor will try to collect as much evidence as possible to improve your chances of being compensated. It will need to show who was responsible for your serious injury, who was to blame and how much suffering has been caused. It could include:
- Security camera or dashcam footage.
- Medical records and independent medical reports.
- Photographs of the accident scene.
- Witness statements.
- Accident report forms.
- Health and Safety Executive investigation reports.
- Photographs of your injuries.
- A personal statement from you.
- Evidence of any costs incurred because of your injuries.
Our solicitors will be able to advise and help with collecting evidence so please speak with an advisor if you’d like to know more.
If you’re representing a child in a serious injury claim, there is no time limit so long as the claim is started before the child’s 18th birthday. Similarly, if you’re representing somebody as a litigation friend (see the section below), you can claim at any time while they don’t have the mental capacity to represent themselves.
In all other cases, a 3-year time limit applies that begins from the date of the accident or the date your serious injury was diagnosed (the date of knowledge).
If you would like to claim on behalf of a child or somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity to do so themselves, our solicitors can help. You’ll need to become the claimant’s litigation friend by filling out paperwork that needs to be approved by a court. Once that’s happened, you can liaise with the solicitor on behalf of the claimant and make decisions in their best interests. Please get in touch to find out more.
Please call us on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like a free initial consultation to see if you can start the serious injury claims process. An advisor will guide you through the process and explain your options.
Remember, you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless your claim is won as our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for all claims that they accept.
If you have further queries about making a serious injury claim, please connect to our live chat service.