Serious Injury Claim Process: A Short Guide
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Serious injuries caused by accidents can have a profound impact on a person’s life, both physically and emotionally. Accidents can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving individuals with severe injuries that can require extensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. The effects of a serious injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury, as well as the individual’s age, overall health, and lifestyle.
In addition to physical pain and suffering, serious injuries can also cause emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The recovery process can be challenging and lengthy, requiring significant adjustments to one’s daily routine and lifestyle. This can include changes in employment, living arrangements, and social activities, which can all contribute to a sense of isolation and decreased quality of life.
Furthermore, a serious injury can also lead to financial losses such as medical bills as ongoing care can be costly. This can lead to additional stress and anxiety, especially if the individual is unable to work or support themselves and their family.
In short, a serious injury caused by an accident can have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. It is important to seek appropriate medical treatment and support to aid in the recovery process and to adjust to any new limitations or challenges that may arise.
If you have had an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may wish to make a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your injuries.
The thought of making a claim may be quite daunting, which is why we have written a short guide to help you understand the serious injury claim process.
What is considered a serious injury?
A serious injury is generally defined as any injury that has the potential to cause long-term physical or emotional harm or significantly impact an individual’s ability to perform daily activities. Some common examples of serious injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Severe burns
- Multiple injuries or fractures
- Organ damage or internal injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Blindness, deafness or loss of any sense
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
The severity of an injury can vary based on a number of factors, including the extent of the damage, the location of the injury, and the overall health of the individual. In general, any injury that requires hospitalisation or ongoing medical care should be considered serious and may have long-lasting effects on the individual’s life.
Accidents that lead to serious injuries
Accidents that can lead to serious injury can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Some common types of accidents that can result in serious injuries include:
- Road traffic accidents: Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents can result in serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
- Accidents at work: Accidents that occur on the job can lead to serious injuries, such as falls from heights, being struck by falling objects, or getting caught in machinery.
- Slip, trip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents can occur on a variety of surfaces and can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, and back injuries.
- Sports injuries: Contact sports, such as football or hockey, can result in serious injuries such as concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.
- Accidents involving heavy machinery: Accidents involving heavy machinery, such as cranes or bulldozers, can cause severe injuries, including amputations, crush injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Accidents involving dangerous products: Defective products, such as faulty car parts or malfunctioning household appliances, can cause serious injuries, such as burns, lacerations, and broken bones.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of accidents that can result in serious injuries. Any accident has the potential to cause harm and should be taken seriously.
Serious injury claim process
The serious injury claim process in England and Wales is governed by the Pre Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims.
The Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims is a set of guidelines that outline the steps that should be taken before starting a formal legal claim for personal injury compensation. The protocol aims to encourage early settlement of claims and avoid litigation where possible.
The process of making a serious injury claim under the Pre-Action Protocol typically involves the following steps:
- Notification: The injured person or their legal representative must notify the party they believe is responsible for the injury of their intention to make a claim for compensation. This notification should include details of the injury sustained, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the amount of compensation being sought.
- Acknowledgment: The party responsible for the injury must acknowledge receipt of the notification within 21 days and provide a response outlining whether liability is accepted or denied.
- Investigations: Both parties must then conduct investigations into the circumstances surrounding the accident and the extent of the injuries sustained. The defendant may request evidence, such as photographs or witness statements at this point.
- Liability: The defendant may agree to accept or deny liability following the investigations period. If the defendant accepts liability, they are likely to require medical evidence. In most circumstances, you will be required to attend a medical assessment with an expert to prove causation and to provide evidence as to the extent of your injuries. We will request your medical records from your GP or hospital prior to this assessment with your written permission.
- Offers of settlement: If liability is accepted, the party responsible for the injury may make an offer of settlement. If liability is denied, the claimant may make a counter-offer.
- Settlement: If an agreement on settlement is reached, the parties must agree on the amount of compensation to be paid, and payment should be made within a reasonable timeframe.
- Litigation: If no agreement is reached during the Pre-Action Protocol process, the injured party may choose to begin formal litigation by starting court proceedings.
It is important to note that the serious injury claim process under the Pre-Action Protocol may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken in making a claim for compensation.
It may take longer to settle a serious injury claim due to the complex nature of the injuries. In circumstances where the defendant has accepted liability for your accident, interim payments may be requested to assist you through the recovery process.
Time limits for making a serious injury claim
There are strict time limits for making a serious injury claim, known as the limitation period. The limitation period is the period of time within which a claim must be commenced, failing which the claim may be time-barred and cannot be pursued. The time limit for making a serious injury claim may vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
The general rule is that the claim must be commenced within three years from the date of the accident or from the date of knowledge of the injury. The date of knowledge refers to the date when the injured person became aware of the injury and its cause. This may be different from the date of the accident if the injury was not immediately apparent.
There are some exceptions to the three-year time limit, including:
- Cases involving children: If the injured person is a child, the three-year time limit does not begin to run until the child’s 18th birthday. This means that a claim can be made at any time before the child’s 21st birthday.
- Mental capacity: If the injured person lacks mental capacity, there is no time limit for making a claim.
- Exceptional circumstances: In some cases, the court may allow a claim to proceed outside of the three-year time limit if there are exceptional circumstances that prevented the claim from being made earlier.
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident resulting in a serious injury to ensure that the claim is made within the relevant time limits.
No win no fee serious injury claims
Beacon Law offer their services for serious injury claims on a no win, no fee basis.
No win, no fee, also known as a “conditional fee agreement” (CFA), is a funding option that allows individuals to make a compensation claim without having to pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, the legal fees are only paid if the claim is successful.
Here’s how it works:
- The individual seeking compensation signs a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with a solicitor.
- Under the CFA, the solicitor agrees to work on the case on the condition that they will only be paid if the claim is successful.
- If the claim is successful, the solicitor’s fees are taken from the compensation award. If the claim is not successful, the individual does not have to pay any legal fees.
It is important to note that the success fee is capped by law at 25% of the compensation award, and that the solicitor must have a valid insurance to cover the risk of losing the case.
It is also important to note that the CFA may include a “After the Event” (ATE) insurance that covers the risk of losing the case in case of a failure and the cost of the expenses incurred in the case, such as medical reports, court fees, and other expenses. The cost of the ATE insurance will be payable by the claimant on conclusion of their case; but only if their case is successful.
The best thing about making a no win, no fee claim is that the financial risks of litigation are minimized. If your claim is unsuccessful, in most cases, you will not be required to to pay any legal fees. However, if your claim is successful we will deduct our fees and additional costs from your compensation when your claim has been resolved.
Why choose Beacon Law to assist through the serious injury claim process?
The injury lawyers at Beacon Law are experts in the area of serious injury compensation claims.
As a law firm, we believe that our clients should be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives and move past difficult times which arose through no fault of their own.
By always striving to achieve the best results for our clients, we are able to have a great success rate when recovering the compensation which our clients deserve.
To discuss your potential claim and have a chat with one of our injury specialists, please contact us on 03301332857 or use the form above.
Beacon Law are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our firm is based in Manchester; however, we assist claimants in all locations in England and Wales.