Personal injury compensation: calculating your claim’s value

Accidents happen, but when they’re caused by someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden alone. Personal injury, which refers to any physical or psychological harm suffered by an individual due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party, can have a significant impact on your life. Personal injury compensation is a legal remedy designed to help you recover damages for the harm you’ve suffered. If you’ve been injured due to another party’s fault, don’t let the opportunity to seek justice slip away. Take action now and consult with a qualified personal injury solicitor to explore your options and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

 two people in consultation with a doctor

What kinds of incidents can lead to a personal injury claim?

Personal injury claims can arise from a wide range of incidents. Some common examples include:

Road traffic accidents:

Road traffic accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury claims. Examples include:

  • A car rear-ending another vehicle at a stop light.
  • A motorcycle colliding with a car that failed to yield.
  • A pedestrian being hit by a driver who ran a red light.
  • A cyclist being struck by a car door opened without checking.

Workplace accidents:

Accidents at work can lead to a variety of personal injury claims. Some examples are:

    • An office worker tripping over a loose carpet and breaking their arm.
    • A factory employee suffering chemical burns from a leaking container.
    • A nurse injuring their back while lifting a patient without proper equipment.
    • A construction worker falling from scaffolding due to inadequate safety measures.

Public liability accidents:

Accidents that occur in public places can result in personal injury claims. Examples include:

  • A child being injured on a faulty piece of playground equipment in a park.
  • A customer slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket without warning signs.
  • A customer suffering food poisoning from contaminated meals at a restaurant.
  • A hotel guest tripping on a poorly maintained staircase and spraining their ankle.

Medical negligence:

Medical negligence can lead to serious personal injury claims. Some examples include:

  • A midwife’s negligence causing a baby to suffer brain damage during birth.
  • A surgeon operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient.
  • A dentist causing nerve damage while performing a root canal due to improper technique.
  • A doctor failing to diagnose a serious condition, leading to delayed treatment and complications.

Product liability:

Defective products can cause injuries and lead to personal injury claims. Examples include:

  • A faulty car part leading to a crash and injuries.
  • A defective home appliance causing an electrical fire and burn injuries.
  • A poorly designed toy causing choking hazards or lacerations in children.
  • A contaminated batch of medication causing severe side effects or illness.
Free online compensation calculator:
Online personal injury calculators offer rough claim estimates but have limitations. They can’t account for unique case complexities, like liability disputes or long-term injury impact. For an accurate assessment, consult a qualified personal injury solicitor who can evaluate your case’s individual merits.

What do you need to prove to win a personal injury claim?

To succeed in a personal injury claim, you must demonstrate that the defendant is liable for your injuries by establishing four key elements:

  1. Duty of care: The defendant owed you a legal duty of care. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, employers to their employees, and businesses to their customers.
  2. Breach of duty: The defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently or failing to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety.
  3. Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries. You must show that your injuries would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence.
  4. Damage: You suffered actual harm or losses as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty, such as physical injuries, psychological trauma, or financial losses.
Keep detailed records of all expenses and losses related to your injury. Consult with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can help build a strong case and maximize your chances of success.

What are the steps involved in making a personal injury claim?

To make a personal injury claim in the UK, follow these key steps:

  1. Seek medical attention: Prioritize your health and well-being by seeking medical treatment for your injuries. This also creates a record of your injuries and treatment, which is crucial evidence for your claim.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect all relevant evidence to support your claim, such as photographs of the accident scene, witness contact details, medical reports, and receipts for expenses incurred due to your injuries.
  3. Engage a solicitor: Contact a qualified personal injury solicitor who can assess your case, advise you on the merits of your claim, and guide you through the legal process.
  4. Pre-action protocols: Your solicitor will send a letter of claim to the defendant, outlining your case and the damages sought. The defendant has a fixed time to investigate and respond.
  5. Issue court proceedings: If the defendant denies liability or fails to respond satisfactorily, your solicitor may recommend issuing court proceedings to pursue your claim.
  6. Settlement negotiations: Many personal injury claims are settled out of court through negotiations between your solicitor and the defendant’s representatives. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial.
Be honest and transparent with your solicitor about all aspects of your case. Follow your solicitor’s advice and cooperate fully throughout the claims process.

What types of damages can you claim in a personal injury case?

In a personal injury claim, you may seek two main types of damages:

General damages:

These compensate for non-monetary losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering (e.g., £1,000 – £200,000)
  • Loss of amenity (e.g., £5,000 – £500,000)
  • Psychological trauma (e.g., £1,000 – £100,000)

Special damages:

These cover quantifiable financial losses, including:

  • Medical expenses (e.g., £500 – £50,000)
  • Lost earnings (e.g., £1,000 – £500,000)
  • Travel costs (e.g., £100 – £5,000)
  • Rehabilitation expenses (e.g., £500 – £50,000)
  • Home adaptations (e.g., £1,000 – £100,000)

Factors that can affect the amount of compensation include:

  • Your age, occupation, and lifestyle.
  • The severity and duration of your injuries.
  • The impact on your daily life and future prognosis.
  • The level of negligence exhibited by the defendant.
  • Any pre-existing conditions exacerbated by the accident.
Important: Provide your solicitor with any evidence that supports your claim for damages, such as medical bills, payslips, or receipts.
Case study:
£1,000,000+ Settlement for Pillion Passenger with Severe Brain Injury
A pillion passenger suffering from severe brain injuries following a motorcycle accident involving a stolen, uninsured vehicle achieved a settlement exceeding £1,000,000. The Claimant, who had no recollection of the accident due to post-traumatic amnesia, faced allegations of contributory negligence and ex turpi causa from the Defendant. Despite these challenges, liability was agreed at 90/10 in the Claimant’s favor. The quantum assessment involved a multidisciplinary team of medical experts, including neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, neurotologists, and speech and language therapists. The substantial settlement, reached weeks before the quantum trial, reflects the life-altering nature of the Claimant’s injuries and the importance of securing adequate compensation to support their ongoing needs.

How can a personal injury solicitor help with your claim?

Personal injury solicitors play a crucial role in helping claimants navigate the legal process and secure the compensation they deserve. Their key responsibilities include:

  1. Assessing the merits of a claim: A solicitor will evaluate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim and the likelihood of success.
  2. Gathering evidence and building a case: Your solicitor will collect and analyse evidence, such as medical reports, witness statements, and expert opinions, to build a strong case on your behalf.
  3. Negotiating with insurers: Personal injury solicitors are skilled negotiators who can communicate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement for your claim.
  4. Representing clients in court: If your case proceeds to trial, your solicitor will represent you in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and advocating for your interests.
Choose a solicitor who specializes in personal injury law and has experience handling cases similar to yours.


What is the time limit for making a personal injury claim?

In most cases, you have three years from the date of the accident or the date you discovered your injury to make a claim.

Are there any exceptions to the three-year time limit?

  • If you were under 18 at the time of the accident, you have until your 21st
  • If you have a mental disability, the time limit may be extended.
  • For industrial diseases or illnesses, the time limit starts when you became aware of your condition and its connection to your work.

What is a “No Win, No Fee” agreement?

A “No Win, No Fee” agreement means you don’t pay your solicitor unless your claim succeeds. If you win, your solicitor’s fees are a percentage of your compensation.

Can I use legal expenses insurance for my claim?

Yes, if you have legal expenses insurance, either standalone or as part of your home or car insurance, it may cover your claim. Check your policy or ask your insurer.

Can my trade union help fund my claim?

Yes, if you’re a trade union member, you may be entitled to free legal advice and representation for work-related accidents and injuries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personal injury refers to physical or psychological harm suffered due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.
  • Common examples of personal injury claims include road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, public liability accidents, medical negligence, and product liability.
  • To win a personal injury claim, you must prove duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damage.
  • The claims process involves seeking medical attention, gathering evidence, engaging a solicitor, following pre-action protocols, potentially issuing court proceedings, and settlement negotiations.
  • Claimants can seek general damages for non-monetary losses and special damages for quantifiable financial losses.
  • Personal injury solicitors help assess the merits of a claim, gather evidence, negotiate with insurers, and represent clients in court.
  • Strict time limits apply to personal injury claims, so it’s essential to act promptly and seek legal advice.
  • Compensation amounts vary based on factors such as the severity of injuries, impact on daily life, and level of negligence.
  • Seeking legal advice from experienced personal injury solicitors is crucial to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

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