Personal Injury Compensation Claims Explained

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Comprehensive Guide to Personal Injury and Compensation

An injury is never pleasant, but it's even worse when somebody else is to blame. You'll likely be feeling frustrated, angry, or annoyed. If you recover quickly, very little harm is done, but sometimes an injury that wasn't your fault can have a long-term impact on your life.

If an injury has caused you a lasting problem, you might deserve compensation. This money can help to make amends for the physical and emotional impact.

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What Is Personal Injury Compensation?

Personal injury compensation is money paid to you if you are injured, either at work or in a private or public space that is not your own. You need to prove that the injury was not your own fault in order to be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

What Are the Two Types of Injury Claims?

Personal injury claims are either minor or severe. You may be entitled to compensation even for a minor injury or one that resolves relatively quickly. For these types of injuries, compensation payouts are small but may still be worth chasing.

Severe injuries can vary dramatically, and what counts as severe can range from an amputated leg to brain damage that leaves somebody in a vegetative state.

What Are My Rights if I Have an Accident at Work?

As you claim compensation, decision-makers will seek to determine who was at fault. For example, if you were doing something you shouldn't have been, you might be found to be at fault.

If your injury was caused by poor training, policy, or damaged equipment at work, then you might be entitled to financial recompense.

Your employer should have insurance to cover the cost of any compensation payments. But, again, this money should not come out of your employer's own pocket.

If an injury wasn't your fault, you're entitled to compensation for the injury itself and any resulting loss of earnings or additional costs.

You may also be entitled to compensation for effects on your mental health if the pain had an impact or you're left with some lasting trauma.

Do I Get Paid if I Get Injured at Work?

If you've been injured at work and claim compensation, you should receive sick pay for any time that you can't work.

At the very least, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) should be paid if you're entitled to it. You should also check your contract to see if your employer has agreed to pay anything additional.

Statutory Sick Pay is a relatively small weekly payment, so alone, it might not be enough to support your lifestyle. This may, however, be all you're legally entitled to.

Some people aren't entitled to SSP. Those people include the self-employed, some members of the armed forces, and some people who've recently been paid SSP for a different illness or injury.

Ideally, your employer will process your sick pay as soon as you need to take time off. Otherwise, this additional financial loss will be covered in your personal injury claim.

How Do I Claim for Personal Injury?

If you've suffered an injury that wasn't your fault and you want to claim compensation, you'll need to find someone that will represent your interests and fight your case on your behalf. Without specialist knowledge, you're unlikely to get the compensation that you deserve.

Use either a solicitor that's a member of a law firm that specialises in personal injury compensation claim cases or a specialist claims management company. They will explain the process in full with you.

If your injury prevents you from making a claim directly, then your spouse can contact a personal injury solicitor on your behalf. They will need to gather all appropriate medical evidence from your GP just as you would. With a severe injury type where compensation could be large, having your spouse involved could ensure that you can make a personal injury claim before time limits expire.

Can You Claim Compensation for Minor Injuries?

Yes, you can claim for any injury, even one that you recover from within a week. However, it's best to document any minor injuries as if they heal without you seeking the appropriate legal advice; you might not have the evidence to make a claim.

Can I Claim Compensation for an Accident at Work?

Yes, you can claim personal injury compensation for an accident at work.

After an accident at work, make sure that the incident's recorded in the accident book. It should be recorded with as much detail as possible. If you're not in a good state to record this yourself, ask a colleague to make sure that the details are written down. Ideally, this should be checked for accuracy at the soonest opportunity.

Your accident should have been reported to the manager on duty. Making someone aware is essential, and the manager's responsible for making sure that your injuries are properly dealt with. They should also make sure that any faulty equipment is properly managed straight away, so it doesn't lead to further injuries at work.

How Are Personal Injury Claims Calculated?

A personal injury claim is calculated based on a number of factors. For example, the severity of the injury, the time it will take to heal (if it ever will), and the impact on your mental health are all considered, as are any lost earnings from the time you need to take off work and any other expenses you might incur as a result of the injury.

What Is the Average Payout for a Personal Injury Claim UK?

It isn't easy to give an average payout for a personal injury claim because injuries vary so much. An injury will also impact people in different ways - for example, a foot injury impacts a construction worker more than it does an office manager who mainly does website work from a desk.

The average claim for whiplash with a four-week recovery is £2,000, but if you never recover from it, then that average increases to between £6,500 and £11,500.

Meanwhile, loss of sight in one eye is usually settled between £40,000 and £45,000.

So it's impossible to give one average that covers such a wide range of injuries and compensation levels. Part of the role of your personal injury solicitors is to manage your expectations on your compensation calculation.

How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Minor Injury Claim?

The payout depends on the injury itself.

Mild tinnitus might result in a payout of more than £5,000. Damage to one tooth could lead to compensation of more than £1,000, whilst you could get up to £3,000 for small injuries that you recover from in less than three months. Even if you recover within seven days, you might still be entitled to compensation of more than £500.

What Is a Fair Settlement for Pain and Suffering?

The compensation you can be paid for pain and suffering caused will vary depending on how severe the trauma is. However, for something temporary that can be treated with medication and counselling, a payout of between £4,000 and £10,000 is not unusual.

More severe trauma that is long-term or permanent could result in compensation payments closer to £50,000. Mental injury is taken just as seriously as physical injury when it comes to personal injury claims.

How Much Compensation Will I Get for Fall UK?

You don't receive compensation for a fall. You can claim compensation for the injuries sustained because of a fall, but not for the fall itself. And because those injuries can vary, there is no easy average to give.

Here are some potential examples:

If you break a leg in a fall, and it's a straightforward break that heals within two years, you can claim up to £7,600.

If you dislocate your shoulder, and there's a possibility of permanent damage, then you can make a claim for between £10,670 and £16,060.

If you land on your head, a minor head injury is worth between £1,840 for very minor injuries, up to £10,670.

The amounts vary depending on whether it's a shoulder injury, an elbow injury, a hand injury, a leg injury or indeed any kind of injury from a fall.

Generally speaking, less severe injuries mean you will only receive part of the money you would have from a worse accident type. The expert advice of your solicitors is key to understanding the damages you could claim.

How Much Is One Finger Worth in Compensation UK?

As with all other injuries, the compensation value on a finger depends on how badly damaged it is and which finger it is. If it's a thumb or index finger that is more commonly used in everyday life, you would be due more than a third or fourth finger which is easier to live without.

Typically, the most severe finger injuries can be worth up to £35,000. However, a wrist injury or an arm injury will likely result in a bigger payout because they impact more of your normal abilities.

How Long Does It Take To Claim Compensation?

You have a maximum of three years to claim compensation for personal injury. Therefore, it's important to start your claim as soon as possible to not miss this time limit.

Some types of claim take longer than others to claim. For example, a simple slip, trip, or fall at work might take up to 9 months. Road traffic accidents take a similar amount of time, whilst medical negligence cases are a lot more complex.

However, the most complex cases can take the full three years, which is why it's important not to wait too long to get started.

Get the advice of your solicitors to understand how long the case might take.

Will I Have To Attend Court?

Only a very small amount of compensation claims end up going to court. These are generally the most complex cases, taking the longest to resolve. Most cases are settled out of court, which is a lot easier for everyone.

A good solicitor will work to settle a claim out of court. They'll negotiate to get you the payout you deserve.

Even if your case goes to court, it's unlikely you'll need to attend. If your claim is for less than £25,000, it's fast-tracked without you being present. Instead, your chosen solicitor will represent you. For larger claims, you might be asked to attend.

Should I Use a Claims Management Company?

A claims management company can help you to claim compensation for personal injury, and often you'll think of these companies because they're able to cold-call or send you texts.

Unlike solicitors, claims qualified professionals don't staff management companies. They're not regulated in the same way, either. As a result, they may not have suitable insurance in case something goes wrong with your claim.

However, they may be able to offer you a better deal than a solicitor, taking less of a percentage of your total compensation. It's an option worth exploring but speak to a member of a personal injury claims law first, too.

How Does Claims Management Work?

If you're going down the route of using a claims management company, they should deal with the claim on your behalf. They should prepare documents, contact the other party and go through the necessary paperwork.

You won't be completely hands-off. They will ask you for information and to clarify any details, but they then undertake the rest of the work, so you aren't too heavily involved.

What Information Do I Need To Keep From a Medical Perspective?

If you want to claim compensation for an injury, it's best to gather as much evidence as you can. Keep hold of medical notes, copies of prescriptions, and photographs of your injuries at various stages. Wherever possible, add dates to photographs so it can be seen how your injuries develop over time.

If you can't prove the extent of your injuries, you're likely to be offered a much lower compensation amount than you deserve.

If you're claiming compensation through a solicitor, they should support you to gather the necessary medical documentation. They might ask you to attend a medical assessment if you haven't already.

You might discover that the injuries you've suffered are more significant than first thought, and it's important to know this before you make your compensation claim.

You might be asked to sign a Medical Agreement Form. This shows that you agree with the details on a medical report and that your injuries have been accurately represented.

What Does No Win, No Fee Mean?

A no win no fee agreement is where personal injury solicitors will take on your case and only charge you a success fee if you win. If you lose, they won't charge you.

That success fee will be a percentage of your final claim. Make sure you are clear on the details of your no win no fee agreement before you agree for your solicitor to take on your case. As soon as they begin action, you will be in agreement with them, and you may be liable for cancellation fees.

What Percentage Do Solicitors Take for No Win No Fee?

In most cases, solicitors will charge 25% of the final value of your claim. That might seem like a lot, but given that they greatly increase your chance of success, it's spending that's usually worth it. As a result, you could walk away with 75% of the compensation you deserve, whereas without their help, it's very likely that you'd be left with nothing.

A solicitor's fee can include payments for the solicitor's time, travel expenses, barrister fees, and paperwork costs for accident reports and medical records.

Are All Personal Injury Claims No Win No Fee?

Not necessarily, but the vast majority of claims are no win, no fee. This helps you decide whether you want to claim because you are encouraged to push for compensation more if there are no fees to pay to your representation.

It also sets a standard for solicitors and claims companies to stop them from making frivolous claims. They will only take your case on if they feel there is a reasonable chance of success.

What’s the Catch With No Win No Fee?

The catch is that "no fee" doesn't mean no costs at all. People assume that if you use a solicitor that offers this, no win, no fee means you pay absolutely nothing if you don't win.

If your case is unsuccessful, it's true that you won't have to pay your representation any fees, but you might be asked to cover the legal costs of the other party. You should have legal insurance to protect yourself from this.

Is No Win No Fee a Con?

No win, no fee is not a con. It's just important that you understand that there may be some costs involved if you lose and you don't have adequate insurance.

However, the promise that you won't pay a fee to your representation solicitor or company if you don't win is correct.

Personal Injury Compensation While on Benefits

Certain benefits that you've received may have been given as a result of your injury. If that's the case, they need to be paid back, so you're not being compensated twice.

Check whether your compensation offer has already been reduced to reflect any benefit repayments. Otherwise, you might be surprised when you receive a smaller final sum.

Money Savings Advice Tip

If you have suffered at injury at work, in a car accident our just out walking down the road, you could have a valid personal injury compensation claim. We recommend speaking and liaising with a specialist personal injury claims management company who can help you understand the process and maximise your compensation claim. These specialist compensation claims companies help thousands of people every year and they can do the same for you.

Will I Lose My Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit. A lump-sum payment could have an impact on your benefit entitlement.

There are some ways to avoid losing benefits if you make a compensation claim. For example, a solicitor may be able to advise about a Personal Injury Trust, where your funds are managed by trustees and aren't directly accessible.

Will My Child Maintenance Costs Increase?

You won't be asked to pay more child maintenance because you've received a lump sum compensation payout.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.


Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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