Free Supermarket Accident Claim Assessment Free Supermarket Accident Claim Assessment

Injury Claims Explained

Injury Claims in the UK

If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition in an accident for which somebody else was to blame, you may be entitled to make compensation injury claims in the UK. In order to be eligible to claim injury compensation, you must have suffered an adverse event due to the careless actions – or lack of actions – of somebody who owed you a duty of care. Any injury claims in which there has been an injury without negligence, or negligence that does not result in an injury, are unlikely to be successful.

Explaining Injury Claims Terminology

There are several terms that you will encounter while researching injury claims on the Internet or when speaking with a solicitor that you may be unfamiliar with. Most are self-explanatory or, if speaking with a solicitor, will be explained to you if you are unsure what they mean. Three stand out as the most important:-

Duty of Care

The duty of care in relation to injury claims is the responsibility that another party has for your health and safety. This could be another motorist driving along the road, your employer or his/her representative in the workplace, or the local council – who have a duty of care to maintain the roads and pavements in a safe condition.

Not all duties of care are “absolute”. This means, for example, that if you slip of liquid that has just spilled from another shopper´s trolley in the supermarket – and the supermarket staff did not have a “reasonable” amount of time in which to identify the hazard and remove it – the supermarket would not be considered to be in breach of their duty of care.

Conditional Fee Agreements

Conditional fee agreements are more popularly known as “No Win, No Fee” arrangements and are advertised as protection for claimants from exposure to financial liabilities should their injury claim for compensation be unsuccessful. Solicitors only offer conditional fee agreements when there is a strong likelihood of the claim being successful; however, acceptance of your claim on a condition fee agreement is no guarantee of success.

Furthermore, although the terms of a “No Win, No Fee” agreement release you from paying your solicitor´s legal fees, you could still be liable for the defendant´s legal fees and expenses your solicitor has paid in the preparation of your claim. For this reason, most solicitors will insist that you take out an “after the event” insurance policy if you have limited legal fee coverage on your home contents or car insurance policy.

Third Party Capture

Third party capture is the act of the negligent party´s insurance company directly approaching an accident victim – sometimes within days of an accident occurring – and making an offer of compensation. This is not the generous act of a caring financial institution, but an attempt by the insurance company to make an inadequate offer of compensation when you are your most vulnerable to save money.

All direct offers of compensation should be referred to a solicitor for assessment – and then usually renegotiated. Should you inadvertently accept a settlement of compensation which proves inadequate to pay for your medical care or to support your family, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more!

Injury Claims Settlements

There are four main elements to injury claims settlements in the UK. Not all will apply in every case and some injury claims in the UK will have other elements to consider. Most people will be aware that you are entitled to claim compensation for the pain you have experienced at the time of your accident and, as nobody can quantify the amount of pain an injury causes, injury claims settlements in the UK are based on previous awards in relation to your age, sex and general state of health before your accident occurred.

General Damages for Pain and Suffering

The physical consequences of an injury are also considered in general damages for pain and suffering. Therefore, if a young woman and elderly made both sustain an eye injury which results in a visible scar, the younger woman will receive a higher level of injury claim settlement, as the law acknowledges that women place greater importance on their appearance than men and because the woman will have to live with the consequences of her injury for longer.

General Damages for Loss of Amenity

Your “Loss of Amenity” relates to the deterioration in your quality of life due to the consequences of your accident. Therefore, if you are unable to perform everyday activities, participate in leisure pursuits or enjoy an active social life which existed prior to your accident, you can include compensation for a loss of amenity in a UK injury claim. Special events – such as missing a family wedding or having to cancel a holiday – can also be taken into account when calculating injury claims settlements.

General Damages for Emotional Trauma

There is a general agreement that physical traumas are often mirrored by emotional traumas and, if you have sustained an injury in a particularly violent accident, there is likely to be some level of psychological injury as well as a physical one. When a psychological trauma can be established by a medical expert, injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, loss of confidence, anxiety and depression can also be incorporated into injury claims in the UK.

Special Damages for Financial Expenses

Any financial expenses you may have encountered which are directly attributable to your accident and injury can be recovered in injury claims in the UK. These are not limited to the cost of medical care and prescription charges, but can also include the cost of using alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive or welfare for dependants if you would normally provide for their care yourself. Any loss of income, if you have been unable to work because of your injuries, can also be recovered in compensation injury claims.

Further Information about Injury Claims in the UK

The above may be a lot of information to absorb when you are recovering from your injuries and, as no two injuries claims are identical, unlikely to be completely relevant to your personal situation. The various processes for making injury claims in the UK, how to represent children in injury claims and what happens if you were partly to blame for the accident which caused your injuries have not been touched on – nor indeed has how you may need to establish negligence in order to have an injury claim which is worth your while to pursue.

Therefore, it is advisable that you discuss the circumstances of your accident with an injury claims solicitor to obtain legal advice on making injury claims in the UK, avoiding any potential pitfalls and maximising the value of your compensation settlement. Most solicitors will offer an initial free assessment of your injury claim and provide you with practical and impartial advice without any obligation to proceed with an injury claim for compensation and in complete confidentiality.