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Introduction to the issues of claiming compensation
This page is designed to give you some 'general' information about claiming compensation for injuries in accidents and, if you wish, help you start a claim with a specialist solicitor in your area by utilising the targeted Google links opposite. Firms have been specially selected to deal with personal injury cases and in England and Wales they should belong to the Law Society Specialist Personal Injury Panel.

There is lots of general information on this page, just click on one of the headings below to find out more.

The test!
Who pays the compensation?
Amount of compensation
General damages
Special damages
Future losses

Criminal injuries claims
Frequently asked questions

The test!
If you can answer "yes" to these three questions you may be able to claim compensation

1.  Did the accident occur in the last three years?

2.  Were the injuries you received serious enough for you to have required medical attention, either in hospital or with your GP?

3.  Do you think someone else might be to blame for the accident...or at least partly to blame?

Even if you can't say yes to them all, you may still have a case, so it is important to seek legal advice.

However, it is difficult to be certain whether a claim is possible unless you know the ins and outs of the law, especially when accidents happen at work. It is always best to get specialist advice, which is why we recommend you talk to a solicitor at a free consultation ti begin with.

Solicitors who are experts in personal injury law, will always act in YOUR best interests.

When your solicitor has established how the accident happened, they will know against whom any claim should be made, the defendant.

This person might be another car driver, your employer, a landlord, a shop owner etc. In most cases the compensation will be paid by their insurance company

You can win compensation for your injuries if the defendant admits liability (blame) for the accident, even if you are partly to blame yourself.

Sometimes the defendant will admit liability but will disagree with the amount of money you are claiming. If that happens, your solicitor will advise you of the proper amount and negotiate on your behalf.

Occasionally if the sum cannot be agreed upon, or if defendant denies liability, you may have to go to court to win compensation.

This rarely happens, most cases are settled before the need for court action.

Who pays the compensation?
Most defendants are insured and usually their insurance company will pay the compensation.

If you have an accident that occurred in the street, on a pavement, or in a pub or shop you may also be able to pursue a claim. You may have been injured because of a defect such as a raised paving slab or a pothole, or because of an untreated slippery surface. In such cases, the proprietor of the land or premises will have public liability insurance. If you make a claim, hopefully the defect will be repaired preventing similar accidents from happening again.

If you are injured as the driver, passenger or pedestrian in a road traffic accident caused by another road user's negligence, you may be entitled to seek damages in the form of compensation against that person's motor insurance.

Most solicitors cater for all types of accident and injury compensation claims you could imagine. Most lawyers are trained to deal with Personal Injury, Industrial Disease/Injury and Sports Injury. Whether you have had a Car or Motorbike accident and have whiplash, brain injuries or dislocation/broken bones.

If you have an accident that occurred in the street, on a pavement, or in a pub or shop you may also be able to pursue a claim. You may have been injured because of a defect such as a raised paving slab or a pothole, or because of an untreated slippery surface. In such cases, the proprietor of the land or premises will have public liability insurance. If you make a claim, hopefully the defect will be repaired preventing similar accidents from happening again.

A solicitor can help if you have been injured or otherwise damaged by faulty goods, unhygienic food, and unsafe structures such as loose handrails or defective mechanical systems. If you have had an injury e-mail us today and one of our investigators will contact you to discuss your claim in detail.

In order to succeed in your claim, you must establish liability and prove that someone else was negligent and that the negligence caused your injuries and other losses. Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care to avoid acts and omissions which would be likely to cause injury and that care was not taken which caused the injury.

Amount of compensation
The amount of compensation payable following an injury caused as a result of negligence is usually separated into general damages, special damages and future loss.

General damages

These cover items which cannot be calculated precisely. The main item of general damages is usually the compensation for the injury itself including pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering are normally established following review of medical reports obtained specially for the purpose.

Special damages

are items of loss which can be calculated reasonably accurately. A specialist accident compensation solicitor will claim all losses sustained including reduction of earnings, travelling expenses for medical treatment, cost of medical treatment and medicines, personal effects damaged in the accident, and the excess on an insurance policy. It is usually necessary to document these losses by production of receipts, however in the absence of receipts estimates of loss can often be made and verified by other documentary evidence.

Future losses

The calculation of these losses is quite complex and if you have losses that are likely to continue for the foreseeable future then a special calculation is applied to the estimated annual loss to arrive at a fair figure for compensation.


You may be entitled to interest on some of your accident compensation. The rate payable and the period for which it is payable varies depending on the type of damages. Interest on special damages runs from the date of the accident whereas interest on general damages runs only from the date of service of legal proceedings.

You can, of course, pursue a claim for compensation without any help from a solicitor. However, you are much more likely to get a fair settlement if you take legal advice this is because it is not easy to know exactly what you can claim for and how much the claim should be, unless you are experienced in such cases.

The person or company responsible for causing the accident (or their insurance company) does not have to offer you the most that your claim may be worth. In fact, they very rarely do. You may need help from a skilled negotiator in this case and specialist solicitors are used to dealing with this situation.

About one-third of all accidents happen on the roads. It is compulsory for drivers of vehicles to have insurance cover against claims from people who may have injuries. This includes claims from their own passengers even if in the same family.

Such a claim can be made whether or not the police have prosecuted the driver at fault. If the driver had no insurance a claim can still be made from an organisation called the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

A claim for compensation for loss and injuries should be brought against the driver who was at fault.


This section is very general in nature for which exceptions and exclusions apply. Specific advice should be sought from Compensation Solicitors as to whether a claim should be pursued by you before relying on the information below.

1.  If you have been a victim of a crime and injured as a result you may be entitled to compensation through the state via the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme.

Very broadly, inorder to be eligible you must be :

A victim of a crime of violence (eg assaulted, wounded or victim of sexual offences). Please note that it is not necessary for an offender to be convicted of the offence.


Injured whilst preventing an offence or taking an exceptional risk.


Physically or mentally injured.

Injured in England, Scotland, Wales ( Northern Ireland has his own scheme)

Sufficiently serious injury for at least minimum award i e injured for at least six weeks and saw doctor twice during that period

Dependents or relatives of a victim of crimes of violence who have since died (may pursue a claim under the fatal accidents scheme)

Generally speaking, you should report the incident personally to the police as soon as it happened.

Applications should be sent to the CICA so that it is received within two years from the date of the incident causing injury. (Northern Ireland has different time-limits).

You are expected to help the police to prosecute and co-operate with the C I C A.

Your conduct before, during and after the event will be taken into account when examining if the claim should fail wholly or in part.

Furthermore, previous unspent convictions will be looked at and may effect the level of damages awarded.


1. I have already had some legal advice, can I still claim?

Generally, we can only help people who are seeking advice for the first time. However, if you think your adviser has made a mistake or is not doing a good job, then contact us and we will try to help.

2. Do solicitors work on a 'No Win, No Fee' basis?

Yes,  but not all, though such agreements are not allowed in Northern Ireland.

In England and Wales these arrangements are generally known as Conditional Fee Agreements , or CFAs.

A solicitor will explain to you how the costs of a claim should be paid, whether legal aid might be available, and what costs you might recover.

They will not recommend a 'No Win, No Fee' agreement if they think your claim is likely to fail.

If you choose to have a 'No Win, No Fee' agreement you may be advised to take out insurance so that if the claim goes to court and you lose the insurance will meet the other side's costs. Your solicitor may help you pay the insurance premium and other expenses.

3. How much compensation will I get?

Compensation awards depend on how bad your injuries were and what other losses you have, including lost earnings.

If you have fully recovered, then your solicitor should be able to estimate the value of the claim.

However, if you are still suffering from your injuries it is not possible to calculate the exact value, though your solicitor, being experienced in this type of case, will give you guidelines.

4. I am frightened of making a claim against my employers in case I lose my job.

This is a serious concern for many people who have had accidents at work.

Remember, an employer is not normally allowed to sack you if you are injured from an accident at work. You will need a reasonable time to recover.

We constantly come across accident victims who have left it too late to claim. Their health has deteriorated or their injuries have shown up again unexpectedly.

If your accident is at all serious you should take immediate legal advice because you just do not know what the future holds.

Remember also that your employer, by law, has to have insurance to cover their employees for accidents at work.

Please note that articles on this site do not constitute professional advice, which recommends a course of action based upon the specifics of your personal circumstances. The articles are intended to provide general view of accident claim information. We urge you to consult a solicitor before making any important decisions about your potential claim.