Personal Injury Solicitors
Personal injuries can have a significant effect on your day-to-day life. Aside from the pain and trauma caused by the incident, it could also lead to a loss of income, private medical costs and other unexpected expenses. Making a personal injury compensation claim can go a long way in easing that burden, helping you get back up on your feet as soon as possible.
Smith Partnership's expert personal injury solicitors offer extensive experience dealing with personal injury cases of all kinds, having helped secure millions of pounds worth of compensation to date. Listed in the Legal 500 and as members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, we can advise you on the best course of action to suit your circumstances. Get in touch with us today.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is aimed at securing compensation for those affected by an illness or injury that has been caused or worsened as a result of someone else's negligence. Compensation claims are usually broken down into two parts – general damages and special damages.
What are General Damages in Personal Injury?
General damages rely on expert medical reports, the facts of the case and judicial guidelines to determine how much pain, suffering and loss of amenity you may have sustained as a result of the incident. These damages also consider recovery time and the nature of the injury as well as expert opinions on the matter.
What are Special Damages in Personal Injury?
Special damages concern the losses or expenses you have incurred as a result of the incident. This could include loss of earnings in the case that you are left unable to work, travel expenses, damage to possessions and the cost of medical treatment. In serious injury cases, special damages can also extend to future loss of earnings, loss of pension, necessary adjustments to your home and ongoing medical care. These losses can be both past and future, and are intended to address all financial needs that are likely to arise for the rest of your life.
If successful, a court will order compensation to be awarded to you from whichever party is responsible. Or an out of Court settlement will be reached with the Defendant’s legal team which will involve the claim being resolved amicably without the need for the Court’s involvement.
TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
There are many examples of personal injuries that may entitle you to compensation depending on the circumstances. Examples of this include injuries relating to:
- Industrial diseases including hearing loss or respiratory problems resulting from your work environment
- Asbestos-related disease
- Road traffic accidents, for example those involving a vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian
- Medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence), including misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgery errors and GP negligence
- Serious injuries including brain trauma, head injury advice, spinal injuries and fatal accident claims
- Accidents at work, including slips and manual handling injuries
- Accidents in public places, including claims against a local council
While not exhaustive, the list above shows the variety of cases in which you may be able to make a claim for compensation. If you've been affected by a personal injury due to someone else's negligence, get in touch with our expert personal injury lawyers to see what we can do for you.
PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM CRITERIA
Your case must meet the following criteria in order for you to be able to bring a claim for compensation. To be successful, the incident must have:
- Occurred within the last three years
- Taken place as a result of someone else's negligence or fault
- Resulted in the injuries you have sustained
Exceptions to these rules may be made on rare occasions. For example, a claim may be subject to longer time limits if it involves children or if the Claimant lacks mental capacity to deal with their own affairs.
The exact circumstances vary from case to case, and there is a need to fully understand the scope and factual evidence surrounding the incident. Consulting a legal expert can go a long way in determining the course of action that's right for you.
WHAT EVIDENCE IS NEEDED FOR A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
In order to prove a personal injury claim, it is important to collate as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
The types of documentation you will need to provide to your personal injury solicitor may include:
- Photographs of the accident location
- Photographs of your injuries
- Any written reports from where the accident took place or if the police attended
- Documentation you have from any witnesses
Not only will such evidence help to add weight to your claim, but they can also come in handy if any issues arise later down the line, such as the Defendant denying liability.
STEPS IN A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
Drawing on extensive experience in dealing with personal injury cases, our solicitors understand that making a claim may seem like a daunting prospect. For that reason, we work to provide you with peace of mind throughout every stage of the process.
Once we receive your instruction, we begin by assessing your needs and objectives. From there, we make an informed decision as to whether your case can be successfully pursued. We then gather the relevant evidence, notify the party responsible and discuss your case with them.
If the accused party admits liability, we negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injury. In the case that the other party denies responsibility, we will initially pursue a just settlement through negotiation. There may be a need to involve the court in cases where the two sides cannot come to an agreement.
The success and duration of your case will depend on various factors, but our experts will work to fight your corner and keep you informed every step of the way.
To summarise, the steps for a personal injury claim are as follows:
- Determine who is responsible
- Prepare evidence as listed above
- Get assessment of injuries from medical professional
- Arrange medical care or rehabilitation if necessary/required
- Review the recovery process
- Begin to work out compensation amount (varies on each case)
- Come to a settlement with the accused
- Receive compensation payment
- Provide other additional support if necessary
HOW LONG DOES A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM TAKE?
The length of time it takes to complete a personal injury claim entirely depends on the complexity, severity, and unique nature of each case.
As a rough estimate, claims may take anywhere from 6 – 12 months to complete, providing the accused admits liability. In any other case, the time it takes to come to a conclusion may be considerably longer, and claimants should keep this in mind throughout the process.
If liability is denied, it could take 12–18 months to complete, and even longer for more complex cases.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION WILL I RECEIVE?
The amount of compensation you will receive is largely dependent on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances leading up to them. As such, there is no single estimate that is applicable to every case.
Depending on the case, mild injuries may be awarded several thousands of pounds while severe cases may be settled at a six-figure sum. Our specialist solicitors will be able to provide you with a realistic estimate of what you might expect to receive.
ARE PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS TAXABLE?
You do not have to pay tax on any compensation received through a personal injury claim.
This is because the claimant is not at any kind of fault for what happened to them, and should deserve to receive the full amount of compensation rewarded to them without having to pay any kind of tax or capital gains.
However, if you have received income from benefits as a result of the incident, and you then go on to recover compensation for the same type of loss, then the Department of Works and Pensions are entitled to have those benefits repaid to them to ensure you are not compensated twice for the same loss. We can advise you about your own personal benefits position and whether there will be any element of repayment in your claim.
CAN I CLAIM PERSONAL INJURY IF IT WAS MY FAULT?
In order to win a personal injury claim and receive compensation, you need to be able to prove that the accident was caused as a result of the Defendant’s negligence, and that you have suffered avoidable injury and losses as a result.
Due to this, you cannot claim for personal injury compensation if the injury was your fault.
For many people, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault, and so a personal injury solicitor can always work with you and review your case to determine whether you have grounds to raise a claim.
HOW MANY PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS GO TO COURT?
It is unlikely that your personal injury claim will go to Court – only a very small percentage of cases, around 2%, will proceed to trial.
If your personal injury claim does go to Court, it may be down to the fact the accused denied liability or has failed to give suitable compensation. From here, proceedings will begin, and the Court will assess which party is at fault, and what compensation should be awarded.
If your personal injury claim does go to court, you will be expected to attend the hearing in person. Your dedicated personal injury solicitor will attend with you to advocate on your behalf and provide legal guidance and support.
DO I HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
To determine whether you have a personal injury claim, you should speak to an expert lawyer that specialises in personal injury cases to see whether or not you have a case.
If you have suffered physical or psychological harm, and you can prove it was at the fault of someone else, then you may have a personal injury claim.
NO WIN NO FEE PERSONAL INJURY SOLICITORS
We understand that getting back to a normal life is likely to be your main priority following a personal injury. For that reason, our no win no fee personal injury solicitors work tirelessly to win you the compensation needed to do just that.
As one of the East Midlands' leading law firms, we focus our legal services entirely around the needs of our clients. Our straight-talking, no-nonsense approach can help you successfully bring a claim against those responsible for your injury, supporting your recovery in the process.
Depending on the case, we may be able to pursue your case on a No Win No Fee basis, minimising any financial risk to you. For further information about No Win No Fee agreements and the other funding options available to you, please refer to our Personal Injury Funding Information Sheet and Legal Expenses Insurance Information Sheet.
WHY CHOOSE SMITH PARTNERSHIP’S PERSONAL INJURY SOLICITORS?
Enlisting the right legal expertise is crucial to the success of your personal injury claim. Offering a partner-led service dedicated entirely to those who have suffered a personal injury, our service is characterised by its exceptional practicality and accessibility.
Our experts are on hand to advise you throughout our offices in Derby, Leicester, Burton upon Trent, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as remotely via telephone or email. We can even visit you at home or in hospital if circumstances call for it.
Our personal injury claims specialist team’s expertise is backed by the likes of the Legal 500, which recognises legal excellence on a global scale. Describing our personal injury team, it states that:
Smith Partnership‘s David Clark is the ‘one of best in Derby for claimant personal injury work’, and is routinely sought after for workplace accidents and industrial disease claims.
Extremely easy to work with and communication with expert and client is excellent. Extremely thorough. Highly recommend them to all.
Unique is a strong word, but the Smith Partnership ranks high among the firms of solicitors. Their instructions are always clear and to the point. Unlike some other firms that I have had dealings with, they are easily accessible by telephone and they acknowledge correspondence by return.