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Top 5 Personal Injury Questions Answered

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

Deciding whether to make a personal injury claim can be a daunting decision to make. Your head may be full of questions and concerns, not least whether you are actually entitled to make a claim.

As a leading personal injury firm, the solicitors at are happy to answer any personal injury claim questions you may have during a free case assessment.

To help get you started, here are answers to 5 of the top questions that are received by people looking to make an accident claim.

1) Am I eligible to make a personal injury claim?

There are many different types of accidents that may entitle you to pursue a personal injury claim. This includes accidents at work, road traffic accidents, slips and trips and medical negligence.

With any accident claim, somebody else must have been at fault for the accident. A third party must have owed you a duty of care which they failed to observe, resulting in negligence. This negligence must have caused some form of personal injury to you, whether that be whiplash, a back injury, a broken arm or any other type of injury.

To be eligible to make a claim you must have evidence to support your claim. This will include evidence of the accident and who was at fault, as well as medical evidence of your injuries.

You must also ensure that your claim is made within the time limits for making a claim, which in most cases is three years from the date of the accident.

2) How much compensation can I claim for my injuries?

The amount of compensation you can claim for your injuries will depend on the type of injuries you have sustained and how severe they are. The more serious, debilitating and long lasting the injury is, the more compensation you are likely to receive.

Compensation for personal injury is broken down into general and special damages. General damages is based on your injuries, and special damages is based on any expenses or financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.

Special damages can cover losses such as medical costs, lost wages from being unable to work and the cost of rehabilitative treatment such as physiotherapy.

3) How long do I have to make a claim?

The standard time limit for making an accident claim is three years beginning from the date of the accident.

In some cases, such as medical negligence and industrial diseases, you may not be aware of your injuries until weeks, months or even years after the negligence took place. Industrial diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma for example can develop more than 10 years after exposure to asbestos has occurred.

In these situations the personal injury time limit begins on the date you are diagnosed with the condition, or the date that you find out your injuries were caused by somebody else's negligence. This is known as the date of knowledge.

For children who are injured (those under 18 years old), the three year limit starts on the day they become 18. A claim can be made on their behalf before this point by a parent, guardian or somebody with parental responsibility.

4) What does no win no fee mean?

No win no fee is the common term given to describe a conditional fee agreement. This sets out the details of the agreement entered into when hiring a solicitor. With a no win no fee agreement, you are protected against legal costs in the event that your claim is lost.

You only pay a fee, known as a success fee, if your chosen personal injury solicitor wins your claim. The maximum success fee permitted by law is 25% of the compensation award.

5) Can I still make a claim if I was partly at fault for the accident?

As long as somebody else was at fault for the accident, you should still be eligible to make a compensation claim even if you were partly responsible. This situation is referred to as contributory negligence.

If there is blame on both sides, an assessment will need to be made to apportion the amount of blame to each party. For example, it could be determined that you were 25% liable and the defendant was 75% liable for the accident.

In cases of contributory negligence, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced to take into account your partial fault. So in the above example, the compensation amount would be reduced by 25%.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, you are likely to have numerous questions about your legal rights and the processes involved in making a claim. Contacting a personal injury solicitor to discuss your accident should be free of charge, and they should be happy to answer any questions you have and confirm if you have a valid claim for compensation.