What types of personal injury can I claim for?
A personal injury is the legal term for a physical injury, psychological condition or illness that has been caused by someone else's negligence. You can claim for any accident, regardless of where is was sustained unless it took place outside the European Union.
Making a personal injury claim may allow you to recover compensation from the person or organisation that was responsible for causing your injury or illness. In practice, this usually means claiming from the insurers of the responsible party.
Personal injury claims for stress at work are hard to prove and may not lead to a successful conclusion. The BMA offers a range of support services for members. If you are in distress, please call our 24/7 counselling service on 0330 123 1245 or explore our other wellbeing services.
Is this service really free for members?
Yes – there is no charge to you for pursuing a claim, regardless of the outcome. If you win, you will receive 100% of the damages. It doesn't cost the BMA anything either as our costs are reclaimed from the losing party (or from our insurance if we lose).
However, in some cases it may be necessary for BMA Law to take out additional insurance, the cost of which may be passed on to you. If this is the case, this will be fully explained to you before the case is taken on, to allow you to make an informed decision. See our terms and conditions below for full details.
Does this cost the BMA money?
No. Where a case is won, we will claim legal costs (ie costs incurred and time spent by BMA Law when running the case) back from the other side. If the case is lost, we have insurance to cover the winning side's legal costs, so it won't cost the BMA anything.
Why should I use the BMA and not a high street personal injury firm?
With the BMA's personal injury support, you will keep 100% of the damages if you win your case. High street firms will take a fee on a winning case, usually as a percentage of the damages awarded. Your case will be run by expert personal injury lawyers, and because we're not seeking a profit, we won't pressure you into making a decision to claim.
How long will my personal injury case take?
It's difficult to give an estimate when it comes to settling a personal injury claim, as proceedings can take anything from just a few months to several years. The duration of claims can depend on factors such as:
- severity of the injury or illness
- whether responsibility for injury is admitted
- complexity of injury
- collecting evidence.
To ensure that your claim has the best chance of success, we need to investigate your case fully in the initial stages, which can take time. We'll instruct independent experts to look at your case and make sure we have all the evidence we need to give you the best chance of success.
What are the time limits for bringing a personal injury claim?
There are strict time limits in personal injury claims. The usual rule is that a potential claimant has three years from the date of an accident within which to bring a claim for compensation.
For example, if you had an accident on 11 May 2013, you would have until 11 May 2016 to bring a claim for compensation. When we use the term 'bring a claim', we mean issue court proceedings – so if court proceedings were not brought until after 11 May 2016, the opportunity to bring a claim would be lost. The court does have discretion to override the three-year period, but it is not regularly exercised.
The three-year time limit is slightly different in cases involving repetitive injuries and diseases.
Claims need to be investigated over a period of time, and the more time you have to investigate your claim, the greater an advantage you are likely to have.
There are three further points to note regarding the limitation for bringing a personal injury claim:
- Bringing a claim on behalf of a deceased person: in the case of fatal accidents, the three-year period will start to run from the date of death, or when the death is linked to a particular incident or accident.
- Bringing a claim on behalf of a minor (someone under 18): in the case of minors, their three-year limitation period will not start to run until their 18th birthday – so their three-year limitation period would not expire until their 21st birthday.
- If someone is being treated under the Mental Health Act 1983, their three-year period will not start to run until after they have been discharged as a patient.
Although there is a three-year period within which to bring court proceedings, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible should you believe you might have a claim.
Will my personal injury claim go to court?
Our specialist personal injury solicitors aim to secure the best outcome for you, and this may mean that we need to take your case to court.
Most cases we handle, however, are settled before they reach court. If your opponent has accepted responsibility for your injury or illness, our personal injury team will always try to negotiate a settlement that takes into account your pain, suffering, future care costs and expenses you've incurred.
If we can't negotiate a suitable compensation package, or if the opponent denies responsibility for your injuries, we'll start court proceedings.
Do I have to attend a medical appointment to make a claim?
It's likely that you will have to attend a medical appointment and undergo a medical examination as part of your personal injury claim. We usually collect expert evidence from a range of people, including medical professionals, to help put your case together. This allows us to create a compensation package that will best help with your recovery.
We'll support you with any appointments that you may have to attend and ensure you fully understand what will happen on the day. A lot of people find these medical appointments useful, as they provide a valuable insight on what future care and rehabilitation is needed.
What do I need to prove to claim for personal injury?
In personal injury cases we have to prove that your injuries were wholly or partially somebody else's fault. We'll work with you to put together evidence to show whose responsibility your injury or illness was.
We encourage you to contact us promptly so we can begin investigating your case as soon as possible. This can be crucial in securing evidence and documents that allow your claim to have the best chance of success.
How can you help me with rehabilitation and support?
Our personal injury lawyers consider rehabilitation and support to be as important as financial compensation. We'll work with you to understand what care would best suit you, and help you access it.
Rehabilitation can help you and your family deal with the difficulties caused by your injury or illness. You'll be shown different techniques that could make your life easier and help you overcome day-to-day hurdles.
When we calculate how much compensation you should receive, we'll take into account your rehabilitation needs and support that can help with the likes of travel, loss of earnings and any equipment and care you might need to live as independently as possible.
What happens if I have legal expenses insurance?
If you have legal expenses insurance, which is often part of home and motor insurance policies, then you must provide us with the details.
Having legal expenses insurance won’t impact your ability to use this member benefit.