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Personal injury

If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, our new extended member support means you are entitled to free legal representation for personal injury claims.

We hope you never need to use this service, but if you do wish to make a claim for compensation – we are here to help.

Please contact our team of advisers on 0300 123 2014 between 8.30am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

 

About this service

  • Free legal representation for members wishing to make a personal injury claim
  • There is no charge for this service and it does not cost the BMA anything to offer
  • This service is available to all BMA members, regardless of age or branch of practice
  • This is a BMA member benefit with the legal case run by BMA Law
  • Successful claimants take home 100% of any damages awarded
  • Cases must pass a merits assessment before compensation can be sought
  • This is not an insurance product – a pay out in the event of an injury is not guaranteed

 

  • What is personal injury?

    Personal injury is a term used to describe an injury which has been caused to you due to someone else's negligence. This might be an accident or injury that has occurred in or out of the workplace.

    Victims of personal injury have different reasons for making a claim but the most common reason is to claim compensation for the pain and suffering endured as a result of the injury. Often, compensation can be recovered to reimburse any expenses connected to the personal injury such as medical expenses, or lost earnings if you are unable to work.

  • How does the claims process work?

    We want you to feel completely comfortable if you decide to pursue a claim. Our guide to the claims process outlines what to expect, what initial information we need from you and how long you can expect the process to take depending on the type of claim.

    Personal injury infographic
A guide to the claims process
  • What to do if you are injured

    If you sustain a personal injury, make sure you do the following:

    • make sure that you and anyone involved is safe
    • seek medical attention as soon as possible, including emergency services, if appropriate
    • if you were injured at work, follow your employer's accident reporting processes
    • take photographs of the accident scene and of your injury, especially if you have a mobile phone with you at the time, if safe to do so
    • take photographs of your injuries or measurements of the defects, if required
    • inform the police, if appropriate
    • obtain the names and addresses of those involved, including any witnesses to the incident, or those that can give evidence of the place of the accident or injury
    • ensure that the incident and injuries sustained are properly documented by your GP and/or hospital
    • keep a record of any financial losses and out of pocket expenses you incur, as well as copies of any receipts
    • write down your own description of the incident circumstances as soon as possible
    • If you think you have a claim for compensation, BMA Law can help. Call them on 0300 123 2014 or email them at [email protected]
  • Personal injury claims: FAQs

    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.

  • Accidents in the workplace: FAQs

    Am I entitled to compensation for my workplace injury?

    If you are injured through someone else's fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You should contact [email protected] or call 0300 123 2014 and speak to one of their personal injury solicitors.

    They will assess whether you have a valid claim for compensation. Your chances of a successful claim will be based on if you are able to prove that your injuries were caused as a direct result of negligent acts by your employer who owed you a duty of care.

    Will bringing a workplace accident claim affect my job?

    If you have been injured at work and decide to exercise your right to bring a claim for compensation against your employer, you should not then be adversely treated by your employer. The reality is that, although you may be bringing a claim against your employer in name, your claim will actually be handled by your employer's insurers or solicitors.

    Can I bring a claim if my employer is no longer trading?

    Yes. If the employer's liability insurer who was on cover at the time of the accident can be located, a claim can still be brought. If the proposed defendant company is no longer trading and has been dissolved or removed from the Register of Companies, it is possible to have the company restored to the register in order to bring the claim.

  • Terms and conditions

  • Personal injury case studies

    Case study: nurse Aria Ford

    Registered nurse, Aria Ford works with a community mental health team. Aria was assaulted by a psychiatric patient when he forced his way into a staff room. The patient forced the door open and, while her colleague managed to escape, Aria was knocked to the ground and stabbed. Following the incident, it came to light that the patient had made threats to kill a doctor three days earlier and, on the day of the assault, the security system preventing access to restricted areas had failed. The claim is ongoing but liability for the incident is admitted by the relevant trust. A claim is made for physical and psychiatric injuries and consequential losses.

     

    Case study: Doctor Richards

    Doctor Richards, a psychiatrist from Sheffield, was attending an afternoon tea party when the waiter dropped his tray, pouring boiling water onto her arm and thigh. Sustaining serious burns, an ambulance was called and Dr Richards received treatment from a nearby hospital. She was discharged but had to attend numerous follow up appointments to have the burns re-dressed which was painful and inconvenient. The claim was submitted to the defendants who swiftly admitted liability. After nine months and a medical report from an accident and emergency consultant, Dr Richards' case was settled out of court for £4,000.

     

    Case study: Doctor Campbell

    Doctor Campbell, a GP from Cardiff was looking at lino flooring samples at the back of a shop when the rolls (which weren’t secured) suddenly fell on him causing concussion, whiplash and a soft tissue injury to his back. His injuries meant he was unable to work for a period of two weeks and required assistance with the care of his young child. After 10 months the case was settled out of court for £2,841.

     

    Case study: Doctor Peters

    Doctor Peters was injured when the wire on a weights machine snapped causing him to suffer soft tissue damage to his lower back and neck. The defendant gym admitted liability for the failure to inspect and maintain the gym equipment. After 10 months the case was settled out of court for £3,700.

  • Supporting services

    Injuries can have a wider impact on your life. To support you through difficult times we have a number of additional support services including our 24/7 counselling and doctor advisor service.

    Call 0330 123 1245 to speak to someone in confidence or find out more.