Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Claims

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A Personal Injury claim is the formal process of seeking and recovering compensation from another party who was responsible for causing you to suffer an injury and possibly financial loss. If you have suffered an injury following an accident or incident that was not your fault, our specialist personal injury team are here to help you make a claim.

Watson Woodhouse Solicitors, have provided legal services for over 30 years. We have a dedicated and experienced team who understand that making a personal injury claim can sometimes feel confusing and overwhelming. Our dedicated and experienced personal injury lawyers can help recover the compensation you deserve.

Free Initial Discussion

For a no-obligation discussion, call our specialist Personal Injury Solicitors on 01642 247656, email us at or use our contact form, and we will call you back.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Accidents and incidents can happen anywhere at any time. We can help you with the following types of Personal Injury Claims:

If you are unsure which type of claim should make, a member of our skilled Personal Injury Team would love to hear from you to discuss your options.

How do I make a Personal Injury Claim?

To make a successful personal injury claim, you will need to prove:

  • that an individual, company or organisation (who caused your injury) owed you a duty of care;
  • that the duty was breached; and
  • that you suffered an injury as a result of the breach of duty.

While this may seem a little daunting, our highly experienced Personal Injury Lawyers are on hand to assess your enquiry and answer any questions you may have. We will advise you on the prospects of successfully making a Personal Injury Claim and explain the next steps.

How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?

It is important that you don’t wait too long before starting your personal injury claim. This is because there are strict deadlines as to when claims must be made. This is legally known as the ‘limitation date’. Details of the various limitations are contained within the ‘Limitation Act 1980’. Most personal injury claims must be made within three years of the accident or incident. However, there are some other dates you may wish to consider:

  • Medical Negligence Claims
    • You may not become immediately aware that you have suffered an injury or illness due as a result of the wrongdoing of another, especially if you have not been properly diagnosed or treated. Therefore, the three-year time limit may start from the date you became aware that you have suffered an injury as a result of a breach of duty owed to you. This is often referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’.
    • When determining the date of knowledge, a Judge will consider all the circumstances of your case to establish when it would have been ‘reasonable’ for you to start making enquiries and make your claim.
  • Criminal Injury Claims
    • If you are a victim of a criminal injury and you have sustained personal injuries, you can claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA time limit for making a claim is two years after the incident.
    • However, you should always report the incident to the police and make a statement as quickly as possible as any delay can lead to your claim being rejected.
  • Children’s Claims
    • If you are bringing a claim on behalf of a child (i.e. someone who is under the age of 18), the three-year limitation period does not run until they have turned 18.
    • However, you may bring a claim on behalf of a child before they turn 18 with the help of a ‘litigation friend’.
    • When a child reaches the age of 18 years of age, they can pursue a personal injury claim on their own and must issue their claim with the Court before turning 21.

This does not mean that you must settle your claim before the limitation date. Essentially, you must ensure that your claim is filed with the Court before the expiry of the limitation. Once your claim has been properly issued against all Defendants, it is unlikely that you will need to take any further steps in relation to limitation.

If you do not issue your claim in advance of the limitation date, it is likely that the Defendant will argue that your claim has been issued out of time. A Judge may also throw your case out of Court as you have failed to comply with the laws of limitation and you will be ‘statute barred’. This means you will not be allowed to take any further legal action in relation to that particular personal injury claim.

You may be able to make a personal injury claim after the limitation has passed. However, you can only usually do this in exceptional circumstances. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will be able to bring your claim after the limitation has passed.

We recommend you seek advice as soon as possible to ensure that action can be taken in advance of any limitation deadline. Personal injury claim time limits and limitation dates can be complex. However, our highly experienced lawyers can assess the limitation date and advise you on your next steps.

How much compensation will I receive?

The aim of personal injury compensation is to provide financial support in an attempt to return you to the same situation you were in before the accident took place (as far as possible). Our skilled personal injury team can assist you by calculating how your accident has affected your life and valuing your claim. The amount of personal injury compensation you will receive is made up of two types of compensation; General Damages and Special Damages.

General Damages

An award for general damages is made to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have suffered as a result of the accident or incident. You can be compensated for both any physical and psychological injury caused as a result of the accident or incident. The amount of compensation you can claim is dependent on a number of different factors:

  • The nature and number of injuries or illnesses
  • The severity of your injuries or illness
  • Effects on your day-to-day life
  • The length of your expected recovery
  • If you have suffered a permanent injury
  • Whether you have been recommended to undertake treatment to aid your recovery

If you are bringing a personal injury claim, you are known as a ‘Claimant’. As the Claimant, you must prove that you have suffered a personal injury claim. We can assist you in doing this by instructing a medical expert to provide a report on the injuries or illnesses you are suffering from. The expert will confirm whether the injuries or illnesses are related to the accident or incident and will comment upon your expected recovery time and any recommendations for treatment.

Our skilled personal injury lawyers will assess the value of your claim for General Damages using their wealth of knowledge and experience and the ‘Judicial College Guidelines’ which reflect recent cases that have already been assessed by Judges through the Court process. The guidelines provide an extensive list of injuries with differing monetary values for differing severity of injuries. Your personal injury lawyer will refer to the appropriate guidelines, along with established case law when calculating the value of your general damages to ensure that we seek recovery of the appropriate level of compensation you deserve.

Special Damages

In addition to your claim for General Damages, you can also make a claim for financial losses (legally known as special damages). Here are some examples of losses that you may have suffered as a result of the accident or incident:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Prescription charges
  • Rehabilitation treatment
  • Future medical treatment
  • Damage to your vehicle (often referred to as the pre-accident valuation)
  • Damages belongings or clothing (for example bike, helmet, mobile phone and child car seat)
  • Travelling expenses
  • Cancelled event, or holiday loss
  • Nursing care and assistance
  • Loss of enjoyment, such as a ruined holiday or trip

There is a whole range of financial losses that you may have suffered as a result of the accident or incident that you may wish to include as part of your personal injury claim. To enable you to make a successful claim for financial losses, it is vitally important that you keep as much evidence as you can, including but not limited to:

  • Wage slips/ contract of employment/ contract of business
  • Receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Quotes for treatment
  • Cost of repairs
  • Cost of a replacement (you will also need to show that your belonging was damaged beyond repair)
  • Engineering evidence

As a claimant, you have a duty to ‘mitigate your losses’. This means you must take reasonable action to minimise or reduce the losses you have suffered. Therefore, if you have been recommended treatment by a medical expert, we may be able to ask the Defendant’s representatives to arrange any recommended treatment to aid your recovery. If you fail to mitigate your losses, you may not be able to recover all of the losses you are claiming.

How are personal injury claims funded?

We understand that you may be concerned about the cost of making a personal injury claim. There are a number of different ways in which a personal injury claim can be funded including:

  • No win, no fee agreements
  • Legal Expenses Insurance
  • Trade Union Membership

No Win, No Fee

No win, no fee agreements (also known as conditional fee agreements) provide our clients with the peace of mind that they do not have to pay our fees should their claim be unsuccessful. This means that you will only pay for your legal fees if your claim is successful. Our deduction from your compensation for our success fee cannot exceed 25% (inclusive of VAT).

For CICA claims, please click here for details of our Contingency Fees.

At Watson Woodhouse Solicitors, we offer no win, no fee funding agreements for most types of personal injury claims. If you would like us to assess the prospects of successfully making a personal injury claim and whether we can offer you a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, please feel free to contact us to speak to one of our skilled personal injury lawyers at an initial consultation.

Legal Expenses Insurance

As part of your home or car insurance, you may have existing legal expenses insurance (LEI) sometimes known as ‘Before the Event Insurance’ (BTE) or ‘After the Event Insurance’ (ATE). This type of insurance may cover your legal costs and disbursements when making a claim.

If you have existing LEI, we can make enquiries with your BTE provider to determine if they would provide funding to cover your legal costs. If you do not have any existing LEI, you can apply for ATE insurance. There are a number of different providers of ATE cover available to you on the open market. You may need to enter into a no win, no fee agreement that is linked to a suitable insurance policy. We can discuss this with you should you wish to pursue a claim.

Trade Union Membership

If you are a member of a Trade Union, depending on the terms and conditions of your membership, your legal costs associated with making a personal injury claim may be covered. If you believe this is the case, our dedicated personal injury team are happy to review the details of your membership to assess your eligibility for funding through your membership.

Why choose Watson Woodhouse Solicitors?

Here are just a few reasons why you should trust Watson Woodhouse Solicitors with your personal injury claim:

  • Our Solicitors have invaluable knowledge of the local area and community and are proud to represent clients from Tees Valley, North East and Yorkshire (and further afield).
  • We pride ourselves on the service we provide our clients. We are not just professional and efficient, we are empathetic and understanding of our client’s needs.
  • You are welcome to meet us in one of our offices across Tees Valley, North East and Yorkshire for consultation throughout your claim.
  • We also offer home visits or hospital appointments where possible.
  • We offer ‘no win, no fee’ funding agreements so you do not have to worry about paying our costs if you do not win your case.
  • We can help you access rehabilitation and support services so that your road to recovery is not delayed.
  • In addition to your personal injury claim, we will help you identify any further financial losses you may be entitled to claim from the Defendant(s).
  • In some cases, we can secure interim payments from the Defendant(s) to reduce the financial burden suffered as a result of the accident or incident.

Contact Us

Our specialist personal injury lawyers at Watson Woodhouse Solicitors are available for a free, no-obligation consultation so we can answer any further questions you have.

For more information about how Watson Woodhouse Solicitors can help you start a personal injury claim,  call our specialist Personal Injury Solicitors on 01642 247656, email us at or use our contact form, and we will call you back.

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Call us for a confidential consultation with a specialist solicitor today on 01642 247656 or on our 24/7 Emergency Helpline 01642 917175

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