Personal Injury

Common questions about Personal Injury.


> Can I make a personal injury claim?

In simple terms, if you have been injured as a result of the fault of somebody else, you are entitled to claim financial compensation through the courts.

> Who can make a personal injury claim?

If you are the injured person, then you can claim compensation on your own behalf.

If the injured person is under 18 years of age, the court will appoint someone to claim on their behalf. This is called a "litigation friend" and is usually a parent or other relative.

If the injured person lacks capacity to instruct a solicitor and conduct legal proceedings, the court may appoint a "litigation friend". Again this is usually a close friend or other relative.

> Is there a time limit for bringing a personal injury claim?

Yes. In the majority of cases, you must issue a claim at court or settle the matter within three years from the date of the accident or illness. You can make a claim at any point during these three years, though generally speaking the earlier you consult a solicitor the better.

However, if you do not settle or issue court proceedings within three years, then your claim will become time-barred. If there is a good reason for the delay the court will allow a claim to be made "out of time". However, these instances are rare so the safest course of action is always to bring a claim within the three year limitation period.

If you are suffering from an occupational illness or asbestos related disease then it is very difficult to know when you suffered the injury or became ill. In these circumstances, you have three years from the date you first knew or should have known:

a) that you are suffering from that injury/illness, and

b) that the injury/illness was attributable to negligence, nuisance or breach of duty.

> How much compensation am I likely to receive from my personal injury claim?

Financial compensation comes in two parts:

General Damages

This is the lump sum payable to compensate the injured party for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity. It is often difficult to estimate the amount of general damages until the full circumstances of the accident are known and more information is obtained about the injuries sustained. The amount is dependant on the seriousness of the harm and the extent of the symptoms or disability. The general principle is, the more serious the injury the higher the award of general damages.

Special Damages

This refers to past and future financial losses that can be proved to be a consequence of the injury. The most common special damages claimed are loss of earnings, cost of lost or damaged items, and cost of medical treatment/drugs

> What is the process for making a personal injury claim?

We will initially take a statement from you. We may do this by telephone or arrange a face to face meeting.

Based on what you tell us, if we agree you have a claim, we will identify the likely defendant and send them a letter of claim. The letter of claim gives concise details about the matter.

Once a letter of claim has been sent, the defendant has 21 days to acknowledge receipt and a further three months to complete their liability investigations. When replying the defendant must either admit or deny fault. If fault is admitted then you have effectively won your claim and we can go on and investigate how much compensation you are entitled to be paid.

If the defendant denies fault or partially admits fault they must firstly give full reasons for their denial and secondly disclose any relevant documents. We will then either (1) advise you to continue with your claim and we will carry on investigating liability and fault issues on your behalf, or (2) we will advise you that your case is not likely to succeed and should be discontinued.

How do I make a Claim?

If you wish to make a claim please telephone us on 0844 576 1804 or e-mail the Head of Personal Injury direct

> I have a Personal Injury claim, what is the value of my case and can you guarantee success?

The "Value" of your case will depend on a number of factors, such as the extent of your injury and the amount of your medical treatment. You may need to consider the development of your injuries and your recovery. Any permanent impairment will affect the value of your claim.

The calculation includes the responsible parties ability to pay a judgement and if you have any contributing liability in the accident.

We will not take your case unless we believe that there is a good chance of success. However there are no guarantees. We aim to give you a fair assessment of the likely outcome of your case based on the facts and our experience in similar cases.


Contact us

O'Neill Patient Solicitors LLP
Chester House, 2 Chester Road, Hazel Grove,  Stockport, Cheshire, SK7 5NT


0161 694 3000 / 0161 483 8555



0844 576 2140 (we do not accept service by fax or email)