Injury involving family or friends compensation claims

This guide covers what you should know about making a successful friends or family injury compensation claim.

Introduction

Making a compensation claim for injuries caused a stranger's negligence is often a straightforward decision.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a friend or family member, however, the choice may seem harder and it is recommended that you speak to a solicitor about your options.

Many injury lawyers will provide a free initial consultation and you will be under no obligation to proceed with legal action.

A solicitor will be able to reassure you that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, they will be dealing with the friend or family member's insurance company, rather than the party who caused the accident themselves.

Lawyer and claimants

Do I have a an injury claim?

It should be possible to make a an injury claim if the injury happened:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

If these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To get a definitive answer, you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. There is no obligation to start a claim.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if it was a criminal incident?

If your injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Types of accident caused by family members

Road traffic accidents

The majority of accidents involving friends and family members are road traffic accidents.

It is common for parents or siblings to be driving a car with family members as passengers when a collision occurs.

The insurance company of the negligent driver will settle claims in favour of the other driver and their passengers. In addition, the insurers will also settle your claim, as a blameless passenger in the vehicle that caused the accident.

Other accidents

Injury claims involving family members are not limited to road accidents. Other accidents include slips, trips or falls on the friend or family member's property, dog bites from a family member's dog, burns, scalds and food poisoning.

Injury claims following such accidents can, in some cases, be more complex to pursue. For more information regarding your options, speak to a specialist injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

Who will pay the compensation?

While the claim will be brought against the friend or family member who was responsible for the accident, the compensation will usually be settled by their insurance company.

The two most common types of insurance that people carry are car insurance, which covers road traffic accidents, and home insurance which may cover accidents on the property.

Most home insurance policies, landlord policies and tenant policies include cover for injuries incurred by someone who, for example, falls as a result of a broken step in the yard.

Home insurance cover may be limited to a certain financial value. If you are worried about making a claim, it is possible to limit your claim to the amount of insurance cover so your friend or family member is not out of pocket.

Can a child make a claim?

Persons under 18 injured in an accident involving a family member are entitled to make personal injury claims.

Children must have a parent or guardian to provide instructions on the child's behalf, known as a litigation friend.

If a parent is the defendant in the case, this parent cannot act as the litigation friend. The Court would regard this a conflict of interest. The second parent, a grandparent or other family member could act as the litigation friend and the claim could proceed as normal.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a road accident

If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Road Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee, no risk

With a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Personal Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Helen Goddard, Legal researcher

About the author

Helen is an award-winning legal researcher and author. She is an experienced court litigation report proofreader and has written extensively on legal matters.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert