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Serious Injury Claims

Serious injuries of any description are likely to have a major impact on both you and your loved ones. If it can be proved that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be in a position to claim compensation.

At Wolferstans, we have a specialist team looking after clients who have suffered severe injuries as a result of an accident. This ensures that those clients are advised by people who have the necessary skill and experience to deal with these complex claims. The team has particular expertise in dealing with both head and spinal injuries and understands the unique challenges that these bring.

We offer a comprehensive service to clients who have suffered a catastrophic injury, working to ensure that, where possible, a rehabilitation programme is put in place early to provide support and professional care to the injured person and their family.

We know that when a member of a family suffers a serious injury, it has a profound effect on not only the injured person but also the whole family. From the start we focus on the immediate needs of the injured person and their family in terms of physical and psychological support and also financial support.

Book your free initial consultation with our serious injury solicitors in Plymouth

To discuss your serious injury claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation, please get in touch by calling us on 01752 648870 or use our contact form

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How our serious injury solicitors can help

In every instance, we will work with insurance companies where appropriate to enable our clients to receive the best treatment throughout the various stages of their rehabilitation.

Where liability is not in dispute, we will also obtain interim payments to help with the financial pressures which often accompany a very serious injury. This can be vitally important in circumstances where the injured person is unable to work or needs a formal care regime to be set up.

Our expertise with serious injuries

When there has been a serious injury it is important that the best evidence is obtained to provide as accurate a picture as possible of what the future needs of the injured person and their family will be.

We use our expertise to ensure that the appropriate experts are involved in the claim and will work to recover the maximum amount of compensation to provide financial security for the future. Our specialist serious injury solicitors can provide support with all types of injuries that could be considered ‘serious’, including but not limited to:

  • Amputations
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Fatal injuries

We are a local firm with a local touch but with clients throughout the country and can instruct experts in all regions.

Our serious injury solicitors have years of experience and expertise in dealing with high value, complex cases, so are perfectly positioned to support you with your individual case. We aim to be personal, professional, and prompt in our work, being motivated by the wish to do our very best by our clients and enable them to rebuild their lives and move forward.

As a firm, we have a number of accreditations and professional memberships, including being recognised as experts

  • Headway – The Brain Injury Association
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Panel
  • Motor Accident Solicitors Society

How to claim for a serious injury

Establishing whether you are eligible for compensation for a serious injury

Before you consider making a claim for a serious injury, it is first important to clearly establish whether you will be entitled to make a claim and, if so, what the process will involve. Our specialist serious injury solicitors can help you with this.

When instructed, our team can put their years of experience to use, assessing your case in detail to build a comprehensive picture of exactly what happened. From here, we can make sure that all of the necessary evidence is collated to support your claim and that no detail is overlooked.

Making sure you get the maximum compensation available

When dealing with the fallout of a serious injury, you will understandably want to be sure that you access the maximum possible compensation to support you and your family.

At Wolferstans, our team will make sure that all of your needs are fully considered and that the ways your serious injury have affected your life are accounted for.

This will typically mean taking steps to secure appropriate compensation for:

  • The financial impact of a serious injury – e.g. Lost income, paying for medical fees, nursing fees etc.
  • The personal impact of a serious injury – e.g. Pain and suffering, no longer being able to carry out the activities you were previously able to (loss of amenity), the time it takes your family to look after you etc.

Securing early payments to cover medical costs, hospice fees and more

Depending on the nature of your serious injury, it may be necessary to secure early payments which can be used to fund any care, equipment or home adaptations that may be needed.

We regularly work with specialist medical and nursing experts, together with hospices, to provide the best possible service to our clients.

Taking over a serious injury claim from another firm where you are unhappy with the outcome

Many clients come to use after previously being awarded a settlement with another firm that they are not satisfied with. Where this is the case, we will be happy to provide a second opinion.

If we believe that we will be able to secure a higher settlement that accurately reflects the impact of your injury, we will be able to re-open the case to seek further compensation. 

Common questions about serious injury claims

Serious injuries are those which typically result in long-lasting or permanent effects for the injured party. These consequences can be both physical and psychological.

In order to recover compensation (damages), the injured person (Claimant) must prove that it is more likely than not that someone else is at least partly to blame for the injuries suffered i.e. that someone else has been negligent or has breached a statutory duty.

In order to prove negligence, you must be able to identify the person you blame for your accident (Defendant). There may be more than one person potentially at fault, in which case blame might be apportioned between them.

If we cannot identify the person at fault, you will usually be unable to make a claim, although there are limited exceptions to this rule, for example, after a road accident it is sometimes possible to obtain compensation from an organisation called the Motor Insurers Bureau where the driver at fault cannot be traced.

Once we have identified the Defendant, we need to establish that they owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty and that the breach of duty caused the accident and the damage for which you want to claim compensation. A duty of care can also be imposed by statute, for example, many of the duties owed by an employer to its employees stem from legal Regulations.

If someone was to blame for the accident which led to your injury, you may be able to make a claim for compensation/damages.

Damages fall into two main categories: general damages and special damages.

General damages include compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured and will endure as a result of the injury as well as loss of amenity (the ability to enjoy certain aspects of your life). They also cover anticipated future financial losses and expenses/outlay (including items of special damage which will continue or arise in the future).

Special damages cover financial losses and expenses suffered as a result of your injury and its consequences up to the date of settlement or trial. These include loss of earnings, medication and treatment costs, travelling expenses, care costs (even care provided voluntarily), accommodation costs, the cost of aids and equipment. Essentially, they cover anything that reasonably and directly flows from the accident which gave rise to your injury.

We will help to identify all past and future losses for which you can claim and put together a comprehensive summary of those losses.

There are several important considerations to keep in mind when making a serious injury claim:


By law, unless the injured person is a child or lacks capacity to manage their own affairs, a claim must be brought within three years of the date of the accident i.e. court proceedings must be commenced by that time, which means registering the claim with the court.

However, before that step can be taken, a good deal of work has to be done and the sooner your solicitor is instructed the better so that preparation of the case can begin, including gathering evidence, taking statements from witnesses and obtaining expert evidence.

Very large claims, for example, those involving serious brain injury commonly take several years to bring to a conclusion because it is necessary to make sure that we know how the injury is going to affect the Claimant’s future and what his/her future needs will be. Only then can we value the claim properly.

Letter of Claim

We have to write to the Defendant setting out your case against them and why they are to blame for the accident. They then have a period of time to investigate and respond, either admitting liability (that they were to blame) or denying it. If they deny liability, they must give us reasons, but we will then prepare your case against them in more detail.

Assessing the value of your claim

At the same time as we are preparing the case on liability, i.e. putting together the evidence to show that the Defendant was to blame for your accident, we will gather the evidence we need in order to determine the value of your claim.

This will include asking medical experts to examine you and produce reports setting out the nature and effects of your injuries (now and in the future) as well as other experts who will report on what care needs you have and whether you need any specialised equipment, adapted accommodation and any other needs.


Most improvement following a serious injury usually occurs in the first few months and so early intervention/rehabilitation is very important in improving the longer-term outcome. Initially, rehabilitation will often consist of the provision of various therapies, as well as teaching new strategies to help you cope with your altered circumstances and what aids and equipment are necessary/beneficial.

This will develop to involve the family and those close to you to help them to help you continue to improve. We will ensure that you receive appropriate support and input from the right specialists to help you return to as fulfilling and independent a life as possible.

Schedule of loss and damage

We will put together this document which sets out all financial losses and expenses which have resulted from your injury, supported by receipts and other evidence. We will add to the schedule as time goes on to include all losses up until your case goes to court or a conclusion is reached by agreement. It will also incorporate expected future losses, for example, loss of earnings, future treatment and care costs, accommodation costs and other future expenses.

Settlement or Court?

The Court rules which apply to these kinds of cases aim to ensure that as many cases as possible are settled (agreed) without the need for a trial. Indeed, Defendants’ representatives will usually want to avoid a trial because trials are extremely expensive and the outcome unpredictable.

They are likely to make an offer to settle your claim out of court and will sometimes make increasing offers. We will help you to decide whether any offer should be accepted and whether you should, yourself, make an offer to settle.

In the unlikely event that we could not reach agreement with the Defendants’ representatives, there would be a trial, but these do not tend to be as dramatic or acrimonious as they might be portrayed to be on TV.

Interim payments

We consider it important to secure early interim payments to tide people over at a time when their finances have often been significantly affected or when treatment, care or housing costs have to be paid for. If liability has been accepted, the Defendant’s representatives will usually agree to make such a payment.

If not, we would arrange for the commencement of court proceedings so that we could ask the court to make the Defendant’s representatives pay.

The amount of compensation you may be able to receive for a serious injury will depend on a number of factors, including the exact nature of the injury, the financial impact you have experienced and the causes of the injury. Our serious injury solicitors will be able to advise you on the level of compensation you could be entitled to during a consultation.

Yes. It is possible to make a serious injury on behalf of someone else in certain scenarios. For example, you can make a serious injury compensation claim on behalf of someone who has lost the capacity to do so themselves (such as if they have experienced a head or brain injury).

Book your free initial consultation with our serious injury solicitors in Plymouth

To discuss your serious injury claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation, please get in touch by calling us on 01752 648870 or use our contact form.