How To Claim For Catastrophic Injuries Caused By Vehicle Accidents

This guide looks at the process of making a compensation claim for catastrophic injuries caused by a vehicle accident.

Catastrophic injuries

A guide to claiming for catastrophic injuries

For instance, a driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol causing them to knock a cyclist off their bike.

As a result of the car accident, the cyclist may have experienced a severed spinal cord, leaving them paralysed.

According to the Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Annual Report 2020, there were around 115,584 casualties of all severities in 2020. Of those, around 23,529 were either killed or seriously injured.

If you have experienced serious injuries that have severely impacted the quality of your life as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim.

This guide aims to help you understand whether you’re eligible to put forward a claim and seek compensation. However, if you have any additional questions after reading, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8801
  • Contact form: You can fill out our online contact form with your query.
  • Live chat: An advisor can provide instant advice via the live chat feature below.

Select a Section:

A Guide On Claims For Catastrophic Injuries After A Vehicle Accident

A claim could be made for catastrophic injuries sustained in a road traffic accident that was caused by another road user’s negligence. Regardless of whether you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or another road user, this guide could help. 

We will look at examples of how someone else’s negligence could cause someone else to sustain harm in this type of accident. Additionally, we will provide examples of the different types of catastrophic injuries someone could experience.

Furthermore, we will look at the different forms of evidence you may need to gather in order to support your claim.

Is There A Time Limit To Claim?

The Limitation Act 1980 sets out a general time limit of three years for personal injury claims. This may begin from the date the accident happened or the date you became aware that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.

However, there are a number of exceptions that may allow you to claim after three years. For more information, call our team. They could provide further details on the exceptions to the three-year time limit.

What Are Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries might include severe damage to the:

  • Spine
  • Spinal cord
  • Brain

Additionally, a catastrophic injury could include amputations.

There are various ways these types of injuries could impact you. For instance, you could experience physical effects such as loss of mobility.

Additionally, you could experience psychological harm as a result of dealing with the life-changing aspect of any injuries.

You could seek compensation for any physical or psychological harm sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence. For more information on the accident claims process, call our team.

Types Of Catastrophic Injuries Vehicle Accidents Could Cause

In some cases, catastrophic injuries could include damage to multiple parts of the body. Below, we have included examples of how another road user could have caused different types of catastrophic injuries as a result of their negligence.

  • A driver may have failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing while a pedestrian was crossing the road. As a result, they may have caused them to sustain a damaged spinal cord resulting in them becoming paralysed.
  • The driver of a lorry may have failed to check their mirrors before overtaking. As a result, they may have crashed into the driver of a car causing them to sustain a severe brain injury. This may have impacted their cognitive function.
  • A cyclist may have been knocked over by a driver who was operating their vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs. As a result, the cyclist may have experienced a severe laceration injury that led to amputation after a cycling accident.

If you have experienced a similar incident of negligence that caused you to suffer catastrophic injuries that have changed your life, please call our team.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Catastrophic Injuries?

There are various long-term effects that someone could experience as a result of sustaining a catastrophic injury. Examples of these might include:

  • Inability to work
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of brain function
  • Inability to communicate
  • A reduced life expectancy

However, compensation could be claimed for loss of amenity which is the impact injuries have had on someone’s quality of life.

Can You Recover From A Catastrophic Injury?

The recovery period for catastrophic injuries is very much dependent on the type of injury suffered. In some cases, there may be certain effects of an injury that are permanent.

However, in other cases, the effects may only affect you in the short term.

For more information on the recovery period for catastrophic injuries, you should seek medical advice from a trained medical professional.

What Evidence Do You Need To Show Your Injury Was Caused By A Vehicle Accident?

An important aspect of the claims process is gathering evidence to prove that another road user was negligent for causing you to sustain catastrophic injuries.

Examples of the evidence you could gather might include:

  • Photographs of your injuries and the accident scene
  • Dashcam footage
  • Witness contact details
  • Medical evidence

In addition, you may be invited to attend an independent medical appointment that produces a medical report. The report could highlight the treatment and diagnosis you received. It could also highlight the full extent and current state of your injuries.

The report could also be used to help when assessing how much your injuries are worth.

If you choose to hire a solicitor to represent your claim, they could arrange for you to attend this appointment in your local area.

How Much Could I Claim For Catastrophic Injuries Caused By A Vehicle Accident?

As each claim for catastrophic injuries is unique, an average compensation amount cannot be given.

However, each claim may comprise general damages. These seek to provide you compensation for any physical and psychological injuries you sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence.

The compensation you’re awarded under general damages may be calculated using medical evidence. Alongside this, a document called the Judicial College Guidelines may also be used to help value your claim.

The guidelines provide bracket compensation amounts for different injuries. We have used these amounts in the table below. However, please only use them as a guide because your actual settlement will vary.

Type of InjuryDetailsCompensation Example
Foot(a) Where both feet have been amputated.£158,970 to £189,110
Leg(a) (i) Where both legs have been lost.£225,960 to £264,650
Brain damage(a) A case of very severe brain damage that causes the person to require full-time care.£264,650 to £379,100
Paraplegia(b) The compensation awarded will depend on several factors such as the level of pain, age, life expectancy and whether there has been any psychological effect.£205,580 to £266,740
Bladder(a) Cases might involve double incontinence where natural bowel and bladder function are lost.Up to £172,860
NeckSevere (a) (i) A neck injury that involves paraplegia that's incomplete. In the region of £139,210
Pelvis(a) (i) A severe pelvic injury including extensive fractures that involve a low back joint dislocation and ruptured bladder. £73,580 to £122,860
Chest(a) Cases in this bracket might include where one lung has been removed and the heart has been seriously damaged.£94,470 to £140,870
BackSevere (a) (i) Injuries might include damage to the spinal cord and nerve root damage that causes several very serious symptoms that aren't normally associated with a back injury.£85,470 to £151,070

Could I Claim Back Any Additional Costs?

You could claim back any financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of your injuries. However, you will have to prove these losses by submitting relevant documentation such as receipts or payslips.

Examples of the losses you could claim back as part of special damages might include:

  • Lost income
  • Care costs
  • The cost of any special modifications that need to be made to your home.
  • Medical costs

Claim For Catastrophic Injuries With A No Win No Fee Agreement

You may be able to make a claim for catastrophic injuries under a No WIn No Fee agreement. In doing so, you could:

  • Avoid paying a cost upfront for your solicitor’s services
  • Avoid paying ongoing costs during the course of your claim

Additionally, you won’t be required to pay a success fee to your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful.

However, the success fee, which is subject to a legal cap, will be taken from your compensation as a percentage if your claim succeeds.

Our solicitors all operate on this basis and could start working on your claim if it holds validity. See below for how you could work with one of our experienced solicitors.

Start A Catastrophic Injury Claim Today

If you have any additional questions regarding a claim for catastrophic injuries, our team could help by providing the information you need.

Alternatively, they could help you take the necessary steps to start your compensation claim.

Either way, they are available to help. Simply get in touch using the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8801
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the live chat feature below.
  • Online form: Fill out the contact form with your query.

Serious Injury And Road Traffic Accident Resources

We have included some additional resources that you may find useful.

We have also included links to related guides that you may like to read through.

We hope our guide on seeking compensation for catastrophic injuries has helped. However, if you need any additional information, please get in touch on the number above.