Wheelchair Accident Claims – How To Claim Compensation

By Lewis Hendrix. Last updated 27th July 2023. Welcome to our guide on wheelchair accident claims. If you have been the victim of an accident in a wheelchair, then this guide will educate you about the process of making a personal injury claim for any wheelchair injury you have sustained, that was caused by the actions of a third party.

In this guide, we not only offer a list of compensation payouts for UK claims involving someone who is wheelchair-bound. We also show you how we could help with an accident injury claim.

Have You Had An Accident In A Wheelchair?

Man moving his wheelchair after an accident

As each claim has its own unique aspects, there may be questions about your own claim that this guide does not cover. In this instance, please contact our claims team on 0800 073 8801.

One of our claim advisors will go over the details of your claim with you, and answer any questions you have. They will also offer you some free legal advice on how best to proceed with your claim, as well as explain how we can provide a solicitor to process a claim on your behalf.

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What Is An Accident In A Wheelchair?

A wheelchair accident is an accident that results in a wheelchair-bound person being injured. However, in order for the injured person to be able to make a claim for the harm they have suffered, the accident will need to have been the fault of a third party.

Accidents can be caused by many hazards, and we will cover some of these further down this guide. Injuries caused by a wheelchair accident can range from trivial to catastrophic.

Any person injured in such an accident, can attempt to make a compensation claim for their injuries, for the physical and psychological harm caused, and also for the effect the injuries will have on their quality of life.  As long as it can be proven a third party was at least partially to blame, a claim could be possible. If you would like to have your claim evaluated, please speak to our claims team. They will be able to tell you whether it is valid or not.

Wheelchair Users And Disability Rights

In the UK, every disabled person has some very specific rights. These rights are inferred by the Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations (UN) Convention related to disabled people. Part of these rights stipulate that all disabled people must have safe access to certain things, and any provider who could potentially deal with disabled people, should make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled access is made available. The things that disabled people must have safe access to are:

  • Education – schools, colleges, universities, etc.
  • Employment – the place of work, facilities such as bathrooms and cafeteria.
  • Housing – safe access, appliances for disabled people fitted.
  • Good and services – such as supermarkets, cinemas, hospitals, local council offices, leisure facilities, libraries, etc.
  • Registered associations – such as labour or working men’s clubs, the British Legion, etc.

If these rights are not upheld, and this causes a disabled person to become the victim of an accident, then a personal injury lawyer could be able to process a claim for any harm they suffered.

Common Causes Of Accidents In A Wheelchair

People who need to use a wheelchair, are exposed to accident hazards above and beyond those that healthy pedestrians have to deal with. Some of the common hazards and accidents affecting wheelchair users are:

  • Mechanical failures causing an accident, such as faulty brakes.
  • An exploding battery (related to mobility scooters and other electric vehicles).
  • Collisions with static objects, pedestrians, cars and other vehicles.
  • Accidents that are the result of neglect in a care home.
  • Accidents that are caused by a damaged pavement. Potholes, broken paving slabs, etc.
  • Wheelchair accidents that are caused by a hazard at work.

These are some of the common kinds of wheelchair hazards. No matter how your accident occurred, if a third party was to blame, then you could be able to make a compensation claim. If you would like some free personal injury claims advice about your own accident, speak to our claims team today.

Common Wheelchair Injuries

Due to the fact that the wheelchair itself protects the torso of the wheelchair user, in minor to moderate accidents, it is generally the extremities that are injured. The hands, arms, feet and legs. Additionally, the head can be hurt. In more serious accidents, such as a wheelchair being struck by a moving vehicle, then the protection offered by the wheelchair itself is insignificant, and the wheelchair user would suffer a similar range of injuries to a pedestrian. This could include major fractures such as the pelvis or the neck, and also traumatic head injuries.

No matter what injuries you have suffered, if a third party was responsible for your injuries, then a personal injury solicitor could help you to claim compensation for them. Our claims team can tell you more about this.

Wheelchair Accidents Caused By Care Home Negligence

Residents in a care home are at risk of harm due to negligence. Even though every care home in the UK is required to fulfil its legal obligation to provide a safe environment for its residents, negligence can still take place. For example:

  • A resident is left sitting in their wheelchair for extended periods, causing pressure sores.
  • A care home fails to maintain a resident’s wheelchair to a safe standard, and this results in an accident.
  • A care worker crashes a resident into a static object in their wheelchair because they were distracted and not paying attention.

These examples all show how some form of negligence in a care home can result in harm to a wheelchair user. We can help with wheelchair accident claims relating to care homes. Speak to a claims advisor to learn how.

Faulty And Unsafe Wheelchair Accidents

Accidents caused by mechanical failure are quite common. Such as an accident using a motorised wheelchair or a mobility vehicle. In the UK, it is a legal obligation of manufactures to make sure that products they make meet certain safety standards, and this includes wheelchairs and mobility scooters. When a manufacturer fails to meet safety standards, there are three reasons why they may be liable, and these are:

  • A design defect – if an accident is caused by an inherent design fault in the wheelchair or mobility scooter.
  • Manufacturing defects – if the wheelchair or mobility scooter has developed a fault due to defects introduced during the manufacturing process. Such as poor-quality materials or ineffective manufacturing methods.
  • Insufficient or erroneous instructions – if the instructions provided with the mobility scooter or wheelchair were insufficient to inform the user how to operate it safely.

If you are injured in a wheelchair accident that was the fault of the manufacturer, we could be able to help you to make a claim. Speak to one of our claim advisors to have your claim evaluated.

Workplace Wheelchair Accidents And Injuries

In a previous section, we have shown that disabled people have the right to expect a safe environment, with wheelchair access at work. It is the employer’s legal obligation to make sure that disabled employees are provided with the special facilities that they need. Such as wheelchair ramps, disabled access bathrooms, etc. When the employer fails in their duty to keep a disabled person safe at work, and this failure directly or indirectly leads to a disabled person being harmed, then a valid claim could exist. We can assist with wheelchair accident claims in the workplace. Call our claims team to learn how.

Public Place Wheelchair Injury Claims

The local authority is responsible for maintaining public spaces and buildings to a safe standard. Therefore, if you suffer an accident in a wheelchair in a public place such as the street, a local park, a library or a council-run leisure centre, then if it can be proven that the council was to blame, you could be able to instigate a claim.

The same holds true for publicly accessible places that are operated by a nosiness or some other organisation. For example, a shopping mall, a church, a pay and display car park, etc. And once again, if it can be proven the premises operate caused your accident, a claim could be possible.

Who May Be Liable For An Accident In A Wheelchair?

In simple terms, any private individual, business, organisation, etc. can be liable for causing a wheelchair accident, and to compensate the victim. Such as:

  • A family member.
  • Your next-door neighbours.
  • Your GP or dentist.
  • Your employer.
  • The local supermarket operator.
  • Your local swimming pool.
  • The local council.
  • The Police.

As you can see, the list could be endless. Any legal entity can be held to be liable for causing an accident. Wheelchair accident claims might be possible if you can prove somebody else caused the accident in which you were injured. If you are unsure who is liable in your own claim, speak to our claims team to find out today.

Evidence To Prove Liability For A Wheelchair Accident

If you are injured in an accident in a wheelchair, there are certain things you can do to prepare for making a claim. This includes gathering evidence such as:

  • Photographs of the scene of the accident and its cause.
  • The contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Documented proof of any financial losses.
  • The results of an independent medical examination.

If you can capture evidence such as this, it will improve your chances of your claim being successful. If you want some advice on what evidence to collect and how, please speak to one of our claim advisors.

Examples Of Personal Injury Compensation Payouts

There is no definitive list of compensation payouts for UK claims as each settlement is unique. However, we are able to give guidance based on the Judicial College Guidelines that could be helpful for claims made in England and Wales.

This is a publication that solicitors can use to help them value general damages. The table below contains figures from the April 2022 release of this publication. However, the figures are only a guide.

Type of injury Severity Settlement Range Further details
Neck Moderate £13,740 to £24,990 Soft tissue injuries or wrenching-type injuries. They will cause discomfort, stiffness, permanent (or recurring) pain and serious loss of movement.
Back Minor £7,890 to £12,510 Injuries where there is damage to the soft tissue. Some symptoms will ease and be almost fully resolved in around 5-years.
Shoulder Moderate £7,890 to £12,770 Frozen shoulder injuries that cause discomfort and limited movement for around 2-years.
Elbow Severe £39,170 to £54,830 Elbow injuries that are seriously disabling.
Knee Moderate £14,840 to £26,190 Covers a dislocated knee or torn meniscus injuries.
Ankle Severe £31,310 to £50,060 Injuries that need pins, screws and metal plates to fix the ankle bones and cause a residual disability.
Wrist Uncomplicated Fracture In the region of £7,430 Uncomplicated Colles’ fracture
Hand Serious £29,000 to £61,910 Reducing the functionality to around 50%
Fractures to fingers Severe Up to £36,740 Severe

General damages compensate claimants for the pain and suffering and loss of amenity their injuries cause. We must mention that you could also claim special damages. These are designed to compensate successful claimants for financial costs and losses due to their injuries. 

Evidence and your accident injury claim

An important piece of evidence in any claim, whether you are wheelchair bound or not, is the independent medical report. During your claim, you may have to attend an appointment with an independent medic. They would assess your injuries and write a report that could be used to evidence them.

The report could have an impact on how much you receive for your injury claim. Should you have any questions about the guidelines or you would like a personalised estimate of your compensation payout, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to talk to you about the unique facts and circumstances of your case and how they could affect your payout.

What Else Could I Claim If Injured In A Wheelchair Accident?

In the section above, we looked at how much compensation you might be able to claim. In this section, we look at how the total compensation payment will be made up of a number of different types of damages, some of the most common being:

Special damages (these are paid for financial and other nonphysical losses):

    • Reduced future potential – if your ability to work will be affected by your injuries. Forcing you to work less, change to a less well-paid career, or stop working altogether.
    • Lost wages/salary – if your injury was bad enough to keep you away from work for some time, and you lost out on your income because of this.
    • Private medical costs – if you had to pay for private medical care out of your own pocket, for treatment that wasn’t available for free on the NHS.
    • The cost of care – if you needed to hire a nurse to take care of you at home, or you had to hire a cleaner or other home help to assist with day to day tasks.
    • Travel costs – if you had to pay out of pocket travel fees to deal with the claim, or to have your injuries treated.

General damages (these are paid for physical and psychological harm):

      • Loss of life quality – if the long-term or permanent effects of your injuries will lower your overall quality of life. For example, you have reduced mobility or impaired cognitive function.
      • Permanent disability – if your injuries will never heal fully and will leave you with some form of impairment.
      • Painful recovery – if your injuries will take some time to heal, and you will be subjected to painful, traumatic treatment and therapy during your recovery.
      • Psychological damage – if you begin to suffer from psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, new phobias, anxiety or depression because of your injuries.
      • Stress and trauma – at the time of the accident itself, and while you are receiving painful emergency treatment.
      • Pain and suffering – at the time of the accident itself, and while you are receiving painful emergency treatment.

Can I Claim For A Wheelchair Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis?

One of our solicitors may be able to help you with your personal injury claim following a wheelchair accident. Additionally, they may offer to represent you under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. With this arrangement in place, you won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing service fees to your solicitor. You also won’t have to pay them for the work they have provided on your case if it fails.

Should your claim be a success, your solicitor will deduct a legally capped success fee from your compensation settlement.

To see if you could be eligible to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, you can contact our friendly team of advisors.

Why Choose Our Team To Handle Your Wheelchair Accident Claim?

We are specialists in accident, illness and injury claims. At Accident Claims UK, we have a track record of securing compensation settlements on behalf of our clients across a broad range of claim types.

We will always aim to get you the most compensation possible, but will never do anything that could put your claim in jeopardy. We are always available to give you updates on your claim, and we will do so without any legal jargon, just plain and simple English.

How a solicitor could help with wheelchair accident claims

When you begin any type of personal injury claim, you will need evidence to show how your accident happened, who caused it and what injuries you sustained. If you don’t have such evidence, or you can’t relay it concisely to an insurer, you are likely to miss out on the compensation you might be owed.

Therefore, we’d suggest you let a specialist solicitor represent you. By doing so, the claims process will be easier and you could be paid a higher level of compensation. Your solicitor will begin by getting the evidence needed to back up your allegations. They’ll also arrange a local medical assessment so that your injuries can be fully understood.

Once your claim has been submitted, they will keep in touch with you to let you know about any updates. They will also use their legal skills and experience to try to counter any objections raised by the defendant or their insurer. If an agreement on liability is reached, your solicitor will fight to ensure that any compensation payment is set at the right level to cover your suffering.

Please call today to find out more about how we can help with wheelchair accident claims.

Talk To Our Accident Claims Team

Have you been injured in a wheelchair related accident that wasn’t your fault? Do you believe that you could have a valid reason to make a compensation claim? If this sounds like you, then please contact a member of our claims team on 0800 073 8801. A claim advisor will discuss your claim with you, answer any questions you have, and then explain what your legal options are and how best to proceed with a compensation claim today.

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