By Brett Williams. Last updated 4th August 2021. 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.
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.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Claims For An Accident In A Wheelchair
- What Is An Accident In A Wheelchair?
- Wheelchair Users And Disability Rights
- Common Causes Of Accidents In A Wheelchair
- Common Wheelchair Injuries
- Wheelchair Injuries Caused By Care Home Negligence
- Faulty And Unsafe Wheelchair Accidents
- Workplace Wheelchair Accidents And Injuries
- Public Place Wheelchair Injury Claims
- Who May Be Liable For An Accident In A Wheelchair?
- Evidence To Prove Liability For A Wheelchair Accident
- Wheelchair Accident And Injury Claims Calculator – Updated August 2021
- What Else Could I Claim If Injured In A Wheelchair Accident?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In A Wheelchair
- Why Choose Our Team To Handle Your Wheelchair Injury Claim?
- Talk To Our Accident Claims Team
- Essential Links
A Guide To Claims For An Accident In A Wheelchair
This online guide to claiming for a wheelchair accident covers all kinds of accidents such as an electric wheelchair accident, an accident involving a wheelchair and a car, etc. No matter how you have been harmed, this guide aims to show you that if somebody else was to blame, you could be able to make a claim. The single restriction on this guide, is that in order to be eligible to make a claim, you must be within the personal injury claims time limit. If you are, then this guide should be useful to you. We start the guide with a general view of what a wheelchair accident is.
We then begin to flesh out the background information related to making a claim, looking at the rights of wheelchair users, some of the common causes of wheelchair accidents and also typical injuries sustained in them. We then expand on this information covering specific types of accidents including care home accidents, an accident caused by a faulty wheelchair, workplace accidents, and accidents that take place in a public place.
The last part of this guide relates to the wheelchair accident claims process itself. We will look at who can be liable in such claims, and the kind of evidence that can be submitted to help with this. We have published a table that shows the range of compensation that a number of injuries might receive in compensation, and also a list of the common types of damages accident victims are often awarded.
Finally, we explain how using one of our No Win No Fee solicitors to process your claim, provides an almost entirely financially risk-free to make your claim. If you have additional questions about the claims process, your own situation, or the service that we offer, then please speak to a member of our claims team on the phone number near the end of this guide. They will go over your claim with you, and offer you some free legal advice on what your next move should be.
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 Injuries 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.
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.
Wheelchair Accident And Injury Claims Calculator – Updated August 2021
One way to get a rough idea of how much compensation you might be able to claim, is to use an online personal injury claims calculator. Another way is to use a table like the one below, that shows a possible range of compensation for different injuries. This table was made based on the judicial guidelines used by the UK legal system to value wheelchair accident claims.
|Type of injury||Severity||Settlement Range||Further details|
|Neck||Moderate||£12,900 to £23,460||Soft tissue injuries or wrenching-type injuries. They will cause discomfort, stiffness, permanent (or recurring) pain and serious loss of movement.|
|Back||Minor||£7,410 to £11,730||Injuries where there is damage to the soft tissue. Some symptoms will ease and be almost fully resolved in around 5-years.|
|Shoulder||Moderate||£7,410 to £11,980||Frozen shoulder injuries that cause discomfort and limited movement for around 2-years.|
|Elbow||Severe||£36,770 to £51,460||Elbow injuries that are seriously disabling.|
|Knee||Moderate||£13,920 to £24,580||Covers a dislocated knee or torn meniscus injuries.|
|Ankle||Severe||£29,380 to £46,980||Injuries that need pins, screws and metal plates to fix the ankle bones and cause a residual disability.|
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.
Something we have not spoken about so far though is wheelchair insurance. If your wheelchair is damaged in an accident, even if the accident was your fault, your own wheelchair insurance may pay for the cost of repairs or a replacement wheelchair. Of course, if the accident was the responsibility of a third party, you would be able to claim for these kinds of financial losses as part of wheelchair accident claims.
If you would like a more accurate estimate of the kinds of damages you might be able to claim for in your own circumstances, please speak to our claims team and one of our claim advisors will give you a general indication.
No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In A Wheelchair
A No Win No Fee solicitor can process your claim for you, in a way that reduces financial risks. You never have to pay a fee for the solicitor to start your claim, or while they are processing your claim for you. If the claim is unsuccessful, you still don’t pay a thing. When it is successful, your solicitor will take their pre-agreed fee from the compensation payment they have received for you. They will then give you what is left over.
Why Choose Our Team To Handle Your Wheelchair Injury Claim?
We are specialists in accident, illness and injury claims. 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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