Can You Make Injury Claims Against Family And Friends?

By Meg Sodha. Last updated 18th January 2022. You might assume that personal injury claims are usually made against employers, local authorities and other parties that aren’t individuals you’re close to. But what happens if you suffer an injury because of the actions or negligence of family and friends? If you’re in a similar situation, our guide will help you understand more about injury claims against family and friends.

Whether your friend’s dog has bitten you, you’ve had a fall on a family member’s property, or you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by your neighbour, we could help. This guide could give you the information you need to understand whether you could make a personal injury claim.

In the sections below, we describe some situations that could lead you to seek compensation for this type of incident. We also offer some insight into how compensation could be calculated, and who would pay the settlement you receive in a successful claim.

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injury claims against family and friends

We have provided lots of useful information below, explaining the types of accident claims that could be made against friends and family.

However, we understand you may be looking for advice and support relating to your own personal circumstances.

Here at UK Law, we would be glad to speak to you about your case. We could offer useful guidance and support, including checking your eligibility to claim.

In addition, we could connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel who could take action on your behalf and help you claim the compensation you deserve. All of our panel of solicitors work under No Win No Fee terms, so you wouldn’t have to pay an upfront cost to begin your claim. To reach our team, all you need to do is:

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What Are Injury Claims Against Family And Friends?

There are various ways in which your family or friends could have been negligent and caused you to sustain harm as a result. For instance, you may have suffered a head injury in a fall because your neighbour refused to repair their stairs and they collapsed under you. Alternatively, you may have been injured in a family member’s car when they failed to stop at a red light.

Other examples of accident claims that could be made against family and friends might include:

  • A dog bite incident due to your neighbour’s failure to keep their dog in control on their property
  • Slip, trip, or fall injuries due to an unsafe friend’s home that they have neglected to maintain
  • A road traffic accident caused by a family member who was speeding
  • Abuse by a family member that causes physical or emotional injuries
  • Assaults by a friend

Either way, you could be eligible to make injury claims against family and friends if they failed to uphold the duty of care they owed you and caused you to sustain an injury as a result.

While this may sit uncomfortably with you, it could be something worth exploring, as you may not be putting your friend or family member in a precarious financial situation by claiming. Your friend or family member may have home or car insurance that covers your claim.

Of course, there are situations that can cause a relationship to break down, such as in cases of sexual abuse or assault by family members. However, claiming compensation may help you get a sense of justice.

Does The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 Apply?

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 puts a duty of care on the controller of a property (‘occupier’) to mitigate the risk of injury to visitors. The occupier should regularly assess hazards on their premises. They should also take appropriate measures to prevent injuries occurring on their property as far as could be considered reasonable.

For example, they may have been aware that a step on a staircase on their property was wobbly and therefore had the potential to cause an accident. However, as they failed to put out clear signs and warnings of the hazard, someone may have been seriously injured as a result.

If they fail to do take reasonable steps to prevent harm, the injured person could be eligible to claim compensation.

How Do I Claim If My Child Was Injured?

It may be possible to make injury claims against family and friends on behalf of your child. If, for example, your child has been bitten by a dog and it was a friend or family member’s fault, you could apply act as their litigation friend.

Your duties as a litigation friend might include:

  • Making decisions in the injured party’s best interests
  • Doing all you can to keep them informed on the case and ask them about their feelings and wishes
  • Speaking to their personal injury solicitor on their behalf about the case, giving them instructions and getting advice
  • Pay any court costs that have been ordered

If the case ends with compensation, you may have to help set up a Court Fund Account (CFO) on their behalf, so the settlement could be paid into this account. Unless the court directs that compensation monies are paid out of the CFO at another time, the child would gain access to the account once they turn 18.

If there’s a reason the child needs some funds out of the account, for example, for medical expenses, you would have to apply to the court for monies to be released.

Who Will Pay The Compensation Settlement?

It depends on the situation as to who pays a compensation settlement. Generally, compensation would not come from your family member or friend directly. Instead, it may be paid by their insurance.

For example, if you are injured in a car accident caused by someone you know, their car insurance would cover the costs.

Alternatively, for cases where you’re injured in an accident that a family member caused due to not reducing hazards they were aware of on their property, their home insurer may pay your settlement.

However, these are not the only ways in which your compensation could be paid. For injuries caused by assaults or abuse, you may receive a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

And, if you’re injured in a road traffic accident caused by someone who isn’t insured, your compensation may come from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

Calculate Compensation For Injury Claims Against Family And Friends

A question we often hear from potential claimants is ‘How much compensation could I receive?’ or ‘what’s my claim worth?’. Unfortunately, there is no definitive personal injury claims calculator that could give a fully accurate answer to this question.

Injury claims against family and friends differ in terms of their unique facts and circumstances. Therefore, to come to an appropriate compensation value, evidence surrounding your claim must be assessed.

Generally, though, you could seek compensation for your injuries under general damages. Additionally, you could seek reimbursement of any past or future financial losses under special damages. These may comprise your overall settlement. However, you must provide evidence in support of your claim.

What Evidence Will Help Support Injury Claims Against Family And Friends?

You need to be able to prove that your injuries were caused or worsened by the accident that wasn’t your fault.

For that reason, you would need to provide evidence to support your claim. For instance, CCTV footage, photographs or witness statements. Furthermore, you may need to provide medical evidence to highlight the nature of your injuries and whether they were caused by the accident in question.

Additionally, you may need to attend a medical assessment with an independent expert as part of your claim. A professional would assess your injuries and write a report which could be used to value your injuries and prove their causation.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may also be used to help value your claim. The JCG is a publication that contains compensation amounts appropriate for different levels and types of injury.

We have created a table based on figures from the JCG to give you some insight into compensation amounts for different injuries.

Injury Site How Severe Guideline Award Bracket
Neck Severe (i-iii) £42,680 to in the region of £139,210
Back Severe (i-iii) £36,390 to £151,070
Arm Severe (a) £90,250 to £122,860
Leg Very serious (ii) £51,460 to £85,600
Pelvis/Hip Moderate (i-ii) £11,820 to £36,770

If you can’t see your injuries in the compensation table above, get in touch. You could also contact us for a free estimation of how your injuries might be valued.

What Injury Claims Could You Make Against Family And Friends?

There are various types of injury claims against family and friends you could make. We have explored some examples of these in the sections below.

Slip, Trip Or Fall Accidents On Family And Friends’ Property

If you suffer injury due to a slip, trip or fall accident at a friend’s or family member’s home due to their negligence, you may wish to make an injury claim against them.

There are various reasons why such an accident could happen. For instance, a hazard that the occupier’s aware of but doesn’t attend to, or a failure of your friend or family member to warn you of dangers within the property. In these cases, you could hold them liable for your injuries.

In some cases, it may not be your friend or family that your claim would be against. If they live in a rented property, and the landlord has failed in their duty of care to keep the property in a safe condition, your claim could be against the landlord. This could be a private landlord or a local authority in some cases.

Dog Bites By A Friend’s Or Family Member’s Pet

Many people keep dogs as pets in the UK. Pet owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control in public. They must ensure that he or she isn’t dangerously out of control in public, on private property or in the owner’s home. A failure to ensure this could mean they are held responsible for injuries people suffer as a result.

To find out more about injury claims against friends and family for dog bites, why not call our team? We could assess whether you could claim. We could also help you connect with our panel of lawyers who could assist with your claim.

Claims For Abuse Or Assault By A Family Member Or Friend

Unfortunately, some injury claims against family and friends involve abuse or assault. In these cases, not only could you suffer physical injuries, but psychological damage too.

Often claims that involve criminal assault or abuse are made through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA provides compensation to victims of violent crimes under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

In some cases, you could hold a local authority responsible if they placed you with a family member who abused or assaulted you and didn’t perform adequate checks.

Claims could be made for many types of assault or abuse, such as sexual assault and abuse, common assault and bodily harm.

No matter the type of abuse or assault you’ve experienced, we could help you understand whether you could claim compensation. Please call our team in confidence and we will handle your assessment sensitively, allowing you to get the guidance and support to take your claim forward.

Are There Time Limits For Injury Claims Against Family And Friends?

As per the Limitation Act 1980, you would need to claim before the personal injury claims time limit was reached. In many cases, the limitation period is three years from the date they were first injured or the date they obtained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury or illness.

However, there could be exceptions to this. For instance, if you’re under the age of 18 or you lack the mental capacity to claim.

Additionally, for criminal injury claims, there would be a two-year limitation period in place. However, in cases where claimants have suffered historical abuse, for example, they may be able to claim years later than this.

For more information on the exceptions regarding the time limit, call our team on the number above.

A Family Member Or Friend Caused My Accident, What Should I Do?

Like any accident, there are various steps you might want to take if you’re injured in an accident caused by a family member or friend. These could include:

  • Seeking medical advice or treatment
  • Gathering evidence
  • Getting legal advice regarding injury claims against family and friends

Whether you’re considering using the services of a solicitor to claim or not, getting advice on your legal position could help. They could help you gather relevant evidence and build a strong case.

For more information, contact our team on the number above. An advisor could connect you with a solicitor from our panel to help you seek compensation.

Claims Against Family And Friends On A No Win No Fee Basis

Our panel of personal injury solicitors all offer No Win No Fee services, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). By claiming on this basis, you could avoid paying an upfront cost often required for solicitors to start working on claims.

For successful claims, a success fee would be deducted from your compensation settlement to pay your solicitors for their services. The fee is deducted as a small percentage of your total settlement and is legally capped. However, your lawyer would send you the agreement detailing how fees work in successful claims before they begin working on your case.

Should your injury claim not result in compensation, you would not be asked to pay solicitor fees.

If you’d like us to connect you with a solicitor from our panel to take your claim under this type of agreement, call our team. Alternatively, if you have any questions about the accident claims process you can speak to our team by using the details below:

Related Injury Claim Guides

If you have experienced harm on holiday, our guide on holiday accident claims could help.

For more information on how to sue a hairdresser for cutting you, see our guide.

Find out when and how to report a car accident after an incident involving a car on the road.

You can find out more about making claims against uninsured drivers by visiting the MIB website.

View statistics on dog bites and attacks on the Office for National Statistics website.

This part of the Government’s website gives statistics on road accidents and safety.

Thank you for reading our guide to making injury claims against family and friends.

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