Delivering legal expertise since 1845

Serious injury solicitors

It is difficult to fully appreciate the impact of a serious injury on an individual, their family and their loved ones. The physical and psychological effects can be immediate or take weeks, months or even years to become clear and the impact can be life changing.

People first, lawyers second

Over the years, we have handled hundreds of cases on behalf of people with serious injuries and their families. You can be secure in the knowledge that our leading serious injury solicitors fully understand how to properly represent individuals for as long as it takes.

If you suffer a serious injury due to medical negligence or as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault you should seek the advice of our specialist serious injury solicitors at Shoosmiths who understand the issues that you are facing and have the skills and expertise to provide the best possible legal advice and provide the support you need to get through this difficult time.

What is a serious injury?

An injury is serious if it has had a significant impact on your life, your ability to work both now and in the future. Serious injuries can include brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputations but less significant injuries can have a serious and life-changing impact.

Each person is unique and the impact that an injury has on a person will depend on the extent and nature of the injury and whether it an ongoing injury, their age, the work they do and their lifestyle. Our team of highly experienced serious injury solicitors work closely with our clients to fully understand the impact that the injury has had on all aspects of their lives to ensure that the compensation is sufficient to provide for their needs and to regain independence and quality of life.

Holly's story
Scan of a brain injury

Brain injury

No organ in the human body is as complicated or important as your brain. It controls everything that makes us who we are – both physically and emotionally. When an injury happens and it affects or stops the brain’s functions, it can have serious consequences for an individual.

The brain can be injured in a split-second and without notice. It could be an accident at work or a road traffic accident, for example. If it wasn’t your fault, you could be able to make a claim  that will help with rehabilitation, purchasing specialist aids and equipment, making modifications to your home, covering loss of earnings and securing the financial and medical support you’re likely to need for the rest of your life. The nature and level of support required will depend on your individual circumstances . A brain injury claim can also be made if caused by a criminal assault or medical negligence.

Brain injury
Man with a spinal cord injury on a wheelchair

Spinal cord injuries

The spinal cord connects the brain with almost every other part of the body, forming part of the central nervous system. If it’s damaged, it can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. You may have limited mobility or – in the most serious cases – need a ventilator to help you breathe.

While some spinal cord injuries can happen over a period of time, they can also be the result of an accident or clinical malpractice. Our expert team of spinal cord injury lawyers are specialists in handling claims if such injuries are the fault of another party and they can support you with yours.

Spinal cord injury

Serious injuries: How can they affect you?


With any serious injury claim, our focus on you – understanding you, its impact on you and the knock-on effect it is having on your family and your employment. The reason for this is because every case is different – the type of injury, the person involved and what comes next.

A serious injury compensation claim won’t undo the pain and suffering caused – but it can help you get the treatment and care that you need to support your recovery and rehabilitation to rebuild your life. There are many ways in which a serious injury could affect someone, including:

Loss of mobility, movement or independence

The physical impact of a serious injury can often be the most obvious. From restricted mobility to amputation or even paralysis – the impact on your day-to-day life can be profound.

But any compensation received can help you meet the cost of any specialist treatment, equipment and adaptations needed to your property to regain your independence.

Leysa Hardy was involved in an atrocious road traffic accident that left her with serious physical injuries – with our help, Leysa was awarded £1.9m compensation.

- Read Leysa’s amputation rehabilitation story or watch her video below.

Emotional, psychological & behavioural changes

It’s important not to overlook the unseen impact of a serious injury. Brain injuries, for example, can have a long-term effect on things like your cognitive function, your ability to communicate, your memory and your personality.

But any serious injury can affect someone emotionally and psychologically long after it happens. For many, feelings like anxiety, frustration, depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder can be a common consequence.

Nicola Cooper, suffered a serious brain injury after a seemingly trivial car accident. She had full cognitive function and then lost it as a result of the accident. – with our support, Nicola received a significant compensation award to ensure a brighter future.

- Read Nicola’s traumatic brain injury story or watch the video below.

Financial & employment

It’s only right that you focus on making the best physical and emotional recovery possible. But there is often a significant financial cost and lost income to you and your family as a serious injury can stop you or your family from being able to return to work or delay your return to work.

When you have to pay for specialist care or face the prospect of lost income not just now but also in the future, our team can help you secure compensation to make sure you’re not left out of pocket.

A serious injury left a 51-year-old experienced cyclist unable to return to work. But, with the medical and legal support we provided, he has since been able to rebuild his life.

- Read this cyclist’s head injury compensation story.

At Shoosmiths, we also understand the impact that serious injuries can have on loved ones. That’s why our team of legal experts is here to help individuals touched by a serious injury to a family member to face their future with confidence – providing the appropriate legal, practical and emotional support.

What to do next

From expert advice on the options open to you, to starting your own serious injury claim – our team is here to help you make a decision based on the best possible information available.

Working out of 10 offices around the UK, we’re your local serious injury lawyers ready to fight your corner and get you the compensation you need.

For a free discussion, call us today on 0370 086 8687 or send us a message.

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Chris McKinney visiting a client who suffered from a serious injury

Shoosmiths - the serious injury experts

  • How can Shoosmiths help you after a serious injury?

    At Shoosmiths, our role isn’t restricted to providing you with the legal advice and guidance you need when making a serious injury claim. With a deep appreciation of what serious injuries can mean for individuals and those closest to them, we offer extensive support in other areas too.

    Our aim is to work with you, building a relationship of trust and mutual understanding so that we have a complete picture of you as an individual and your personal circumstances. Where possible, our aim is to make sure that you:

    • Have the right medical and rehabilitative support structures in place
    • Receive support to assist recovery and improve your quality of life
    • Secure interim payments to cover costs while we settle your case
    • Get a full compensation award that will help you to rebuild your life

    We can also support serious injury claims on a no win no fee basis, which means there will be no financial risk to you in the unlikely event that your claim doesn’t succeed.

    If the worst happens, we can introduce you to colleagues who can provide conveyancing, court of protection or lasting powers of attorney services – offering a highly personalised experience.

    If you’ve suffered a serious injury and would like to make a claim, why not get in touch with us and find out how we can help? Call us on 0370 086 8687 for a no-obligation consultation today.

  • Why you can trust Shoosmiths

    We support our clients long after the claim has been settled  . Litigation – winning your case – is just part of the story. We can appoint financial experts who can best advise you on how to use and safeguard your compensation or introduce you to colleagues dealing with the Court of Protection who can arrange Powers of Attorney, wills and trusts.

    • A serious injury meant Leysa Jane Hardy was forced to have a below the knee amputation. Shoosmiths managed her claim and arranged for her to have state-of-the-art prosthesis with a life-like silicone cosmesis cover.

    - Watch her amputation rehabilitation story on the video below or read her story here.

    There are many reasons why you can trust Shoosmiths with your serious injury claim. Our skills and expertise are rooted in the awards and accreditations we’ve received, including:

    We have a reputation of success in helping clients to achieve a good quality of life and get the compensation and support they deserve. But our words alone don’t do this justice – read what our clients say and see why we can help you make a claim just like we’ve helped many others.

  • What other support can Shoosmiths offer?

    For some serious injury lawyers, a settled claim is the end of the journey.

    Not for us, it isn’t.

    Adapting to a new way of life that has been shaped by serious injury can take months or even years. It’ll affect you and those around you – and only the right help can guide you through.

    So, that’s why we’ll stay by your side. With our established links to charities and other support groups, we’re here to make sure you get the highest level of ‘after claim’ care and service.

    We don’t see you simply as clients and we don’t want you to see us just as lawyers. Our aim is to build lasting friendships with the people we help and put you on the path to happiness.

Serious injury experts

Our skilled team of specialist lawyers want to speak to you today for free
Kashmir Uppal

Kashmir Uppal


Medical negligence

Award winning medical negligence lawyer Kashmir is tireless in her pursuit of accountability. Contact Kashmir today.

Chris  McKinney

Chris McKinney


Personal injury

Chris will come to your home or hospital. He specialises in serious personal injury and has won several multi-million pound claims for clients. Call Chris today.

Denise Stephens

Denise Stephens


Medical negligence

Denise is a passionate, highly skilled medical negligence lawyer with a heart of gold. She cares genuinely about getting you justice so tell Denise your story.

Serious injury FAQs

  • Why should you claim for a serious injury?

    A serious injury can have a severe financial impact on top of the physical and emotional effects. Treatment costs, lost income now or in future and the ongoing care that might be needed, including psychological support for all the family – this can all be covered by making a serious injury compensation claim.

    If the cause of your serious injury was preventable, making a claim could be an effective way to make sure that no-one else has to go through the same pain and suffering that you have.

    And, of course, we’re here to make sure you get the emotional and practical support you need – aside from the compensation you could receive when making your claim.

  • How common are serious injuries?

    The split-second nature of many accidents means that serious injuries are more common than it might seem. Here are just some figures that can help put this in perspective:

    1.4 million people in the UK are living with brain injuries, according to evidence presented to a Parliamentary select committee hearing in 2019

    Road traffic accidents (those reported to police) caused 25,945 serious injuries in 2019, according to official government figures

    693,000 people suffered a non-fatal workplace injury in 2019-20, according to Health and Safety Executive findings

    In 2019-20, there were 11,682 clinical negligence claims made against the NHS in England with a total value of £8.8bn

    Our serious injury lawyers have supported claims for serious injuries with many various causes – some of which are covered in the statistics above to show just how easily they can happen.

  • How to start a serious injury claim

    If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that has affected or changed how you live your life, you could be able to claim compensation. To find out more and to get started, the first step is an easy one – simply get in touch with our expert team of serious injury lawyers.

    We’ll find out a bit more about you, the impact of your injury and how best we could help you – drawing on our years of experience and depth of knowledge. Don’t worry: this initial chat is free – on the phone, at our office, at your home, or anywhere else that’s convenient for you - and there’s no obligation. We just want to make sure your claim gets off to the right start.

    Get in touch today – call 0370 086 8687 or send us a message.

  • Who can make a claim?

    Anyone. If you suffer a serious injury and it wasn’t your fault, you can claim compensation. You could also be able to make a claim on behalf of someone else in certain cases:

    You’re the parent / legal guardian of a person under the age of 18

    You have power of attorney over – or are permitted to act on behalf of – someone who can’t make a decision for themselves under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

    If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to claim compensation on behalf of yourself or someone else, call 0370 086 8687 or message us and we’ll advise you of the options available to you.

  • Making a serious injury claim: How does it work?

    While the claim process can be unique to each individual case, your claim will likely go through the same stages before it comes to a settlement. There’s no set time to how long it’ll take, but rest assured we’ll be at your side throughout to make things as easy and stress-free as we can.

    Shoosmiths is signed up to the Serious Injury Code. It means we work with you and the insurer to get the best possible outcome – and one that is specific and relevant to your needs.

    1. After getting in touch with us, the information you provide will let us know if we think your claim will succeed – and if you’re eligible for support on a no win no fee basis.

    2. Your case will be taken up by one of our serious injury experts – your point of contact throughout the process, bringing exceptional claim-handling experience to your case.

    3. The individual / organisation believed to be at fault for your serious injury is contacted. We also start collecting evidence at this stage too.

    4. You’ll be asked to undergo independent medical tests. We know this can be distressing for clients, but it’s necessary to support your claim. It lets us find out the full impact of your injury – including immediate care needs as well as any ongoing considerations.

    5. If fault is accepted by the other party, we’ll request interim compensation to be paid as soon as possible to cover your treatment costs and relieve any financial strain.

    6. We’ll work out how much the full compensation amount should be.

    7. We’ll start the court process. It doesn’t mean your claim will go to court – many claims are settled out of court. But it does put in place a deadline for the claim to be settled.

    8. This is when we’ll hopefully find out if your claim is successful.

    You’ll be awarded your compensation at this point if it is. The party at fault also covers your legal costs. If these costs aren’t met in full, however, a small deduction might be made from your award.

    In the unlikely event your claim isn’t successful, we’ll do what we can to minimise the financial risk to you. Find out more about making a no win no fee claim.

    You might think that’s the end of the road as far as our support is concerned. But it isn’t – we are here 24/7 after claims are settled so that you continue to get the expert help you need.

  • Will I have to go to court?

    Our aim is that all claims will be settled out of court – but sometimes this isn’t possible. Please don’t worry if yours does go to court, however, because guiding you through is part of our service to you.
    It’s worth bearing in mind that serious injury claims must go to court if you’re acting on behalf of someone under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

    If that person has set up power of attorney, you may need to register this if you’re the named attorney. But if this isn’t in place, an application must be made to The Court of Protection (in England & Wales); The Office of the Public Guardian (in Scotland); or The Office of Care and Protection (in Northern Ireland).

    This is to give you the authority to act on behalf of someone who can’t make their own claim.

    If a claim made on behalf of someone else is a success, any settlement must be agreed by the court/office appropriate to your region.

    The Ministry of Justice’s guidance on Children and Protected Parties offers more details on this.

  • How long do you have to make a serious injury claim?

    You have three years from the moment you suffer a serious injury – or the date when it became known – in which to start a claim.

    But there are two exceptions to this.

    The first is if a person under the age of 18 suffers a serious injury. A claim can be started at any point up until their 18th birthday if someone is acting on their behalf. The standard three-year limit will, however, start from their 18th birthday.

    The other exception is if someone can’t start a claim because their injury means they don’t have the capacity to do so. In such cases, the time limit starts from the moment they regain capacity. If this doesn’t happen and the incapacity is permanent, the time limit will never apply.

    In all cases, however, we recommend contacting our serious injury lawyers as soon as possible – this gives the claim the best chance of success as it makes it easier to gather any evidence.

  • How much does it cost to make a claim?

    When you contact us for the first time, our initial consultation is free of charge. We can give you information and advice on how to fund a claim – including whether we can take up your case on a no win no fee basis. For more information, read our guide to funding your claim.

  • How much compensation could you receive?

    For serious injury claims, the amount of compensation that you could receive is laid out in the government’s Judicial College Guidelines.

    While a claim typically covers the pain, suffering and loss of amenity associated with a serious injury, you can also make a claim for treatment costs; loss of income and pension; the cost of specialist equipment; and any additional accommodation expenses.

    But the exact amount you could receive always comes down to the extent of your injury – and the impact it will have on an individual’s life.

    Suzanne Adams turned to us after delays during the birth of her son, James Robshaw, caused brain damage that led to him growing up with cerebral palsy. Denise Stephens took up James’ case from our Reading office and secured £14.6m from the NHS to meet the family’s needs.

    Listen to James’ story for yourself:

What to do next

From expert advice on the options open to you, to starting your own serious injury claim – our team is here to help you make a decision based on the best possible information available.

Working out of 10 offices around the UK, we’re your local serious injury lawyers ready to fight your corner and get you the compensation you need.

For a free discussion, call us today on 0370 086 8687 or send us a message.

Message us

Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers