How to win injury compensation claims when liability is in dispute

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Having a liable person or organisation to make a claim against is a key element of being entitled to compensation. For the majority of personal injury claims it is usually easy enough to see who is liable. In such cases, if you’re not at fault, a no win no fee solicitor will likely take on your case.

However, a denial of liability is not uncommon, even in what can appear to be a straight forward case. The good news is you can still often claim personal injury compensation if liability is in dispute.

What happens to an injury claim when liability is denied

When liability is denied, a solicitor will discuss the denial with the claimant. They will investigate what response can be made to force the denial to be withdrawn and replaced with an admission of liability.

Then one of four things will happen:

  1. The claimant solicitor will review the denials and consider them to be so strong that they close the claim. Whilst this would be disappointing, you should bear in mind that you will not have to pay any costs for your claim as it will have been managed on a no win no fee basis. You also have the option of finding another solicitor for a second opinion.
  2. They may take the view both parties share some blame and proceed with the claim under what’s known as split liability.
  3. They may seek a barrister’s opinion to pursue the claim further and bring the decision on liability to a judge in court.
  4. Otherwise, they will consider the denials weak and without legal standing. In which case they will work to force an admission of liability.

How split liability affects your claim

In some cases, a claimant may have to accept a percentage of the responsibility for an accident. This is called split liability or contributory negligence. In this situation you can still receive compensation but it will be lower than if the defendant was 100% liable.

For example, when asking if you have a valid slipping accident claim your condition at the time is relevant. The 3rd party responsible for where you slipped may admit the floor was dangerous and wet with no signs erected. Therefore admitting to an element of liability. However, if they can prove you were drunk at the time, they can argue this contributed to the slip. In such a case, the claimant may have to accept that they are 25% or 50% responsible for the accident. Which leads to a similar reduction in the amount of compensation offered.

Taking your claim to court

Neither side would wish to go to court if they didn’t feel that they were likely to win. Going to court is unlikely in most personal injury claims, but you should always be aware that it is a possibility.

It is frustrating when a defendant does not admit liability when there is compelling evidence to support a claim. However, the courts system is here for such situations. If you have a strong claim a judge will likely find in your favour.

If you are of the view that statements issued by the defendants are misleading and factually incorrect, you can attend court to contest this. You could well succeed with your claim if you can provide factually correct responses the Judge is minded to accept. If you can provide evidence to substantiate your version of events, you will succeed!

Proving liability for your injuries

Whether you go to court or not, to maximise and win any settlement you will need to prove the 3rd party is liable for your accident and injuries. This can only be done with evidence that the accident took place, of what caused it, and how you were impacted. Accident reports, witness statements and medical reports can all be used to provide evidence.

Liability for accidents at work

Employers will often deny liability if they believe they have fulfilled their legal responsibilities to provide a safe environment. For example, that they have given you the relevant training, guidance and risk assessments to work safely. To prove otherwise, the injured employee must be able to demonstrate the employer was liable. Crucially, that they exposed the employee to an avoidable risk of injury, rather than it being their own fault. Consider the following:

  1. Did your employer give you the correct training?
  2. Were you given an induction to the workplace?
  3. Were you provided with personal safety and protective equipment (PPE) to complete your job safely?
  4. Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines?
  5. Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book?
  6. Did your employer ensure correct staffing levels and an adequate amount of first aid trained staff?
  7. Did your employer act upon reports of potential risks of danger to employees?

Liability for road traffic accidents

Even if your vehicle was written off, it’s not guaranteed you’ll be eligible to claim injury compensation. As well as evidence of the damage to your car, you would need medical evidence of your injuries. Medical reports from a Hospital or GP can be used to force an admission of liability.

In cases of car accident claims where one car crashes in to the rear of another stationary vehicle, it is usually easy to apportion blame. But it’s important to note that admitting liability for a road accident does not mean admitting liability for any injuries. The defendant’s solicitors may not be denying there was an accident or that it was caused by their driver. They may, however, be arguing the force of the collision was not consistent with sustaining personal injury.

Low impact collisions

Unfortunately, insurers have started fighting claims where the speed of collision or force of impact is low – even if they admit to liability for the accident and vehicle damage. There is evidence to support both sides in this scenario. Evidence shows that whiplash and typical injuries associated with road traffic accidents can occur at very low speed. On the other hand, counter evidence states that such injuries cannot be sustained at lower speeds. As such, insurers are using so called ‘low impact collision’ as a defence.

Untraced or uninsured drivers

In the UK, victims of untraced drivers (hit and run incidents) can still pursue a claim. This is done through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) scheme. The criteria to make such a claim requires the claimant to report the incident to the Police at the earliest opportunity. You’ll need to obtain a crime reference number and seek medical attention for any injuries sustained.

Passenger claims

For an injured passenger, it does not matter which party is liable or whether both parties are held partially liable. Passengers can make a claim for personal injury compensation providing you have medical evidence of your injuries.

Liability in claims against a local council

Local authorities and landowners rely on area inspections when it comes to identifying potential hazards that need attention. The courts have essentially stated that if a local authority inspects an area every 6 months and finds no hazard, and if there have been no reports from the public of hazards in between inspections, they will not be liable for any accidents that may happen.

Therefore, to prove that the council is liable it has to be shown the inspection was inadequate or didn’t happen. Or that they have not acted on reports of hazards.

To maximise your chances of success you will first need to prove that the accident happened. This can be done by gathering:

  • Witness statements
  • Video or CCTV footage

What you will then need to do is demonstrate that the incident is consistent with the nature of the injury you are claiming for. This should be possible by providing your medical records.

Then if it can also be proved the council failed in their required inspection duties and are therefore liable for your accident, your claim should be successful.

The reality is that it is becoming harder to successfully pursue slip, trip or fall claims against local authorities. The courts tend to lean towards defendants in such claims. If there is any scope to deny liability, no matter how tenuous, local councils will do so.

How we can help

The fact that a third party or local authority have denied liability should not make you give up on claiming. Our solicitors would be happy to advise as to whether or not they can take your claim further.

If you have any questions about liability or whether or not your accident scenario warrants a claim, please call our team on 01225 430285, or if you prefer, we can call you back. We know your rights and can help you to understand them. We’ve successfully helped many clients claim compensation for their injuries and we’d love to help you, too.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

How long after a claim has been made does a person have to provide medical records. Accident was November 22, court case was October 23 and claimant still hasnt provided medical records. Insurance company have paid out to the claimant but wont close the case because they are still waiting for the medical records

Ian Morris

In most cases, a claim will not be concluded or settled until relevant evidence to substantiate any claim or settlement value has been provided and reviewed including medical records.

In your case, are you referring to a vehicle accident? If so, there may be two separate claims to consider here – the insurers would pay for vehicle damage/loss separately to any claim for personal injury – which may be ongoing and would certainly take longer than a vehicle loss or damage claim.


Slipped on wet corridor in work. Flooding had come from patients ensuite bathroom area.
Sustained fractured left wrist. Had surgery for wrist on 31.10.23.
The trust has denied liability. Any advise would be helpful.

Ian Morris

You have clearly sustained a serious injury as a result of your fall and one that is likely to have some permanent implications to the strength and movement of your wrist.

You mention that the trust has denied liability in this matter? Have made a claim using a specialist Solicitor or have you simply liaised with the employer and their insurers directly? If it is the latter, we strongly suggest that that you seek to try and take this further with a specialist personal injury Solicitor as it would appear (based on your description of the incident), that liability should attach in terms of the accident you had, your injury and the losses caused to you by the incident.

In terms of the wet area where you fell, had any hazard warning signs been erected and do you have any idea as to how long the water had been present on the floor in the corridor?

Please contact us on 01225430285 or use our website to make further contact and request a call from us for further help.


About 4 weeks ago I had a accident at work where I fell off a ladder when I was repairing a damaged bus shelter. The injuries I received were 3 broken ribs, ligament damage to my left shoulder, stitches in the back of my head. Because I don’t really know what caused me to fall I have been in touch with a couple of no win no fee solicitors who told I could not claim as there is nobody really to claim from. If this is the case then I can stop trying to pursue a claim, thank you.

Ian Morris

Did your employer provide you with training for safe ladder use and working at height safely? If not, or if any of the equipment you were provided with was substandard or inadequate, you can pursue a claim against them.

We would certainly be happy to look further in to your situation and potential claim. Please use the form on our website to make further enquiries and we’ll then be able to ascertain whether there is any possibility of pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation and recovery of lost income caused by your accident at work.


I had a serious accident at work in 2012 but the insurance company denied it because the line manager did not inform the insurance company that an accident had taken place. I had a number of serious injuries – broken pelvis, broken humerus, radial nerve damage etc.., and have been left badly affected, can anything be done about it?

Ian Morris

Unfortunately, the fact that 3 years have passed since the accident leaves you statute barred and unable to take action in a claim for personal injury compensation.


I fell over a sunken drain cover and broke my ankle. The defendant put forward a 50/50 libility resolution verbally but wanted confirmation of my injuries by an expert. This took 18 months as a second expert had to be consulted with an MRI and CT scan.

Now the defendant’s insurers are not communicating with my insurers to resolve the claim on the 50/50 liability basis. They never put this forward in writing.

My insurers will only proceed to court on the 50/50 liability claim basis, as they consider the case has a 50/50 chance of success and for the claim to proceed finanacilly supported I need the possiblity of success to be 51%.

I only have a month left before the expiry period of 3 years to bring my case to court.

What should I expect my insurers to be doing?

Ian Morris

Have you asked your insurers if they will be issuing proceedings to compel the defendants to engage in the process?


Hi, 2 years ago I had was driving under a train bridge and something fell on my car from the bridge. There was damage to the sunroof of the car causing an insurance claim and I suffer from ptsd, anxiety and depression as a result. My son was in the car at the same time ( then aged 12). I have sought legal help and compensation but because the train company deny liability the solicitors have closed the case. Currently that same bridge is being demolished due to being in disrepair since September 2020. The incident occurred December 2020. I need a lifeline to say that someone will help me!

Ian Morris

The fact that the bridge in question is to be demolished is irrelevant in terms of the claim and whether or not negligence can be attributed to the owners of the bridge. As your Solicitor has closed the claim on the basis of a denial of liability, the denial must be robust and in the eyes of your Solicitor a denial that is unlikely to be overturned by a Judge should the matter be taken to court – hence their closure of the matter.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be possible to pursue this further as a result of the denial issued.


The insurance company has denied liability on a personal injury claim due to the fact I had a disciplinary for gross negligence. I didn’t accept this or sign anything.

Is this common in personal injury claims and what happens next?

Ian Morris

Was the gross negligence issue related to the accident in which you were injured? If so, it could be that they are stating that you caused the injury through your own misadventure/negligence?


Hi I had a slip and fall in b&Q in June 2022 where the celling was leaking and there was no wet floor sign or bucket under the leak. I slipped and fell and got injured on on my knee and my back, slipped disc, and they are Denying they’re at fault. I have four witnesses at the time, even a lady that works in B&Q but they still denied liability.

Ian Morris

If you have been liaising with B&Q and their insurers without specialist legal representation, we strongly advise that you contact us in order that we can have one of our specialist Solicitors act for you. At face value, it would seem that you have a valid claim and that the store in question failed in their duty of care to provide a safe environment for customers by not erecting any hazard warning sign or barrier around the wet floor.


I have made a claim but I was denied – they said I should have been watching where I was going. And now I am waiting for the solicitors to review my comments and the witness comments.

Ian Morris

Hopefully the weight of the statements of your witnesses along with your comments and some good handling by the Solicitor should see the initial denial overturned.


Hi, I had a work accident where I was delivering a pallet of copy paper weighing 600kg to a private house as this was a business run from a home. I was pulling the pallet of paper up the driveway when it got stuck. I tried to pull it, but I lost my footing in a gully at the face of the garage. My right leg slipped from under me causing my left leg to smash against the handle of the pallet truck, smashing my ankle and fracturing my tibia and femur.

I was taken to hospital where I had a 5 hour operation and spent a week in hospital. To date (6 months later) I am still attending the fracture clinic and physiotherapy.

I have been told I may have a problem getting someone to admit liability.

Can you please advise?

Ian Morris

The weight of the paper that you were delivering was considerable and it could be argued that your employer should have sent a 2nd person with you to assist with the delivery. This incident also begs the question as to whether the employer had correctly risk assessed the delivery site and made appropriate checks with the customer regarding access and whether or not the pallet could safely be manoeuvred in to position.

It is unlikely that the company to whom you were delivering would have any liability and it is therefore more realistic to consider a claim against your employers.


I was in an accident at work, the employer didn’t provide me with risk assessment before work, or with their own education program on health and safety, after the accident i didn’t receive or been offered first aid, they treated me without respect at all.. Accident happened while i was getting out of the truck because i was heavily influenced by strong chemical odor inside the truck what i reported to the person who works there, i felt nausea and i tried to exit the vehicle and i lost my balance and fell and broke my elbow and injured my knees. No help was offered to me at site even though i explained my injuries to one of the employer present who was by my guess in charge. It was my first day at work and i didnt have enough informations to know most important things about the site. It is clear from my own experience that the fault for the accident is not completely mine, but I would like advice do i have any chance to claim any compensation for that injury due to the all circumstances? Thank you

Ian Morris

We would like to help you further investigate the possibility of pursuing a claim for compensation against your employers for negligence. It would be helpful if you could email us at to provide further information about the incident and what happened.

Please let us know your contact details, the date of the accident and location, what work you were doing and why there was a chemical odour in the cab of the truck.


My grandson came off his bike after going down a manhole with no lid. They had been stolen and sold for scrap. The wheel went in the hole and he was thrown over the handlebars landing on his arm. He spent a week in hospital, had an appalling injury to his elbow and had a plate put in his arm. It was dark and there were no witnesses. The Council have now denied liability, what’s the next step?

Ian Morris

Do you know how long before the accident happened that the drain covers were stolen? Clearly, if the theft had only happened in the previous 24-48 hours, it is unlikely that the courts would find the authorities liable as they would argue that they had either not yet been made aware of the theft or had an opportunity to replace the missing covers. However, if the covers had been missing for days or weeks, there is potential to succeed with a cycling accident claim.

Have Solicitors been acting on this claim for your Grandson?


Had a RTA back in February. Another car went in to the side of my car at a roundabout at speed. The other driver stopped, got out, saw me holding my neck then stumbled in to his car, (I suspect he had been drinking) and drove off. He went straight into the back of another car as he fled, and drove off. I managed to get his registration plate and gave it to the police. I have suffered all the symptoms of whiplash, and now just having moderate pain. The other party are denying responsibility, and I feel like I have suffered all pain and cost for someone else’s reckless driving. The police have said that they had made an arrest on the evening of the RTA, and they will have to interview the person. The police have a statement from me, and have said that my statement is vital to their investigation. There were a few witnesses at the scene, whom gave their details, and CCTV from a house opposite.
Would a solicitor be able to defend me for compensation, my excess and no claims discount returned?
The police won’t tell anything else, and my insurance company have said that the third party are denying responsibility.

Ian Morris

Sadly, there is very little you can do about the way the incident has impacted your insurance. However, we can – if you haven’t already done so – help you to pursue a claim for compensation for the pain and discomfort that the injuries you sustained have had on you and also for any uninsured losses (loss of income, incurred costs etc) via a No Win No Fee claim for compensation.


I tripped when crossing the road catching my foot in a pot hole and as a result had a nasty gash in my leg which needed a lot of stitches. The council are disputing liability what will happen now, I have photos of the injury and the pot holes.

Ian Morris

If you don’t have a Solicitor acting for you, we can potentially have a Solicitor step in to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis and seek to find the council liable. If you would like further help, please email photographs of the pothole to us at and we can then advise you further.


I had a whiplash injury in a car accident, but both party’s are denying fault, looks like both parties decided to repair they own cars at their own cost, can you please advise me how do I make a claim for whiplash and who from?

Ian Morris

Were you driving a vehicle or were you a passenger in one of the cars involved in the accident? If you have the details of the vehicles involved (registration numbers) and the accident happened within the last 3 years, we can help you to pursue a claim for the whiplash injury you have sustained.


Thanks for your time Mr Morris. I was a passenger in my daughters car sitting behind the driver on the back seat when accident happened

Ian Morris

As a passenger injured in a car accident, it does not matter which party is liable or whether both parties are held partially liable, you can make a claim for personal injury compensation. We would be more than happy to help you make a No Win No Fee claim for compensation. Please call us on 01225430285 or email us for further help.


My car was hit from behind at a roundabout I was stationary – the damage was over £1000. I sought gp advice day after for aching neck, they diagnosed whiplash, I proceeded to contact solicitor and they suggested physiotherapist. I had 7 sessions before being discharged. The other party are disputing liability on the grounds of low velocity impact. Solicitor said it could go to court. Is this acceptable?

Ian Morris

Unfortunately, insurers have started fighting claims for personal injury compensation as a result of a road traffic accident where the speed of collision or force of impact is low – even if they admit to liability for the accident and vehicle damage. There is evidence to support both sides in this scenario – evidence shows that whiplash and similarly typical injuries associated with road traffic accidents can occur at very low speed and counter evidence states that such injuries cannot be sustained at lower speeds. As such, insurers are playing hardball with claimants.

If your Solicitor is willing to pursue the matter to court, you should go with that and it would indicate that your Solicitor is of the view that the insurers defence is not robust.


I have been involved in a claim coming up to three years now we still have not reached any settlement, about two years ago I did receive a 50/50 liability which the solicitor was adamant I decline, so I did. Now 2 years later the same solicitors are telling me to accept the 50/50 liability!
I will be accepting the 50/50 liability however have been made to wait for no reason and feel like the solicitors has not done their job properly and I do not believe they deserve the fee they charge. How do I proceed?

Ian Morris

The first port of call would be to make a formal complaint to the Solicitors – their complaints procedure should be published on their website. If the complaint is successfully dealt with, the matter would be over. However, if the complaint does not settle in your favour, you could then report the matter to the regulatory authorities (Solicitors Regulatory Authority – SRA) and the Legal Ombudsman.


I had a car accident and the 3rd party have paid out for my car after it was wrote off but now they are disputing liability? I think this must be for personal injury. Have they not already admitted liability by paying out for my car?

Ian Morris

Admitting liability for the accident does not mean that they admit liability for any injuries. They are not denying that there was an accident or that it was caused by their insured driver, but they may be arguing that the force of the collision was not consistent with sustaining personal injury.

Although your vehicle was written off, that does not guarantee that you can also claim personal injury compensation. If you have evidence of the extent of the damage to your car (photos of the damage) and medical evidence from a Hospital or GP appointment within close proximity of the accident date, your Solicitor should be able to force an admission on the personal injury claim too.


Yeah I seen gp and had a medical both saying 3 to 6 months recovery so medical evidence is there and photos of both cars. Thanks for the information.



I was stationary in my car, waiting for my turn to join a roundabout, when a driver hit me from behind (estimate her speed at 10mph), resulting in my rear bumper needing replacing, along with other items needing fixing on the rear of the car. I was hurt in the accident and as a result have varying degrees of pain and discomfort in my left shoulder to left side of my neck, confirmed by my GP as likely whiplash and have been assigned exercises to do through an NHS physio. The other driver admitted liability for hitting me but is saying that she wasn’t going fast enough to cause me injury and is essentially saying I wasn’t hurt. Do I have a good case against her? I’m finding this all very stressful. I’m currently using legal support through my car insurance but unsure how this will play out

Ian Morris

Although your insurers are currently handling this, you may wish to hand the matter to a specialist expert firm and dedicated independent personal injury Solicitor – such as those with whom we work, or one of your own choosing.

Essentially, as you have been hit from behind whilst stationary, there should be no argument about liability. The only issue that may arise is whether the defendant attempts to argue that the velocity of the collision was incompatible with sustaining bodily injury. This is known as ‘LVI’ low velocity impact. Defendant insurers are using this argument more and more in an attempt to wriggle out of personal injury liability. With this in mind, having a specialist Solicitor acting for you on a No Win No Fee basis rather than a claims handler at your insurers may prove to be a beneficial course of action.


In a circumstance while alighting a bus, you are knocked over by a motorbike, the motorbike is uninsured and cant be apprehended. But the bus contributed to the accident by stoping at a wrong location. Can there be two liabilities?

Ian Morris

It is most unlikely that you would be able to demonstrate that the bus company were liable for the injuries. In the UK, victims of untraced drivers (hit and run incidents) such as the one you describe can still pursue a claim for compensation via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) scheme for untraced drivers. The criteria to make such a claim requires the claimant to report the incident to the Police at the earliest opportunity, obtain a crime reference number and seek medical attention for any injuries sustained. Such claims can be made on a No Win No Fee basis as per the service we offer on MIB claims.

If you would like to discuss making a claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau, please call us on 01225430285.


I am a council tenant. I fell down the stairs in my home in April and grabbed the banister to break my fall but it came off in my hand. I dislocated my shoulder as a result. I went to hospital, had x-rays and nothing broken but still a long recovery.

I reported the accident to the local council a few weeks later in May that the banister is off the wall and told them how it happened. Then on the 3rd of July as I was walking down the stairs, I lost my footing halfway down and had nothing to hold or grab to break my fall and ended up landing in a position that broke my left fibula quite badly.

I started a claim after some advice and the claim seems to be running smoothly so far and the council have until the 30th of this month to accept or not accept liability.

An inspector for the council came out about 2 weeks ago to have a look at the banister and within an hour someone came out to fix it. I was just wondering what you think the outcome would be on liability? Is there a chance they wont accept liability? Thank you for taking time to read this.

Ian Morris

There is of course a chance that the landlord will deny liability. Much will depend on what, if any complaints about maintenance issues you have made and whether the landlord knew or should have known that the bannister was faulty.

Landlords will rely on reports from tenants as to the need for repair or maintenance and if they have not been made aware of any maintenance issues, they may deny liability successfully.


Hi thank you for quick response.. yes the landlord was made aware of the banister that it had come off the wall I reported it at least 6 weeks before I fell and broke my ankle , which was due to no banister to hold to break my fall,

Ian Morris

In that case you appear to have a valid claim as the landlord has failed to act on your report of a hazard or risk to health and is likely to be held liable for the injuries you have sustained.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285