Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have a Claim?
If you have sustained an injury due to someone else's fault (negligence), you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. At our free initial interview we will assess your case.
Is there a time limit to bring a claim?
In most cases you only have three years from the date of your accident to issue court proceedings. Because this time limit is not straight forward and because it takes time to obtain medical evidence and investigate your case, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. For example, in relation to industrial diseases e.g. deafness, you must issue proceedings within three years of the date you knew or should have known that your condition was work-related. If you delay making a claim you may lose the right to bring a claim completely. Please therefore contact us as soon as possible if you think you have a claim.
What will it cost?
Most of our cases are dealt with on a no win - no fee basis. At the free initial interview we will discuss whether we can offer a no win - no fee agreement for your claim.
How much is my claim worth?
The compensation you receive represents what it takes to return you, so far as money can, to your original state before the accident took place. Compensation falls into two main parts - compensation for your injury and compensation for your financial losses e.g. loss of earnings/expenses.
It is often too early to say at the initial meeting what your claim is worth and we will be able to advise you specifically on your case once a medical report has been obtained, as that report will set out the extent of your injuries. As a general guideline the more severe our injury is, the more compensation you will receive.
In addition to your injury, as stated above, we will be claiming for your financial losses.
How long will my claim take?
This depends on whether the insurers who are compensating the claim accept liability promptly or not. If they do accept responsibility promptly, it will hopefully take approximately 9 to 12 months. If the matter is contested it may take quite a bit longer. The other factor that will delay matters is the extent of your injury. It may be too early to settle your claim after a year. For example the medical expert may say that he wishes to see you again for a further assessment to give an accurate prognosis. It is sensible to have this further medical rather than settle your claim quickly as once an offer is accepted you cannot go back later and ask for more.
What happens next?
If we have informed you that we can to take your case further, a letter of claim will be prepared to the person responsible for your accident which they will pass on to their insurers to deal with. Under the Personal Injury Protocol the person responsible for your accident and their insurers have three months to investigate your claim and then let us have confirmation whether they accept responsibility for your claim or not. We will write to you again at that time to update you on what happens from then.
What happens at the medical appointment that is arranged as part of my claim?
The medical appointment is likely to be either with your GP or a consultant. The doctor will ask you about the circumstances of the accident. He will ask you about your injuries at the time and also how you are now. Do not worry that it perhaps some months if not a year or more since your accident. We will ensure that the expert has your medical records which will give him a background into the matter.
Does the medical expert need access to all my medical records?
Yes. The reason why the expert asks for all your records is so that he can prepare a comprehensive report. For example if you have an accident which involves a back injury, the insurers who are compensating your claim will want to know whether you have had any previous injuries. This does not mean that you will not get compensation for your claim. However the purpose of compensation is to compensate you for the specific accident rather than any pre-existing problems that would have occurred anyhow. If giving us full access to your records causes you any concerns, please contact us straight away.
Will my employers be difficult with me now that I have made a claim against them?
We find generally employers are quite used to receiving letters of claim from solicitors and usually pass them straight to their insurers to deal with as we request in the letter that we send to them. If you do experience any problems please let us know straight away. However we would hope very much that this will not be the case.
I am not getting any money from my employers. Am I entitled to help from the DWP?
You may be entitled to Employment Support Allowance and/or Industrial Injury Benefit. Please contact your local Jobcentre to discuss this further with them. If you are also in need of help around the house or travelling you may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance. Again speak to your local Jobcentre for further information.
If you are on a very low income your local council may be able to help you with Council Tax payments and rental payments through Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit. We attach a link below that will direct you to the government website providing advice on benefits (http://www.direct.gov.uk).