Please find below some answers to your frequently asked questions:
1. Do I have to pay legal fees?
We operate under a 'No win, No Fee' system, meaning that if you were unsuccessful in your claim, you will not have to pay anything. Therefore effectively this 'No Win, No Fee' agreement takes the risk out of making a claim, as you have nothing to lose.
2. Can I still claim if I am injured by someone uninsured?
You most definitely can. Thankfully in cases involving road traffic accidents there is an organisation named Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), this is a public organisation to compensate victims of uninsured drivers. Therefore if you are unfortunately involved in an accident whereby the driver is uninsured or cannot be identified, you will still be able to make a claim for compensation.
3. What if my injury happened a while ago?
If your injury has happened within the last three years, we can still proceed and make a claim for you. Unfortunately if legal proceedings have not started in court within three years of the date of the accident, then we will be statute barred and unable to make a claim for you.
However there is some flexibility to this deadline. For example the three year deadline begins either from the date of the accident, or from the date that you knew your injury was linked to the original accident. Therefore we recommend that you get into contact with us and we will be able to advise you as to whether or not you have a valid claim. Furthermore, if the accident happened when you were under the age of 18, you have 3 years from the date of your 18th birthday to issue proceedings against the Proposed Defendant.
4. I am not sure if I have a genuine claim?
There are a number of possible claims you can make with us, ranging from accidents at work, slips and trips, public liability and road accident claims.
For you to be able to claim compensation for an injury you have sustained, the other party must at least be partly to blame.
We are also well aware that you can not only sustain physical injury but also psychological injuries, and we may also be able to claim compensation in such circumstances, such as the distress and upset that occurs after the events an accident.
If you are still unsure as to whether you have a right to a claim, please do not hesitate in contacting us, as our friendly and helpful team will be more than willing to assist you, in informing you whether you have a genuine right to a claim.
5. What if I do not have an independent witness?
Even without a witness it is still worthwhile pursuing a personal injury claim. As it will be your word against the defendants, it will be up to our capable solicitors, to amass a range of persuasive objective evidence to support your version of events. The standard of proof required is ‘on the balance of probabilities’, and our solicitors will do their utmost to prove that our client’s version of events, is in fact correct.
6. I think that the accident was my fault/partly my fault, can I still claim?
This is known as contributory negligence, which is when the injured person has contributed to the injuries caused by the accident. Even in such situations, you may still be entitled to make a claim for compensation. All that is required is that we establish that the defendant was primarily liable, in causing the accident.
It must be considered however that depending on how much you have contributed to the accident, and therefore subsequent injuries, this may reduce the amount of compensation you will be entitled to.
7. If I claim will this affect my job?
If you have been injured at the workplace and decide to proceed with making a claim for compensation against your employer, it is illegal for you to be adversely treated at work.
It is required from your employer by law to owe a duty of care towards their employees. Therefore if an accident does occur in the workplace, employers should not only accept employees making a claim following an accident at work, but should also expect it. It must be stated that following a claim of compensation your employer can not dismiss you, and if you were to lose your job, simply because you had made a claim against the company you worked for, it is very likely you will have a case for unfair dismissal under Employment Rights Act 1996.
You must also not lose sight of the fact that you are doing a service to your fellow employees, by making a claim. This is because by making a claim you are simultaneously protecting your fellow employees, from themselves experiencing a work related accident. Due to the fact that following your accident the employer will now be duty bound to take steps to reduce the chances of a similar accident occurring again.
8. I did not go to hospital or to my GP can I still make a claim?
You can still make a claim. We are fully aware that many injuries such as whiplash, where the symptoms do not occur immediately after the accident, and it can be days before you are acquainted with the full extent of your injuries. Furthermore at the time of your accident you may have other commitments and consequently were unable to attend your respective GP or hospital. Therefore we want you to recognise that by not attending the GP or hospital following an accident, this is not a reason to avoid making a claim.
9. Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of cases do not go to a final court hearing, as they will be settled beforehand. It is customary for settlement offers to be made once proceedings have been issued, or once a hearing date has been sent to the defendant. Court proceedings will usually only be issued if there is a dispute between the parties or where one of the parties does not respond to the claim put to them. If your claim did go to court we will ensure that you will be both fully informed and prepared for your court hearing.
10. What if liability is denied?
If liability is denied, the solicitor will be in a position to inform you whether your case is strong enough to take further, despite the denial of liability. If there is a more than 50% chance of a successful claim, we will proceed with the case and do our utmost best to win compensation for you.
11. Do I have to use the solicitor appointed to me by my insurance company?
No. You have the freedom to choose your own solicitor, under the Insurance Companies Regulations 1990, you have the right to choose which solicitor you would like when progressing with your claim.
12. What if I was not wearing my seat belt?
Yes, you can still make a claim. However you may not be entitled to full compensation, as responsibility to the accident will be shared.
Each case will be considered on its own merits. For instance if medical evidence is obtained on behalf of the client, which confirms that the injuries would have been a great deal less had a seatbelt been in use, then damages would be reduced by 15%.
However there are examples whereby you may still be entitled to 100% compensation, even though a seatbelt had not been worn. For instance if you had no chance to wear a seatbelt, or if your car is stationary. Furthermore there are exemptions of the requirement to wear a seatbelt, as some may be exempt on medical grounds, whilst taxi drivers and other private vehicle drivers are not required to wear seatbelts.
13. Can I claim on behalf of someone who has passed away?
Yes you can. If you are a dependant or a personal representative of the individual who has passed away, you will have the right to make a claim.
14. Can I claim if the employers company has now liquidated?
Yes you can. What is required is that the insurance company that provided the relevant cover to the insolvent business can be identified. If we can then establish that there was a valid insurance policy in force at the time of the accident, then compensation is very possible. Once we have determined these two factors, we can then proceed in making a claim.
15. What if I receive an offer directly from the other side?
Occasionally, an opponent may present you with a tempting offer: "We'd like to settle this quickly for you. Here's a nice sum of money, sign here and we're done." Don't do it! Well don't do it until you have talked to us. The offer made, may not be appropriate.
16. What other items can I claim for?
As well as compensation for injury, other losses which commonly arise from accidents include:
- Loss of earnings;
- Vehicle repairs, hire, storage and recovery charges;
- Medication, prescription, treatment (physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, counselling etc) fees;
- Travelling expenses e.g. taxis, buses, trains or car mileage;
- Domestic care and assistance e.g. help with everyday tasks received from family, friends or a professional.
Please consider that this is not an exhaustive list. So long as some form of loss is reasonably incurred as a direct result of the accident and can be supported with evidence, you should be able to recover it.