Q1 How do I make an accident claim or personal injury claim?
It's very simple. Just fill in the Start Your Claim Now accident claim form (on the right of this and each web page) or phone us on FREEPHONE 0800 731 7923 or email us on ku.oc.sroticilossmialc@smialc..
After getting some details of your accident and your personal injury and we will be able to tell you whether or not you may have an accident compensation claim. You can only claim compensation if your accident that was caused by the negligence of another person or organisation. We need to take some details from you to establish liability, but don't worry, its quite straightforward.
If we feel you have a good case to make a personal injury claim, we will proceed to compile all the necessary evidence, i.e. medical reports, accountant reports, police reports, employment contracts, whatever is relevant to your case. Once we have all the necessary evidence we will take all the information and will present your case to the responsible party although often the claim is handled by their insurers. What follows is then enter into a series of negotiations with the opponents with a view to resolving your accident compensation claim amicably.
You will be kept informed at all stages of negotiation. If the opponents are uncooperative and negotiations break down, they too will instruct Solicitors to act on their behalf. Ultimately, if agreement cannot be reached then your personal injury claim will be decided by the Courts.
No Win No Fee claims are still possible however new legal rules applying to England and Wales that came into force on 1st April 2013. "General damages" have been increased for all personal injury claims however solicitors can now claim up to 25% of this figure, but no other part of your damages, to cover the risks of the running the case. This applies to all firms of solicitors and all types of claim (except medical negligence) and for more information please call us on 0161 355 5500.
More information on costs is also found in more detail in questions 2, 3 & 4.
Q2 Will it cost me anything to make a personal injury claim?
Prior to the rule change on 1st April 2013 all viable personal injury compensation claims were accepted on a No Win No Fee basis with ATE (After the Event Insurance) taken out on your behalf to cover you for the defendant's costs should you lose the case.
The new rules are quite complex to explain however as explained in Q1 solicitors are now paid by taking out a proportion of the damages you receive. (Please note that this fee is taken only from "general damages" relating to your injury claim and not "special damages" that relate to financial losses resulting from the accident). In addition the defendant will still pay the Court costs (if it goes as far as a Court hearing) provided that the claim is honest and you have acted reasonably.
Where appropriate you can still take out ATE but you will have to pay the premium yourself at the end of the case. If you lose the case you will not have to pay the other party's costs, provided that you have not been dishonest or unreasonable.
Q3 Can I still have No Win No Fee?
Despite the change in the law on 1st April 2013 we can still offer No Win No Fee if we assess your personal injury claim to have a good chance of success. We can take on the case under a Conditional Fee Agreements "CFA" – most commonly known as "No Win No Fee".
Q4 What is ATE Insurance?
ATE stands for “After The Event” insurance and is the name given to an insurance policy taken out after an accident has occurred to provide cover for legal charges. In Personal Injury claims this kind of insurance may be taken out to insure against the risks of paying the opponents costs in an unsuccessful personal injury compensation claim.
The way it works is that we arrange the ATE Insurance on your behalf. Under he old rules this was cost was recoverable from the other party (defendant) if you win, however now you now have to pay this premium yourself at end of the case, win or lose. We will tell you the cost of the policy before the policy is taken out.
Q5 Is there another way of funding my accident compensation claim?
Yes. There are alternatives to our won No Win No Fee scheme and we will advise upon the best funding options available.
Many people are covered by legal expenses insurance which they have bought (sometimes unknowingly) along with their car insurance, home and contents insurance, or in sometimes with their credit card or bank account.
We are normally able to act for you under the terms of such a policy. Alternatively, if you work and you are a member of a Trade Union you may be entitled to legal advice under the cover of a block scheme. We will discuss all these issues with you prior to taking on your case.
There is no disadvantage to entering into our CFA.
Q6 Why should I use a solicitor and not a claims or accident management company?
We would always recommend that you approach a solicitors practice directly rather than go through an accident claims management company. It is a common misconception that Claims Management Companies deal with your accident compensation claim themselves. This is generally not the case. Claims Management Companies act as middlemen between solicitors and clients and offer no added value.
We don't make promises we cannot keep and are directly accountable to you. We offer a truly independent, professional service that is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Q7 Do I have to travel to your offices?
claimssolicitors.co.uk has clients all over the country. We can represent you wherever you live, provided your accident / personal injury occurred in England or Wales. We even represent clients who have had an accident in the UK but live abroad. Mostly your accident compensation claim can be handled by phone, post or e-mail, but if necessary we can arrange home visits if required.
Q8 How long will it take to settle my personal injury compensation claim?
Every claim is different and this question can only be answered on an individual basis.
There are many variable factors such as whether the opponents accept or deny liability, whether the Police are involved, whether you will require further medical tests etc.
Once we have reviewed the circumstances of the claim for compensation, we will be happy to give you a time estimate.
Q9 How much compensation will I receive if I win my accident claim?
We usually advice you on a rough estimate of the value of your compensation, but professional advice can only been given when we have arranged for the appropriate medical evidence to be prepared. It is not in your interest for us to make hasty or ill-informed estimates.
Accident compensation awards in England and Wales are based on what has been awarded by the Courts in the past for accidents with similar circumstances. This system operates in order to ensure that personal injury compensation awards are consistent across the country.
A public body called the Judicial Studies Board keeps a record of the levels of compensation awarded by the Courts and this forms the basis for future compensation awards. The JSB guidelines are reviewed periodically. Below is a selection of the guidelines, which may be of interest to you:
Nature of Injury Guideline Damages
- Neck Injury Compensation £750 to £106,000
- Back Injury Compensation £1,000 to £115,000
- Knee Injury Compensation £200 to £68,750
- Facial Scarring Compensation £1,225 to £69,500
- Amputation Of Little Finger Compensation £6,175 to £8,700
- Loss Of Thumb Compensation £25,400 to £39,150
- Psychiatric Damage Compensation £1,100 to £82,750
- Total Blindness & Deafness Compensation Approx £288,750
- Total Loss Of One Eye Compensation £39,150 to £46,900
- Loss Of Both Arms Compensation £172,000 to £214,250
- Brain Damage Compensation £11,500 to £288,500
The above figures are only guidelines. In addition to compensation for your injuries we would aim to give you advice about the other potential aspects of your claim, such as loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, the costs of any future care, extra medical treatment costs, or damage to property. If any of these factors are added into the total personal injury compensation award can increase dramatically.
Q10 Will I have to go to Court?
For most accident claims a Court Hearing is not necessary. We always consider that a Court Hearing should be the last resort; nevertheless some will inevitably lead to litigation. We always act in your best interest. We have a wealth of experience dealing with all Courts, from Local County Courts up to the House of Lords.
Q11 Do I need to visit my doctor?
We do not interfere with your treatment as a patient. If you are feeling any discomfort or pain as a result of your accident, then we would recommend you visit your doctor for treatment. However we do not recommend to any clients that they visit their doctor merely to record the happening of their accident. This is because the Government has indicated this wastes quite a lot of GP time, so we take this into account. It is the responsibility of your doctor to co-ordinate your medical treatment. It is our responsibility to ensure that you see an appropriate expert to provide an independent opinion upon your personal injury compensation claim.
Q12 What if the accident was partly my fault?
If you are partly responsible for your accident then you still may be able to make a claim for compensation. We will be happy to consider cases even if they are not clear. We can use our specialist expertise to guide on the prospects of your case.
Q13 How long after my accident do I have to make a claim?
We recommend that you contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible after your accident. The legal time limit for most accident compensation claims is 3 years, however there are exceptions to this rule including those involving children, accidents upon aircraft or at sea. So we recommend that you contact us seek advice early to avoid the chance of a valid claim for compensation being "debarred".
Q14 I've heard solicitors mention disbursements? What are they?
Disbursements are any costs which occur as a result of making a compensation claim other than your solicitor's time. These typically include the cost of getting medical reports from your GP or the hospital, police reports, engineers' reports, DVLA search fees, Court fees, charges for a further opinion or representation by a Barrister, or private medical treatment such as physiotherapy.
In most cases these are all covered by your CFA and we recover them from the defendant at the end of the personal injury claim.
Q15 I had an accident abroad, can you help me make a claim?
Yes, you can make a claim even if the accident took place abroad. However different rules apply in different countries, especially in relation to time limits. If you were travelling on a package holiday then UK regulations apply and you may be able to make an accident claim against the travel company. If you were an independent traveller we can still help. In particular our membership of PEOPIL (Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers) means that we have a network of experts in European countries. Recent EU legislation means that for EU and certain other non-EU European countries some of the rules have been harmonised.
For more information please see the Accidents Abroad page.
Q16 Why should I use claimssolicitors.co.uk?
Claims-solicitors.co.uk is the web presence of Davies & Company - a long established solicitors practice based in Stockport, Cheshire. We are a specialist law firm providing a free service to the victims of accidents. Many of the advertisements and websites you will see are for Claims Companies that generally do not handle the claims themselves. We are a specialist law firm and we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are approved by the leading organisations listed below and our clients can have peace of mind that they are receiving the best possible advice:
- SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority)
- A solicitor member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel
- Motor Accidents Solicitors Society (MASS)
- Corporate Accreditation of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
- A solicitor who is an APIL Senior Litigator
- We are also proud sponsors of the Child Brain Injury Trust
Q17 What if I lose my claim for compensation?
Don't worry about this. You can take out ATE insurance to cover you for paying the defendant's Court costs, but you will have to comply with the terms of the policy which we will supply to you.
Q18 What can I claim compensation for?
An injured person can claim compensation for the pain and suffering and loss of the amenities of life (the injury claim) and also for any financial losses incurred or that are likely to be incurred in the future as a consequence of the injury such as lost earnings. There are many other potential compensation claims such as loss of congenial employment, voluntary care and assistance, loss of ability to perform DIY tasks, loss of opportunity, being just a few.
Without expert legal advice claimants can be under compensated due to a failure to appreciate the full range of options available to them. Any settlement that is made is on a once and for all basis and there is no opportunity to come back to the Court at a later stage.
Q19 My insurance company wants me to use their choice of solicitor, what should I do?
If you want us to act then you have the right to choose your own solicitor. We will speak to your Insurers and sort out terms of business. We are either on the panel or have acted under the authorisation of most if not all legal expense insurance companies in the market. We can sort this out for you without difficulty.
Q20 What languages do you speak?
We have team members who speak Urdu, Gujarati, and Punjabi. We are happy to take your enquiry and to handle telephone communications in these languages. Often we make contact with a friend or relative who can raise any queries on behalf of any client who does not have a good command of English.