“What is my claim worth?”
We can’t assess the value of your injuries until we have obtained a report from a medical expert. We may also need to compile details of your losses and expenses which can significantly increase the value of your claim. As soon as we can give you an idea of your likely compensation value, we will. We will only take on your claim is your injury is worth in excess of £1,000. Claims worth less than this amount do not qualify for legal costs to be paid.
“How long will my claim take to settle?”
The duration of a claim depends on a number of factors. These can include how quickly your opponent responds to the claim, if responsibility for your claim is admitted or denied or how long it’s taking for your injuries to resolve. Some cases take months to resolve and some can take a number years. If responsibility is admitted for your accident or exposure, but your injuries are taking a while to resolve, we can apply for interim payments from your opponent to help with your financial situation.
“How long do I have to consider making a claim?”
Personal injury claims typically need to be issued at Court within 3 years of the date of the accident. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to seek legal advice as soon after your accident as possible.
Calculating when the three year time limit commences in industrial disease cases can be more difficult. Your date of knowledge will typically be the date of your medical diagnosis that you have a condition caused by exposure to noise, asbestos, dust, fumes etc.
If you are seeking to pursue a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority payment, you only have a two year time limit to apply to the scheme.
If you have an accident abroad or at sea, the time limits will vary.
You should seek specialist legal advice without delay. The success of your claim may depend on gathering evidence which may be lost if too much time has passed since the accident.
“Will I be out of pocket if I pursue a claim?”
You should not be left out of pocket from pursuing a potential claim. If we take on your claim, it’s because we consider that it has more than a reasonable prospect of being successful. Based on this judgement, we will offer you a “no win, no fee” funding agreement. This protects you against paying for our time if your claim fails. We also take out insurance for you (if needed) to protect you against your potential liability to pay for your opponent’s costs and for the costs of running your claim, such as medical report fees (these are called disbursements). This insurance policy also doesn’t charge you a premium if your claim is unsuccessful.
So long as you co-operate with us during the course of your claim by attending appointments and responding to our letters, you should not be out of pocket if your claim is unsuccessful.
“Will you make any deductions from my compensation?”
We used to be able to say that we would make no deductions from your compensation. This was because the law on recovering legal costs meant that all of our costs could be claimed from your opponent. We were also able to claim what is known as a success fee and the insurance premium from your opponent.
In recent years, the law has changed. We are no longer able to recover the success fee or the insurance premium from your opponent. The costs that we can recover have also been capped and cut in certain circumstances.
We would prefer not to make deductions from your damages, but in order to make it possible to offer “no win, no fee” agreements we do now have to make a deduction. This figure is capped so that we cannot take more than 25% of your general damages and your past losses and expenses. The amount is always deducted at the conclusion of your claim, directly from your compensation, so you aren’t out of pocket.
In order to reduce the effect of these deductions, the government increased the value of the injury awards by 10%, you will therefore recover a slightly increased amount in compensation to help off- set the deductions.
“How much commitment is involved with bringing a claim?”
Whilst we try to do as much of the work for you, there are certain times when you will have to get involved with your claim. We are likely to ask you to attend at least one medical appointment and we will require you to provide us with information about your financial losses and expenses.
There is some paperwork that you will need to read and sign at the start of your claim to set up the funding. We will also need to ask you to supply two forms of ID. This is a legal requirement that we have to ask of all clients of the firm and is standard procedure.
If your claim needs to be issued at Court, the timetable of your claim will be set by the Court. The timetable must be followed or your claim can be disallowed. If we write to you requesting information or for you to return signed documents, we need you to do this promptly or we might miss a Court deadline.
We will of course guide you fully when asking you to sign paperwork or provide information. The benefit of instructing a local firm is that you can always come in to speak to us about it. We also endeavour to find you a local medical expert and local treatment providers to limit the amount of travel you will have to do.