Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
Will I have to pay for your services?
If we are unable to recover any compensation for you, you won’t owe us a penny. Unfortunately, due to recent changes in the law which we opposed, if your claim is successful we are no longer able to make the defendant pay the whole of our fee. To compensate for this we have to take 10% of your compensation.
We have fixed this percentage as low as we can and our deal compares favourably with the 25% taken by most firms. The reason we have chosen 10% as the figure is because the courts have recently ruled that compensation will be increased by this amount. In other words, under our deal you will receive as much compensation as you would have done under the old law.
Will you pay me a cash advance?
No. We are aware that some firms will pay a few hundred pounds to take on your claim. What they don’t tell you about on the advertisements is that they will only give you the money if your claim meets a list of conditions. If fault is disputed or your injuries are minor, you won’t receive a cash advance.
We like to keep things simple. You get paid when we do. We believe that on average the cash advance another firm may offer will be outweighed by the extra compensation we can recover for you. If your injuries are serious and you have pressing financial needs, ask us about the possibility of interim payments.
How long will it take?
If your claim arises from a road traffic accident and the other driver is clearly at fault, we will generally be able to settle your claim within 3-4 months. If your claim is more complicated, it can take anywhere between 6 months and several years to bring the case to a successful conclusion. We will be able to provide you with more specific guidance at your first appointment.
My child was injured in an accident. Can you help?
Yes. We regularly represent children. We will require you or another adult to agree to act as your child’s “litigation friend”, which allows us to take our instructions from that person.
What can I claim compensation for?
There are two categories of compensation in personal injury claims: general damages and special damages. Broadly speaking, special damages compensate an injured person for those expenses which can easily be quantified, such as the cost of a taxi to the hospital, whereas general damages compensate for such things as the pain and suffering caused by the injury.
You may have suffered a loss of earnings as a result of your injuries. If your injuries are serious, your ability to work in the future may also be adversely affected. This may in turn serve to reduce your pension entitlement. Alternatively, even if you are able to continue in your current job, your injuries may put you at a disadvantage if you ever have to look for another job. In the right circumstances you can be compensated for all these losses.
Another common claim in more serious cases is for care and assistance. Even if care is provided for you free of charge by friends and relatives, you will generally be entitled to recover a notional payment on their behalf.
How long do I have to claim?
As a general rule, a claim for personal injury must be brought within 3 years of the date of the accident. However, there are various exceptions to this rule and if you think you may have a claim in respect of an injury or illness which you sustained more than 3 years ago, you should contact us to see if we can assist.
Road Traffic Accidents
Procedure for claiming
Almost all personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents are now governed by a special 3 stage process.
|Stage 1||We send the Claim Notification Form electronically to the relevant insurer. The insurer must admit or deny liability within 15 days.|
|Stage 2||We obtain a medical report and evidence of your loss, which is sent to the insurer together with an offer to settle the claim. The insurer has 35 days to consider the evidence and the offer, and to make a counter-offer if they wish.|
|Stage 3||If we cannot agree a settlement with the insurer, we will commence court proceedings on your behalf and a judge will decide how much compensation you will receive|
Most claims are settled at Stage 2 of the process, which means that in many cases you will receive your compensation cheque within a couple of months of your first appointment. Unfortunately some insurers are still not dealing with claims efficiently and in those cases we have to revert to the old procedure of writing letters and, where necessary, commencing court proceedings.
Low velocity impact (LVI) cases
If you were involved in a relatively minor collision, the insurer may argue that the velocity of the impact was so low that you could not possibly have suffered injury. This is simply not true: scientists have shown that many factors other than speed are relevant, such as the relative sizes of the vehicles involved and whether the collision was unexpected. There is no minimum speed below which a driver or passenger cannot be injured. However, if the insurer can persuade the court that any injuries you have were unlikely to be caused by the collision, then your claim may be dismissed.
The insurer will often seek to rely on its own expert engineering and medical evidence and your evidence will be examined in forensic detail in an effort to expose any discrepancies. It is therefore even more important than usual that suitable expert witnesses are selected and that your evidence is collated and presented to the court with care. We deal with LVI cases on a regular basis and we have the experience to help you succeed in this sort of claim.
Accidents at Work
The relevant law
All employees are owed a duty of care by their employers, which encompasses a duty to provide safe premises, safe equipment, safe systems of work and safe fellow employees.
Documentary evidence such as risk assessments and accident book entries can be of vital importance in claims of this type. If your employer refuses to admit liability, we will insist on prompt disclosure of the relevant documents and, if necessary, we will make an application to court on your behalf seeking an order for such disclosure before the main proceedings begin.
I was injured at work but I am frightened to claim against my employer. Can you help?
Under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, employers are legally obliged to insure against liability for injury or illness suffered by their employees as a result of their work, so there is no good reason for your employer to bear a grudge against you for bringing a claim. If your employer does treat you unfairly, our Employment Team are here to help.
Areas we cover include Huyton, Liverpool, Merseyside, North West, North Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire