Over 3 million people in the UK are injured in accidents on an annual basis; in many cases someone else is to blame. If you have been injured and someone else is at fault our personal injury claims solicitors will be able to secure compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury law is complicated. It is important to instruct a qualified personal injury solicitor to ensure you receive the full personal injury payout you are entitled to.
When many people think of personal injury claims they immediately think of whiplash compensation. Over 70% of personal injury claims are related to neck injuries, usually caused in road traffic accidents.
Personal injury claims payouts
Personal injury claims can be very complex; there are many things to be considered for the value of your claim. Our personal injury compensation calculator will give you an indication of how much your claim is worth. However, please call our personal injury solicitors for a detailed assessment and potential valuation of your claim.
Compensation for injuries is awarded for two distinct things, special damages and general damages. General damages are specifically for your injuries and the pain caused, special damages are designed to cover your financial losses, this is for things like time off work, rehabilitation and costs relating to your care and recovery.
Guideline amounts for your injuries
Estimated compensation value Severe neck injuries £36,700 - £125,475 Moderate neck injuries £6,300 - £32,550 Minor neck injuries £700 - £6,615
Back and spinal injuries
Estimated compensation value Severe back and spinal injuries £31,300 - £136,605 Moderate back and spinal injuries £10,100 - £23,520 Minor back and spinal injuries £750 - £10,815
Hip and pelvis injuries
Estimated compensation value Severe pelvis and hips injuries £31,600 - £111,090 Moderate pelvis and hips injuries £10,100 - £33,180 Minor pelvis and hips injuries up to £10,815 Lesser injuries up to £3,255
Estimated compensation value Amputations £79,100 - £239,295 Severe leg injuries £22,400 - £114,450 Minor - Moderate leg injuries up to £23,520
"Rachael is a real asset to the company. Rachael has the rare ability to be able to explain complex legal issues in basic terms without being patronising."
What is no win no fee?
If you win
If you win, you are required to pay the lawyers charges, expenses, disbursements and any insurance premium which is taken out. You will usually be able to recover some if not all of these charges from the other side. These fees can be paid from any compensation awarded and no fees will become payable until the outcome of the case is confirmed.
The solicitors’ assessment of risk will include considering all relevant factors; including the merits and value of the claim, the likelihood of settlement, the level of costs likely to be incurred, as to whether the case is heavily dependent upon factual or uncertain expert evidence, and as to the information and documentation available as at the date when the CFA is entered into.
The solicitor will define success criteria and if these criteria are achieved (i.e. the case is won) a success fee will be payable by you in addition to the normal fees. This success fee will be paid out of any damages that you are awarded. The success fee is subject to a maximum limit of 25% of compensation.
If you lose
You need to be aware that if the personal injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not be liable for the lawyers’ fees but the opponent, the other side, may seek to recover their costs from you although this is unusual.
Legal expense insurance
In some insurance policies, you already have legal expenses insurance. This is also called “before the event” insurance as it can be taken out in advance of a problem occurring.
To put this in context, your home or car insurance policies are “before the event” policies as they are taken out before you need to claim.
When we review potential personal injury claims, we see whether you can take advantage of legal expenses insurance to cover any potential legal costs which you would have to be pay if the claim is unsuccessful. You may also be covered as an additional benefit on any pre-existing bank accounts.
If you don’t already have “before the event” insurance, there may also be the opportunity to take out a new policy to insure against an unsuccessful case. These policies are called “after the event” insurance policies because they are taken out once the incident has occurred. Solicitors and insurers will review the potential claim and assess the risks to see whether an “after the event” insurance policy can be set up.
What does this mean to you?
If you think that you have a personal injury claim, the first thing you should do is to discuss your claim with our expert solicitor Jeanette Whyman to find out how strong your claim is.
It is really important to work with a personal injury solicitor who will be honest with you and evaluate your case calmly and clearly to see whether your claim will be successful. Jeanette has been working with clients on personal injury cases for many years and will be able to give you this honest assessment.
This initial assessment is free of charge as it is our opportunity to find out more about your potential claim and you can find out more about how we would propose to handle your case. At this point we would also see whether you have “before the event” legal expenses insurance by reviewing any insurance policies that you have or seeing whether you are entitled through any of your bank accounts. If you do not have this type of insurance we will also consider whether “after the event” insurance is available to you.
A brief history of no win no fee
No win no fee claims were introduced in 1995, designed to give access to legal representation to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. There were changes in the law in April 2013 which altered the way solicitors were paid using no win no fee but the CFAs which we offer are fully compliant with these new rules.
No win no fee personal injury claims
Many people worry about funding their claim. The personal injury claims we handle are on a no win no fee basis, or to use the official term a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
You may have seen television adverts where personal injury lawyers are talking about no win no fee in relation personal injury claims and wondered what this actually means.
No win no fee is a term for Conditional Fee Agreements or CFAs.
In simple terms a CFA is an agreement between us (a solicitor) and you where the risk of pursuing litigation, a claim or a dispute is shared. Each case is reviewed on its own merit and the solicitor will agree whether all or part of their proposed fees will be payable by you if the case is successful.
Personal injury trusts
A personal injury trust is a way of allowing you to ring fence your compensation lawfully and legitimately. If you are looking to make a personal injury claim or you have received compensation in the last 12 months then it will be relevant to you. Please see our guide to personal injury trusts for further details.
Compare no win no fee solicitors
It’s important you feel comfortable and have confidence in the solicitor handling your personal injury claim. We therefore encourage you to research and compare no win no fee solicitors, we’d advise you to look at their accreditations to assess whether they are recognised as experts in personal injury law. We’d suggest you start by looking at the Law Society and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. The Law Society has produced an independent guide to help you choose the best personal injury solicitors.
Claims management companies
Many insurers encourage their customers to use claims management companies to deal with smaller claims, usually those for whiplash injuries. It is important to note that many of these companies do not use a solicitor; in these instances the claim will not be able to go to court should it need to, this growing trend has led to a significant increase in claims being undervalued, meaning you do not receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Our client, a care home operator, came to us when they were told that they had no insurance for a number of personal injury claims that had been made by their customers and residents.Read case study
The importance of complying with Health and Safety Law is vital to prevent avoidable accidents in the workplace. Ultimately compliance will reduce personal injury claims made by employees and visitors to the premises for injury which in turn will lead to the smooth running of your business.Read case study
We come across employees who have been injured as a result of an accident in the workplace, for example as a result of defective machinery, unsafe systems of work and failures to provide and enforce the use of personal protective equipment.Read case study
Personal injury claims process
In order to start the personal injury claims process there are several things we will need from you to help us understand your case, these include:
There are a number of things that our lawyers will need from you:
- Details of the accident: date, place and how it happened.
- Details of any witnesses and / or photographs that may have been taken at the scene of the accident
- Details of all injuries sustained including diagnosis and treatment.
Other items which are useful include:
- Proof of loss of earnings and any expenses as a result of your injury
- Any insurance documents – many people take out legal expenses cover as part of household or motor insurance
Working with our personal injury solicitors
Our solicitors will assess the evidence and then advise you if you have a claim for personal injury. The next stage is to understand how your claim will be processed. Our personal injury lawyers will let you know who will be handling your case, how long the case is likely to take and agree how often your case should be reviewed. Finally, and most importantly, our lawyers will discuss funding with you.
Funding your claim
There have been a number of recent changes to the way in which claims can be funded but do note that public funding (legal aid) is no longer available for personal injury claims. We will explain how much your case is likely to cost, how those costs are arrived at and, finally, what happens if you go to court but lose your case. We will discuss all the options listed below in detail with you:
- No win no fee: we can take on your case on a no win no fee basis (Conditional Fee Arrangements)
- Legal expenses insurance: you may be covered under your home, car or other insurance that will pay for all or some of your costs.
- Private funding: you can fund the cost of the claim yourself.
- Damages Based Agreements (DBA) means legal costs are based on the damages you receive. We can discuss the pros and cons of this type of funding with you.
You will need to consult a medical specialist in order to ascertain the extent of your injuries. This can be arranged by our personal injury solicitor who will also use the resulting report to decide on the level of compensation you should seek. Our lawyers will then send a claim letter to the person, or organisation, responsible for your accident (the defendant). This will set out the nature and circumstances of your injury. The defendant should reply within three months (this gives them time to carry out the necessary investigations) either accepting or denying liability for your injuries. If they accept liability then our solicitor will aim to settle your case without going to court.
Settling your claim
Our solicitors will give you an indication of the value of your claim but you will need to discuss how much compensation you are willing to settle for. Once agreed, our solicitor will make a ‘Part 36 offer’ which is an offer to settle for the amount of compensation you agreed. The defendant can respond in one of three ways:
- Accepting your Part 36 offer;
- Respond with their own Part 36 offer; or
- Not accepting your Part 36 offer.
If the defendant does not accept your offer, or offers you a lower sum than you are prepared to accept, then our lawyers will advise you on the next steps which may involve going to court.
Going to court
If your case goes to court, the timetable will be in the hands of the judge. The court will let you know the date of your hearing and our solicitors will let you know what you need to do. The judge will then look at the detail of your case and make an award. Under normal circumstances you can expect to receive your settlement after about a month.
Personal injury claims time limits
As with all compensation cases there is a time limit for making a personal injury claim. It is three years from the date you were injured or the date you became aware of the injury, this is usually particularly relevant for industrial disease cases where the injury does not become apparent for several years. It is therefore advisable to seek the advice of solicitor as soon as you are aware of an issue.
Types of claim
Accidents at work
Statistics shows that 27 million working days are lost to workplace accidents. The most common work accident claims are for slips and trips, closely followed by falls in the workplace. However, there can be more serious injuries when you are involved in an accident at work and the consequences of these can be devastating to your life.
After any accident in the workplace it is important that you visit a doctor as soon as possible to have a full assessment and rule out any unseen injuries.
Employers have a responsibility to protect their workforce from accidents and injuries both in their workplace or when acting for them onsite or in another building. This means they are responsible for:
Providing their employees with the most appropriate tools to do their job. They are also responsible for ensuring the tools and equipment are to a safe standard. Safety wear should also be provided if it is necessary for the job and the tools being used.
The workplace is safe, including ensuring there are no work place hazards. Floor space and corridors are clean and hazard free. Doors are easily accessible and workstations and seating is appropriate for the job.
Training is required for certain roles to ensure employees are aware of how to do certain tasks safely for the benefit of themselves and those around them. You are able to make a claim for an accident at work if you have been injured and someone else is to blame for the incident.
Road traffic accidents
In 2014 it was reported that road deaths have increased by 3%. Thankfully the roads in the UK are fairly safe with courteous and careful drivers and clear traffic management systems. However, accidents do happen, when they do the consequences to your life can be devastating. You are able to make a road traffic accident claim for compensation if you were injured in a car or any other motor vehicle, on foot, riding a horse, bike or motorbike at the time the accident occurred.
The most common road traffic claim is for whiplash, an injury to the neck which accounts for 70% of all personal injury claims. However, there are more serious consequences and injuries when you are involved in a car or road traffic accident and the effects of these can be devastating to you and your family.
Untraced drivers agreement
If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who failed to stop you may be able to claim for compensation under the “Untraced Drivers Agreement”, the claim would be pursued against the Motor Insurers Bureau. There are certain conditions; if you are claiming for the damage to your property your accident needs to be reported to the police within 5 days, or within 14 days if you are claiming for personal injury.
After any accident on the road it is important that you visit a doctor as soon as possible to have a full assessment to rule out any unseen injuries.
It’s often reported that car drivers do not see motorbike riders until it is too late, at times swerving to avoid road hazards and not seeing oncoming motorbikes or finding motorcycles in their blind spot as they pull out. This can result in an array of accidents from minor bumps through to catastrophic injuries. There are lots of risks for bikers on the road caused by other motorcycle riders or car drivers and road conditions.
One of the more common personal injury claims for motorbike riders is actually potholes on the road. Usually a pothole just causes riders to come off-course but in more serious cases it can cause them to fall off their bikes and injure themselves. In these cases the councils and local authorities who maintain the roads can be at fault.
If you have been injured in a motorbike accident that was caused by someone else you may be entitled to claim for your injuries.
In 2014 the UK Government released a report showing an increase in the number of road accidents involving pedestrians. There were 400 pedestrian fatalities on UK roads in 2013. A third of pedestrian accidents involve children.
Any road accident can be serious, but the risk of extreme injury to pedestrians is higher due to the lack of protection they have. Pedestrians should be given right of way by road users but they are not always seen due to driver distractions or people stepping out into the road before looking properly. Accidents can occur at any time but the majority of road accidents involving pedestrians tend to be when people are attempting to cross the road.
Pedestrians who have been involved in a road accident that is not their fault can claim compensation for their injuries.
Regardless of whether it is a car, television, kitchen appliance, tablet or children’s toy; we all expect the products we use on a daily basis to be safe. The UK has strict laws on product safety, manufacture and testing before products can be launched to the public.
Despite these regulations, faulty and defective products do make it in to our homes and workplaces posing a serious risk of injury. Stories in the media of electrical failures causing fires and faulty showers overheating and causing burns are not common but do happen.
There are many types of product that can fail from defective e-cigarettes and faulty mobile phones through to furniture and sports equipment. All of these can cause injury, some more serious than others. If you have been injured by any of these and the fault is with the product it is possible to claim compensation.
Being involved in animal related accidents can be serious. Horse riding accidents can have very severe consequences; falls from horses have resulted in paralysis for riders, although this is not common. The recent case of Ashleigh Harris who won £3m in compensation for a horse riding fall highlights where responsibility lies when it comes to animal accidents. If the owner of the animal knew or should have known there was a chance of injury or an accident they may be liable.
Animal owners are responsible for the animals in their care; that includes farmers, stable owners, animal trainers and pet owners. It is possible to make a claim for an array of animal related injuries including animals and livestock that have wandered into the road causing a collision.
Between March 2014 and February 2015 there were 7,227 cases of people needing medical attention due to dog bites. It is often children who are bitten or those who encounter dogs through their work, like postmen and women.
Any dog has the potential to bite, regardless of the breed, age, size and temperament. In many instances a dog bites for a reason, usually fear or as a reaction to pain. However, there are instances of unprovoked dog bites on people. Injuries tend to be to the hands, arms and wrists. Injuries are often sustained by owners trying to separate two dogs who are attacking each other.
To make a claim for dog bite compensation it is important to prove that the owner of the dog was aware or should have been aware the dog may bite or cause injury to a person or that the dog was out of control. This is usually done by showing a track record of aggression or bites from the dog in the past. In the case of dog bites the incident needs to be reported to the police.
Often the owner of the dog cannot be traced. In these instances you are still able to make a claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Sadly it is a fact that people die in accidents every year. If the fatal accident was someone else’s fault, it is possible for the family of the deceased to claim compensation. Our client claimed for a fatal accident when her husband was electrocuted whilst carrying out his delivery duties to a farm property. The lack of training and a lack of health and safety contributed to his death.
Fatal accidents can happen anywhere. They can be caused by accidents on the road, in the workplace, during a sporting event or even by an animal or defective product. It is a very emotional time for the family of the deceased as they deal with the shock of losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances, particularly if the accident could have been avoided or if someone else is at fault. In these cases we handle your claim with dignity and care and seek to secure compensation to help you deal with the financial aspects of losing a loved one.
Burns range in severity and are classified as first degree, second degree and third degree burns. Second degree and third degree burns tend to leave scarring on the skin.
Burns can be caused by many accidents from road traffic accidents and workplace accidents but also from defective products, chemical burns or electrical faults.
The importance with burns compensation is to prove that someone else was at fault. It could be that your employer gave inadequate training in the handling of chemical hazards or that an electrical fault on a defective product caused your burns. In the cases of road traffic accidents it is easier to prove that the burns were a result of the accident. In all cases it is important to use a genuine personal injury law specialist to ensure your case is handled correctly and you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
White finger vibration
A common industrial injury our team deal with is for vibration white finger (hand arm vibration syndrome). It is caused by the continual use of industrial machinery that vibrates. It can cause long term damage and problems for people and require ongoing treatment and care.
The injury can be quite severe and affect dexterity meaning that everyday tasks can become more difficult or even impossible due to loss of grip and strength to pick up items. Ongoing pain is often a symptom that needs continual care.
In these cases you are able to claim for your financial loss if your ability to work is compromised and the cost of any care or medical treatments you may need.
We advise people all across the UK on personal injury claims but have a particular strength in advising people in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Warwick.
For a free assessment of your claim please contact our personal injury solicitors.
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