Frequently Asked Questions - Personal Injury
Q. Can I still bring a claim even if I was partially to blame?
You can still bring a claim, however, it may reduce the amount of compensation that may be awarded to you.
Q. How long do I have to bring a claim?
In the event of a claim the need to act quickly is of paramount importance, due to the statutory time limits in place but also because of the need to obtain the evidence required to establish a claim and prove any financial losses.
The usual time limit before issuing a claim at Court is 3 years from the date of the injury, or, 3 years from the date of knowledge of the injury if later.
In cases involving children, the 3 years will not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18. A parent or guardian can bring a claim on the child's behalf in the meantime.
In cases involving those lacking capacity, the time limit does not begin to run until the person recovers capacity, and if they never do so, the time limit does not apply at all. Similarly, if the person lacks capacity then an attorney or next of kin may be able to bring the claim on their behalf.
In cases where the person injured is deceased, a claim can be made on behalf of their estate through their personal representatives or executors, although the claim should usually be issued at Court within 3 years of the death.
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to bring a claim outside the usual time limits, and we can address any concerns with you. It is vital to take legal advice immediately.
Q. What is the amount of compensation I can expect to receive?
The outcome of any claim is very much dependent on the individual case. Some smaller claims settle for a few hundred or a few thousand pounds, whereas more serious claims or those requiring more complex settlements can win compensation of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of pounds.
- A successful claim could include compensation for the following:
- Unnecessary pain and suffering
- Loss of amenity, for instance not being able to pursue a sport or hobby
- Loss of earnings
- The cost of care or equipment
- The cost of treatment
Q. Will I have to pay my legal fees?
We are flexible with our fee arrangements, and are happy to offer fixed fees at various stages throughout your claim. Additionally, dependant on the merits of your case, we are happy to consider various fee arrangements such as Conditional Fee Arrangements (also known as 'no win, no fee'), and discounted Conditional Fee Arrangement in certain circumstances.
Q. Am I responsible for the other side's costs if I lose?
You will not be liable for the other side's costs if you were to be unsuccessful in Court due to the principle of qualified one way costs shifting. This principle states that you, as the Claimant, if successful, will be able to recover your costs from the Defendant. However, if you are unsuccessful, the principle states that you will not be liable for the costs incurred by the Defendant.
This is subject to various conditions such as that you are not being fundamentally dishonest, or that you have legitimate grounds to bring the claim etc. However, these will be discussed with you in length prior to your claim being issued.
Q. How long will my claim take?
Again, this is very much case dependent and will vary depending on the type of injury or claim. More complex claims will take longer to resolve, and there are a number of factors which are usually outside our control, for instance whether there is an early admission of liability, experts' waiting lists and Court timetables.
A straightforward claim may take only a few months to complete, whereas complex claims often take a number of years. However, if that were the case, it might be possible to obtain an interim payment of compensation.
It is important to recognise the danger of settling a claim too soon, without allowing an injury or condition to settle so that there is an accurate prognosis, or without allowing sufficient time to obtain all of the necessary evidence.
In any event, we will keep you fully updated throughout the claim, to ensure you are aware of any deadlines and about the progression of your claim.
Q. Do you have to be the driver of a car to make a road traffic accident claim?
No you do not have to be the driver of a car to make a road traffic accident claim. Other categories of claimant include passengers of vehicles including buses, pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motor cyclists.
Q. What is the standard process of making a road traffic accident claim?
Following the accident you should contact a solicitor to begin the process. The solicitor will consider the evidence available, arrange for medical evidence to be obtained and advise you on the merits of your claim and its value.
Based on the advice given your solicitor may attempt to negotiation a settlement offer, if this is unsuccessful court proceedings may be issued.
Q. What are there different processes for different types of road traffic accident claims?
The process for road traffic accident claims can depend on the value and complexity of the claim. Where the value falls between £1,000.00 and £25,000.00 the claim is made using a system called the MOJ claims portal.
This system aims to keep costs down whilst speeding up the process and is based on 3 stages. Stage 1 asks the insurer of the driver who is at fault if they admit wrongdoing, if this is accepted the second stage commences.
At stage 2 the solicitor will submit all of your evidence and offer a settlement figure, the parties are then able to negotiate this figure. If settlement is not agreed, stage 3 requires a judge to consider the evidence and decide on the amount of compensation.
Q. Are there any time limits on making a road traffic accident claim?
Typically you have 3 years from the date of the road traffic accident to begin a claim for personal injury. Where children or individuals who lack mental capacity are involved the 3 year limit does not apply but you should seek further advice from a solicitor.
Q. Can a solicitor help me access medical rehabilitation?
Your solicitor can work with the insurer of the driver who is at fault to provide you with a rehabilitation plan. The rehabilitation code is in place to help you made the quickest and best possible recovery you can. This is expected to happen at the earliest practicable stage of your case and throughout.
Q. How will my solicitor support me when making a road traffic accident claim?
At Clapham & Collinge, we take time to understand what you are experiencing and to help you get the answers and compensation you deserve. Our expert personal injury solicitor, Philip Lumb, has over 15 years' experience and is committed to securing you the best outcome.
If you have a personal injury that you have suffered due to the actions of someone else and you wish to find out more, our Client Relations Team are on hand to help and can arrange an appointment with our specialist personal injury solicitor. For more information or to discuss your individual circumstances in further detail, contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments are available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.
For more information on Clapham & Collinge's Personal Injury services please see our dedicated Personal Injury webpage.