How to start a personal injury claim

If you've suffered because of an injury that wasn't your fault, you may have a claim for compensation. Our Personal Injury solicitors explain the process.

1. Will I have to go to court?

The vast majority of personal injury cases are concluded by negotiated settlement and it is rare that the court have to hear evidence and decide issues of liability and damages. Despite this we prepare every case upon the basis that if settlement cannot be negotiated the case is ready to be dealt with by the court. 

2. Is there a time limit for making claims?

Yes, proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the date of the accident or the Claimant’s knowledge that they have suffered an injury in cases where that may not have been immediately obvious. In cases involving children under the age of 18 the 3 year time limit runs from the child’s 18th birthday. In the vast majority of cases a child’s claim is settled with court approval within a reasonable time after the accident occurring.

3. Is Legal Aid available for me to bring a claim?

No, other than in very exceptional circumstances because claims are now funded by the No Win, No Fee arrangements that solicitors can enter into in personal injury cases or by legal expense insurance.

4. How much will I have to pay?

You will not have to pay anything as our costs and the expenses that we incur such as experts and court fees will be paid by your opponent’s insurers if you win your claim. We will ensure you are covered by a suitable insurance product to protect you against any claim for costs if for any reason your claim fails and we will write off our own costs under the terms of our No Win No Fee Agreement.

5. What if I go to court and lose?

We will ensure that in the event of you losing the costs of the other party will be indemnified by legal expense insurance and our own costs will be written off under the terms of the no win, no fee agreement.

6. I am partly to blame, can I still make a claim?

Yes. In personal injury claims responsibility for the accident can be apportioned between you and the other parties responsible. You will recover damages according to the percentage of blame applicable to those responsible.

7. If I make a claim can my employer sack me?

No, as employers are required to have employee liability insurance and your damages will be paid by the insurer and not your employer. If you are dismissed as a result of making a claim and there is no other valid reason you also have your rights to damages under employment legislation and one our specialist team of employment lawyers can assist you with this.

8. Can you take over from my existing solicitors?

Yes, we are often approached to do so and in appropriate cases where there is valid reason for you to be unhappy with the service you are getting we are willing to take over.

9. What should I do to help win my claim?

You can help us pursue your claim most effectively if you or your family gather and continue to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include the details of where and when the accident happened, photographs of the accident scene, and the contact details of witnesses. It will also be very important to keep receipts for all the expenses you incur following the accident and, if your injuries continue for sometime it is often helpful to keep a diary of your progress towards recovery.

Contact our team as soon as possible to provide us with instructions so we can help you gather evidence as quickly as possible before it is lost.

10. How long will my claim take?

We always endeavour to conclude your claim as soon as is reasonably practicable. However each claim is different and the length of time will depend on a number of factors including whether liability is conceded, the seriousness of your injuries and the time it takes to obtain a final prognosis from our independently instructed medical expert.

11. Can I still claim compensation if I was injured by an uninsured driver?

Many people are under the misapprehension that a compensation claim is not possible if the accident was caused by an uninsured motorist. However the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) Scheme called the Uninsured Drivers Agreement exists to help road users obtain the compensation they are entitled to via a fund all insurers pay in to. The process is different to the usual compensation system with extra rules and deadlines so if you have been injured by an uninsured motorist call us for specialist help.

12. How much compensation will I receive?

Compensation for your injuries will vary according to the circumstances of your case. Please see our fact sheet How much compensation will I receive. If you are found partly responsible for your accident you compensation will be reduced to reflect the percentage to which you are found to blame. If you suffered financial losses as a direct result of the accident these should be recovered so long as they can be proved so it is important you keep careful records and all receipts.

13. Will I receive all my compensation?

Yes, we do not deduct anything from your Compensation. You receive all the money that is recovered on your behalf.

14. Do I have to use my Insurers Panel Solicitor?

Your insurer will often instruct you to use one of their chosen Solicitors but you have a choice. If we are able to settle you claim by negotiation the insurer will not be involved. If court proceedings have to be issued because an agreement is not possible then you are entitled to have Tees act on your behalf under the terms of your legal expense policy and will notify your insurers at that stage.

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