Personal Injury FAQs

If you have sustained an injury and you are considering claiming compensation, it is only natural you will have many questions about how the process works, and whether you could even make a claim. 

You can contact us today to find out the answer to these questions on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteamenquiry@warnergoodman.co.uk

In the meantime, feel free to look through our frequently asked questions below.

Can I make a claim?

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, or you have been injured due to negligence of your employer, then yes, you may be eligible to claim for compensation.

If you are over 18 years old then you must make a claim within three years of your accident.  If you are under 18 years old when you have your accident, you have until you are 21 years old to make a claim.

What happens if I decide to proceed and make a claim?

The first thing we will do is send a letter to the person or organisation who caused your accident. It is up to them to notify their insurance company within 21 days.

The insurance company will investigate the circumstances of your accident, illness or injury within a three month time frame. They will then tell us whether they accept your claim or deny that it was their policyholder’s fault. If this is the case the insurance company must explain why.

In order to help us win your claim, we will ask you to provide us with:

  • copies of all relevant documents that you have received about your accident, such as accident report forms and photographs.  Photographs are incredibly important in these situations, particularly if something such as a pothole has caused your injury.  The defect needs to be one inch deep and so any photographs should be supported with these details.  A 50p piece is an accurate display of this measurement.  Photographs should also include the area surrounding the defect, with the defect shown in context
  • details of financial losses, out of pocket expenses and loss of earning

In the meantime, we will obtain your GP, hospital and other medical records and arrange for you to be examined by a local doctor who will then write a report explaining your injuries and how they affected you.

Hopefully at this stage, the insurance company will have accepted the claim and we will attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Will I have to go to Court?

If the insurance company do not accept liability, we may then need to contact a barrister to provide an expert second opinion and also to help prepare Court documents on your behalf. The specialist barristers we use are 3PaperBuildings and 9 Gough Square.

The vast majority of cases are settled before court proceedings are started.  Even if we do issue Court proceedings, only 5% of cases need to go to Court, and we will continue to negotiate with the other side to achieve a settlement before trial.

If the case goes to Court you will meet your barrister beforehand and we will be there to guide you every step of the way.   If we do have to start court proceedings, don’t worry, there’s still every expectation that we will win your claim and settle before we go to court.

How long does a claim take?

This will be dependent on a number of different factors including the nature and extent of your injuries or illness, and whether the opposing party has accepted liability for your accident.

In accidents where your injuries are not serious and liability has been accepted we would expect matters to be settled in around 6 months. More serious injuries can take longer, particularly if liability has not been accepted.  The vast majority of all cases are settled within 12 – 18 months.

Once we have obtained more details about your own situation, we can advise accurately on how long your claim should take.

What will it cost me to bring a claim?

This is a question we are frequently asked, as we appreciate you won’t want to be worrying about legal bills as well as your health. There are several ways you can fund your claim, and we will help you choose the most appropriate way for you. We will work with you to keep your bill to a minimum if you are successful, and reduce or eliminate the risks of you having to pay anything if you are not successful.

If you are successful, then the other side is required to pay your basic costs of the claim. There may be additional costs for you to pay out of your compensation, but it is guaranteed that these costs will never be more than 25% of the compensation you receive for your injuries and past losses. In practice, this means that you will always keep at least 75% of your compensation after paying your bill.

If you are not successful in your claim, unless you have bought a fraudulent claim or acted in an improper way, then you should not have to pay the other side’s costs if you lose the claim. You may have to pay your own side’s costs if you lose, but by using an option like a No Win No Fee agreement, you can avoid that risk.

There is a risk that if you refuse a settlement offer from the other side during your claim and continue to Court, you could be awarded less than the other side offered. In this situation you may be liable to pay some of the other side’s costs, which could be all of your compensation. There is no need to be concerned, as this is part of your journey with this and we will help you choose the most appropriate funding option to reduce this risk. We will also keep you up to date with any offers made from the other side, and advise you accordingly.

There are several funding options available, including No Win No Fee arrangements, Community Legal Service, private funding, Before the Event Insurance, third party funding or damages based agreements. We know that funding arrangements can appear daunting, so do not be afraid to discuss this with us when you contact us and we can explain them further in detail, and advise as to the best option for you.

How much compensation am I likely to receive?

Your compensation is a reflection of your physical and emotional injuries, and your financial losses. Collectively the money that you receive is known as your “damages”.

There are two types of damages:

  • General damages – for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity which compensates you for your physical and emotional injury. We will be able to advise you how much your injury claim is worth once we have received the doctor’s final medical report
  • Special damages – compensates you for your financial losses. These might include loss of earnings, travel expenses, prescription and medication costs, private medical treatments and money that you need to pay other people to look after you or with things around the house

Before settling your claim we will produce a detailed schedule of all of your financial losses and present this to either the insurance company or the court.  It is vital that you help us with this and are able to provide us with as much information and documentary proof as possible, such as your payslips.  It would be useful if you could keep a careful note of when you make visits to your doctor, hospital, physiotherapist or anywhere else.

Every compensation claim is different and so it isn’t possible to categorise the amount of compensation you may receive based on the injury or accident itself.  Once we have assessed your claim in more detail we will be able to provide you with an estimate on how much compensation you can expect to receive.

Will receiving compensation for my claim impact my benefits?

If you receive means tested benefits and we win you compensation in your personal injury claim, then you do run the risk of losing your means tested benefit. For example if you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax support and have more than £16,000.00 in capital, ie. in the bank or building society or other savings, then you are at risk of losing some or all of your benefit. It is important for you to consider whether your compensation cheque will mean that you will have more than £16,000.00 in capital.

If you are in this situation, if is important that you tell us straight away as we can then discuss the benefits of a Personal Injury Trust to eliminate this risk. If your compensation you receive is placed into a Personal Injury Trust, then it has no affect on your means tested benefits as it is separated from your capital. Our Financial Services and Private Client teams specialise in setting up such a trust so you can be assured you are in safe hands.

Even if you do not receive means tested benefits, placing your compensation into a Personal Injury Trust can protect it from being taken into account, for example, should you need to go into long term residential or nursing care. This can be not only of great value to you, but also to your family in the future. If this is something that concerns you then please let us know and we can discuss it with you.

What happens afterwards?

We appreciate the impact that your claim will have taken on your life, and that of others around you.  Once your claim has concluded, there are still many things to think about; perhaps you need care, help and assistance now and in the future or even need assistance with what to do with your money. We can help with the following:

Personal Injury Trusts

Did you know that if you are receiving any means-tested state benefits, and received £16,000 or more in compensation, you could be at risk of losing some or all of your benefits? If this is the case then you may wish to invest your compensation in a trust fund. Our colleagues in our Private Client team would be more than happy to help you with this.

Investments

If your claim has been successful, it is likely you will have a substantial amount of compensation. It is important you make appropriate plans for this money so it continues to work for you in the years to come and helps towards your recovery and new life. Our Financial Services colleagues can help you with this, providing you with help and advice on planning for your future and investments.

How do I make a personal injury claim?

It couldn’t be easier to start your claim with us, or to discuss your queries further.  Simply call us on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteamenquiry@warnergoodman.co.uk.

 

To speak to one of our experts please call us

Thank you so very much for all your patience, you have a great calm manner that really helped me.