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Injury compensation claim FAQs

Frequently asked questions about making a compensation claim

For many, making a claim for a serious or personal injury can be a daunting prospect. To help explain how the process works, we’ve created this simple Q&A based on the questions we are most often asked by our clients.

If you have a question about making an injury claim, please get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss your case, free of charge.

Will it cost me anything to make my claim?

There are various funding options available to help you bring an injury compensation claim. If you do not have existing legal expenses insurance or any other pre-existing funding, then we can discuss acting for you under a “no win no fee” or Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which will enable you to bring a claim for damages without incurring expensive legal costs.

What is a “no win no fee” compensation claim?

“No win no fee” (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is a method of funding a compensation claim. The solicitor works without payment from the client and claims their legal costs from the other side if they are successful. If the claim is unsuccessful the solicitor will not be paid.

If they win the case, the solicitor is also entitled to charge the client a “success fee” which is payable out of the compensation amount. The success fee can be no more than 25% of the compensation amount for the injury and past losses. The % is agreed up front. The amount of the success fee will reflect the level of risk that the case might be lost – which would prevent the solicitor from being paid. The level of risk will depend on the individual circumstances of each case and the stance adopted by the other side.

Will I receive 100% compensation?

Not always. If your case is successful and has been funded on a “no win, no fee” basis (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement) your solicitor is entitled to charge you a success fee. This will be taken from your compensation and will be no more than 25% of the compensation amount for the injury and past losses.

If you do not have legal expense insurance and decide to buy After The Event Legal Expense Insurance the premium for this insurance cover will be deducted from the compensation that you receive.

Can you take over from my current solicitors?

Yes. If you are worried about delays or how your claim is being handled, we would advise that you first raise any concerns with your current solicitors.

Then, if your issues cannot be resolved and you would like to change solicitors we’d be happy to discuss your claim with you.

If you transfer your injury claim to us, we can obtain your file from you current solicitor to help avoid any further delays in your case.

Can I instruct who I like?

Yes. It is your claim and you can instruct the solicitor of your choice.

If you have legal expense insurance, with a motor vehicle policy for example, this insurer is likely to steer you towards one of their panel solicitors. You are however entitled to instruct whoever you like.

It is essential you appoint a solicitor with appropriate experience in relation to your injuries and individual needs to deal with your claim.

When can I make a claim?

The sooner you make a claim, the better. Broadly speaking, under English law you have three years from the date of your accident to bring court proceedings against the Defendant (a child can proceed any time up to their 21st birthday). So it is in your interest to instruct a solicitor sooner rather than later, to ensure they have adequate time to investigate your claim before initiating court proceedings.

If you delay instructing a solicitor, evidence could be lost, memories may fade, witnesses may become untraceable, and as a consequence, it may be more difficult to prove your claim.

Different time constraints may apply if your accident occurred outside of England and Wales or if a defective product is involved.

How can I get financial help whilst I am unable to work?

If you have suffered a serious injury, it is unlikely that you will be able to immediately return to work following your accident, which often creates financial problems. We can request an interim payment on your behalf from the Defendant’s insurer to ease financial pressures and allow you to concentrate on your rehabilitation. We can also advise you about state benefits that you may be entitled to.

How will my immediate care and treatment needs be met?

We will arrange for an immediate needs assessment report to be prepared by a medical professional experienced in the management of serious injuries. This report will set out your treatment needs and priorities. Thereafter, if appropriate, we will instruct a case manager to co-ordinate your care and treatment needs. In the vast majority of cases, the cost of this will be met by the Defendant’s insurer.

How much compensation will I receive?

The level of compensation you receive will very much depend on the seriousness and duration of your injuries, plus the effect they have on your everyday life and future. It is often the case that we won’t be able to accurately value your claim until we have sought independent medical evidence from medical professionals, experienced in dealing with your specific injuries.

When will I meet my solicitor?

In serious or complex injury cases, we will usually arrange to visit you and/or your family in person at the outset of the claim. This will ensure you are able to ask any questions you may have and put a face to the person who will be dealing with your claim. It also allows us to obtain all the necessary details we require to start investigating your claim.

How long will my claim take?

This is usually determined by the medical evidence.

Once we have a final prognosis, we can assess the value of your claim and attempt to settle it by negotiation. Alternatively, we can ask the court for a hearing to assess the value, if agreement cannot be reached with the Defendant’s insurer.

Straightforward road traffic accidents with a value under £10,000, and little or no issue with liability, can be settled within 4-6 months.

In serious and more complex cases the duration of the claim is determined by many factors including length of recovery, duration of treatment, stance of the Defendant’s insurers and the timetable the Court imposes on your case.

If you are still undergoing operative intervention 5 years post-accident, to seek to settle the claim before the final outcome is known would be premature and would risk settling your claim before its full value is established. Ultimately though, this is a matter for you and if you instruct us to settle your claim at an earlier stage, we will try to do so.

Will I have to go to court?

In reality, very few claims go to trial. Most claims are settled through negotiations with the other side without ever reaching a court room.

However, if we cannot obtain appropriate compensation for you through negotiations, we will take your case to court with your agreement. It is always possible that your case might end up in court and it is important to prepare for this possibility throughout the claims process.

Will I have to meet the Defendant?

This depends on your case, but in the vast majority of cases you will not meet the Defendant unless your case goes to court. Most Defendants are insured against claims and we therefore deal with their insurance company and lawyers appointed by their insurance company.

In some situations you may end up having to meet the Defendant. For example, if liability is disputed and the Judge has to decide whose evidence he/she prefers; in fatal cases where there is an inquest; or in cases where there is a Health and Safety prosecution. If we are acting for you in such a case, we will assist and prepare you for what to expect before any inquest, hearing or trial.

Our injury claim solicitors

If you have any questions about a new or existing claim, please get in touch. Our team of specialists will be happy to speak to you and discuss your case free of charge.

Your key contacts

Lee Hart

Personal Injury Team Manager

Lee works closely with severely injured people and their families, leading them through the claims process and ensuring they get the best treatment, rehabilitation and care so that they can get their lives back on track as quickly as possible.
View profile for Lee Hart >

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