Vicki Wright, Personal Injury Solicitor guides you through the process.
Does Swain & Co offer free advice?
Yes. Call us on 023 92 483322 and ask to speak to Vicki Wright for initial free advice. We can chat about what happened and if you have a claim, we can start work straightaway.
But do I need a Solicitor?
Insurers representing the person/company responsible for the accident may well contact you to try and settle the claim directly with you. This may result settling your claim for a significantly lower figure than your claim is worth. If you are contacted, simply say that you want to seek independent legal advice so as to ensure that you receive the amount of compensation justifiably due to you.
Does Swain & Co offer No Win No Fee?
Yes. If you win, the other side will meet part of your legal fees. A deduction will also be made from your damages – this is called the Success Fee. Due to a recent change in the law, it is no longer possible to recover the Success Fee from the insurers. We will never ask you to pay for anything “up front”. If you do not win, then you do not pay our costs.
Do I need insurance?
It is sensible to have insurance in place either using your own Legal Expenses cover or by taking out an “After the Event” (ATE) insurance policy. We discuss this at the outset so as to ensure your position is properly protected.
What are the first steps?
We take full instructions about the accident circumstances, your injuries and financial losses. If we believe you have a viable claim, we then contact the other party’s insurers with details of your claim. The insurers must then respond within a specified time period as to whether liability is admitted or not. If liability is admitted, we proceed to obtain medical evidence. If it is not admitted, we re-assess the position based on documentation provided by the insurers.
Can I still claim if I was partly to blame for the accident?
Yes. Even if you were partly to blame for what happened, you can still make a claim. Liability will be settled on a percentage basis so if you are assessed as being 25% responsible, you would recover 75% of the value of your losses. This is known as “contributory negligence”.
Will I have to go to Court?
If liability is not admitted, court proceedings may be issued. Most accident claims, however, settle well before a final court hearing. In fact, only around 2% of personal injury claims reach a final hearing.
How long will it take?
This depends on the type of claim, whether liability is admitted straightaway and the severity of your injuries. Some claims may only take around 6 months – others may take longer. In some cases, you may need to wait for a final prognosis so as to assess the impact of your injuries in the long-term. Once a claim is settled, it is in full and final settlement and so it is very important to be able to properly evaluate the claim at the time of settlement.
How much compensation will I get?
This will depend upon the severity of your injuries and the financial losses you have sustained as a result. Medical evidence will be required to value your injuries. With regard to financial losses, it is important that you keep a note of an expenses suffered as a result of your injuries from the outset together with receipts where possible.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
A claim for personal injury must be brought within 3 years of the date of the injury or in industrial disease cases, 3 years from the date you became aware of the illness suffered.
If you have been involved in an accident and want to discuss a potential claim, please call Vicki Wright at Swain & Co on 023 92 483322 for free advice.