Damages are calculated by the judge in accordance with government rules. The approximate amount of damages can be seen on our compensation calculator. As of April 2013, there has been a 10% increase in damages. More complicated cases can be dealt with by looking at reported cases of other injuries. In most cases, once a medical report is obtained, your solicitor can give you some guidance as to what the claim will be worth.
The scheme run by St Helens Law ensures that no claim for costs can be made against you, irrespective of the outcome.
A ‘no win no fee’ agreement is a term that is often used in advertising as a term for a conditional fee agreement. If a Solicitor wants to act for a claimant on the basis that there is no charge going to be made to the claimant unless he is successful in the claim, then the claimant needs to sign a conditional fee agreement. The agreement can be supported by insurance to protect the claimant against an award of costs if they are successful.
Before the event insurance (BTE insurance) is insurance that you might have in place, prior to any accident or injury to yourself. Such insurances can be found in a variety of places but usually on home contents or buildings policies. Sometimes Trade Unions operate BTE schemes and sometimes they can be found on credit cards or other club memberships. It is important that you explore the possibility of there being BTE insurance before any ATE insurance is taken out, because if there is valid BTE insurance then any ATE policy will not be valid and the conditional fee agreement that you have entered into may also be invalid.
After the event insurance (otherwise known as ATE insurance) is a policy that can be taken out by your solicitor, on your behalf, to ensure that, in the event of a claim being unsuccessful, you are not penalised for payment of any disbursements or, potentially, legal fees. If the claim is successful, the cost of the premium will be deducted from any damages you may be awarded. If the claim is unsuccessful, the cost is borne by the solicitor.
Most injury claims require a medical report from an independent consultant to be prepared before compensation can be calculated. The medical expert who prepares the report will obtain your medical records and make sure that a balanced report is sent to your solicitor.
If in the future your earning capacity is going to be reduced by your injury then you can recover loss of earnings for that as well.
In our experience, a very, very small minority of cases go to Court. There is no obligation on anyone to go to Court and, very often, the only reason a case will go to Court is if you are not happy with the offer of compensation that has been made. Going to Court is a matter for you to decide, not your solicitor. The vast majority of cases settle without ever going anywhere near a Court.
Yes, you can recover the cost of care, either for the cost of a professional looking after you if needed and justified by the medical evidence, or for the cost of a member of your family looking after you. The rate for a family member looking after you is obviously a lot less than it would be for a professional looking after you.
Legal Aid is still available but only in very, very few cases. Unless the case is of particular public interest or is an extremely high cost case, it is unlikely to attract an award of Legal Aid. More information can be given by the Civil Legal Advice Centre by dialling 0845 345 4345.
Legislation states that you have three years in which to make a claim from the date of the accident, or the date when you knew or ought to have known that you had a claim for compensation, whichever is the later. The reality is that the longer you leave a claim before you deal with it, the worse it becomes. Documents go missing and peoples’ memories fade. The best advice is to proceed with your claim as soon as you are injured.
Yes, this area of law is known as “handicap on the labour market”. Courts generally award a lump sum for this, which can be anything from six months loss of earnings to two years loss of earnings, depending upon the extent of the handicap and how realistic it is that you are going to be prejudiced on the open labour market.
Yes, if you or your medical expenses insurance company have been put to private expense or, for instance, if you have incurred prescription charges, then these can be recovered. They are then reimbursed to your insurance company or to you, dependent on who has paid for them. However, you can only recover the cost of this if the expenses were incurred because of your injury. If the expenses would have been incurred in any event, they will not generally be recoverable.
It will not affect your ability to recover damages, save that if any of the injuries were as a consequence of failing to wear the seatbelt, e.g. if you damaged your nose on the windscreen, then that part of the claim may be reduced by up to 25%. Any injuries that were not caused by failure to wear a seatbelt, e.g. a foot injury or a knee injury for instance, will not be reduced. Don’t forget also that sometimes injuries can be caused by wearing seatbelts.
Injury can mean any physical harm or it can also mean emotional harm. Courts can make awards for damages, however small, for psychiatric illnesses as a consequence of an accident.
This comes in two parts. You can recover loss of earnings for the time that you were injured after you have lost your job, and, in certain cases, you can also recover a compensation award known as loss of congenial employment. In other words, you can be compensated for the fact that you loved your job and you may now have to take another job.
A whiplash injury is a term that some medical experts use to describe a neck or back injury where the spine is extended to an extent that either the discs or muscles around the spine become injured.
Yes. Calculating loss of earnings for self-employed people is more difficult, but by looking at copy invoices, copy books and copy accounts etc, a realistic loss can be calculated.
Yes. The loss of earnings claim is added onto your claim for injury.
Yes, you can recover the cost of another vehicle for a reasonable period, providing the cost of the vehicle is kept to a minimum and providing the vehicle is comparable to the one you have lost.