F.A.Q’s

Don’t be worried about making a claim for personal injury compensation.  We’re here to take the stress out of your claim.  No question or concern is worth keeping to yourself.  To help you, we answer the most commonly asked questions that we get from our personal injury clients here, and hopefully this provides the answer to many of the questions you may have.

For any other questions, or if you simply want to talk to an EXPERT about your claim, simply call our offices now01270 747154, and our experienced and dedicated Personal Injury Solicitors will be delighted to help you at this difficult time immediately.  You’ve suffered enough, call in the experts to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.  We’ve even provided the answers in a video format if you prefer.

1. Do I have a claim?

If you’ve had an accident, been the victim of clinical negligence, or suffered a disease or illness from your occupation, and suffered a personal injury within the last three years the cause of which was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation, and are entitled in law to pursue a claim for the compensation you deserve.

Despite there being a stigma surrounding personal injury compensation claims in the UK, with the media, government and the insurance lobby all serving to instill in us the opinion that it’s wrong to make a claim, this opinion is quite simply, incorrect, misleading and grossly unfair.

Whether you sustain an injury following an accident that wasn’t your fault, are the victim of clinical negligence or are suffering health problems as a result of past working conditions, it is your legal right to claim compensation.

Don’t miss out on compensation you are entitled to, contact us now, and claim today.

2. What can I claim for?

Compensation in England and Wales is received by you in two ways, that come together to form your award of compensation. They are known legally, as General Damages and Special Damages.

General Damages are quite simply, the compensation you receive for your personal injuries suffered. The compensation awarded to you for your personal injuries takes into account the type of injury suffered, the severity of your symptoms, the overall impact and effect that the injuries have had on your life individually, and how long you suffer from those injuries for. As you can see, each case is taken on it’s own merits, and takes into account your individual circumstances.

You can also claim for all financial losses that you incur as a direct result of the accident, and the injuries sustained. This can of course be anything from a damaged car, replacement hire costs and vehicle repair costs, to the cost of domestic care, with family members or friends taking care of you and looking after you, when were it not for the accident and your injury, you wouldn’t have needed such help.

Financial losses can also include loss of earnings from being absent from work with your injuries, to travel expenses and medical expenses, such as attending hospital or physiotherapy appointments, to clothing damaged in the accident. This is not an exhaustive list, as each case is different, but this gives you a general idea as to what you may realistically make a claim for. With regards to any financial losses, always obtain and keep a receipt, outlining the costs, to make it easier to seek recovery of those losses from your opponent.

3. How long do I have to bring my claim?

The Limitation Act introduced the general, and now well known law that you have a maximum of three years from the accident date to make a claim. If your accident was more than three years ago, you will no longer be able to claim compensation in the majority of cases. To satisfy this important law, you must either have settled your claim for compensation with the Defendant (your opponent) within this period or have Issued Court Proceedings against your opponent in Court.

There are exceptions, so speak to a specialist injury Solicitor as soon as possible to obtain advice. For example, The Limitation Act also dictates that if a child suffers an accident, they have the ability to claim compensation for their injuries right up until they turn 21 – three years after they legally become an adult. The 3 year period does not commence until they turn 18 and are capable of bringing the claim themselves as an adult.

If you have been the victim of an accident on an aeroplane, or a criminal assault, these claims must be commenced within only two years of the accident.
If you consider industrial disease and clinical negligence, this is not the same as an accident, and your injuries and the cause of the same, are not as obviously apparent. In these circumstances, you have a period of 3 years from the date that you obtain the knowledge, or in the eyes of the law, ought reasonably to have obtained the knowledge sufficient to bring your claim. As you can imagine, this is where the law gets difficult, and so speaking to an experienced personal injury solicitor as soon as possible would always be our advice.

4. How long will it take to make my claim?

Again, this is difficult to answer, as it is solely dependent upon the circumstances of your claim, and the injuries you suffer. Some straightforward road traffic accidents can be resolved within a matter of a few months, whereas others can take a number of years.

The driving force behind this point is the behaviour of your opponent, and the severity of your injuries. For example, some Defendants may admit liability for your claim very early, and your injuries may be such that you make a full recovery, or are predicted to make a full recovery in a short space of time. In other cases, your injuries may be such that you require a number of medical examinations with different experts, need medical tests or treatment and all of this takes time.

Remember that no two claims are the same, and each case is determined on it’s own facts and circumstances. It is not the speed of service that counts in a personal injury claim such as yours, but the quality of service, and the knowledge and skill of your solicitor being able to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve, for your personal circumstances.

Here at Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited, our primary goal for you, is to obtain the maximum possible compensation you deserve and are entitled to, in the shortest possible time relevant to your individual circumstances and injuries. Settling your claim too early or quickly may lead to the under-settling your claim. We are committed to offering you an excellent service, and believe that it is called personal injury for a reason. We remember that you are an individual and provide individual care and attention, to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

5. How much will it cost me?

This is now more complex and difficult to say in a straightforward monetary term. However, to simplify, as of the 1st April 2013, the Law changed, following pressure on the government from the insurance lobby.  Nowadays, once you have succeeded in your claim, you remain entitled to compensation, but you no longer have the entitlement to have your legal costs recovered from your opponent.  Your opponent is now only required to pay a fixed contribution towards your costs, at a low level.  This low contribution means many now use unqualified individuals to deal with your claim.  That is not how we view it, nor should you.  Ensure your claim is dealt with by a fully qualified, experienced personal injury solicitor.

This is especially important for you, as it means that for all cases starting after the 1st April 2013, you will be responsible for a portion of the legal costs incurred with your solicitor. Therefore, it is even more important for you to choose an expert solicitor, to ensure you get the very best result possible for you.

The legal costs you can obtain from your opponent once you succeed are to be fixed at a very low level, and the law states that you are responsible to pay for the services of your own Solicitors to a maximum of 25% of the value of your claim for compensation, as of 1st April 2013.

That is to say, if your claim settles for £10,000, the maximum it will cost you is £2,500. As you will see, the level of cost to you is entirely dependent upon the value of your claim.

The compensation you are awarded for any future losses, such as future loss of earnings or the future cost of care are excluded from this calculation, meaning that in the larger value claims, the compensation you receive moving into the future remain protected, and fall outside of the scope of the 25% charge.

6. I want to claim against my employer following an accident at work. Can they sack me for making a claim?

This is an extremely common question and luckily has an extremely simple answer – no! Legally, the making of a claim for compensation from your employer based upon your employers negligence to you, can not endanger your ability to continue working with the company as normal. You cannot lawfully be sacked for the making of a claim. Should your employer attempt something like this, you would be entitled to take action in the employment tribunal.

If negligence or carelessness on the part of your employer has led to you suffering an injury, your entitlement to compensation has nothing to do with whether or not you continue to work with your employer after making a claim.

Although many clients will start their claim following an accident at work only after having already left their employment, it doesn’t have to be that way. What’s more, as all employers are legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance, your employer isn’t responsible to pay the personal injury compensation you are entitled to, their insurers are. Therefore, the worst your employer will have to endure is potentially, slightly higher insurance premiums, and possibly their insurance excess, depending on their policy.

7. How much is my claim worth? How do I prove my claim?

Without detailed medical evidence, it is normally impossible to estimate the value of a case. A lot of people assume that the amount of compensation they receive as a result of a successful personal injury claim is related to the level of negligence shown by the party responsible.

However, although this is true of the American system, it is not the case here. No matter how poor the behaviour of a defendant is that leads to your accident and injury that follows, there’s no element of punishment in UK law. Instead the level of compensation you receive is based on the aim to place you back in the position you would have been, had the accident never happened.

Your claim for compensation for personal injury is based upon medical evidence obtained from medical experts who are experienced at considering claims such as yours, and following a medical examination with them, they compile a report for the benefit of the Court, from which your claim for injury compensation is based.

A respected and quality medical expert is key to obtaining the very best evidence for your claim. It may be that your injuries are such that you need to see more than one medical expert, and have more than one examination, or require treatment, which can be obtained at the Defendants expense.
As it isn’t possible to fix your body to the point that you never had an accident, you get compensated in the form of money for the pain, suffering and inconvenience caused to you, as highlighted in the medical evidence obtained. It is important therefore, to ensure that the medical expert compiling the report for you fully understands the impact the accident and the injuries you have suffered have had upon your life.

The actual level of personal injury compensation you will receive is based on a number of factors, including…
• The impact it has had on your life individually
• The severity of the injury you suffered
• How long the symptoms of your injury lasted

The level of compensation awarded to people in the UK for personal injuries alone isn’t high, and so it is essential that you have an experience personal injury specialist solicitor help you to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Your claim for financial loss is of course proven by way of receipts for any purchases or expenditure you have had to make, or witness evidence where receipts as proof are not available.

8. Do I have to go to Court?

This is always a concern for people bringing a claim, but whilst this cannot be ruled out, in reality, the chances are you will not have to attend Court, as less than 5% of all claims end up at a contested Court hearing when your attendance would be necessary.

It may be necessary and indeed it is very often the case that we will need to Issue Proceedings against the Defendant (your opponent) in order to bring a satisfactory resolution to your claim for you, but this is not the same as you actually having to attend Court. The Court process is structured, and a final Hearing is the last stage of the process, and very few cases actually end up at that stage, and it is not likely that you will have to attend.

9. I have suffered an industrial disease following my working conditions a number of years ago. However, as far as I know, my former employer went out of business. Can I make a claim against them, and how can I prove my claim against them?

Just as we’ve advised above with respect to accidents at work, even if your employer that caused your disease by their working conditions you had to endure has gone out of business a claim can still be brought against them.

Since 1972 it has been compulsory for companies to take out employers liability insurers, and to keep records of the insurance cover they held. Before that date, it will of course be difficult to locate their insurers. We can conduct a search of the insurance companies for you, to see if the employers liability insurers for your former employers during the period of your employment can be identified.

If their insurance company can be identified, your claim continues and we can deal with that insurance company on your behalf. Alternatively, the company may be continuing to trade under a different name or it may simply have been taken over, and become part of another organisation. We can take action against that company for you, and bring your claim that way for you.

How can I prove that I was exposed to a harmful substance or poor working conditions when this was a number of years ago?
Your employers were required to train you, and keep records of your employment, and the working conditions that were in operation during your period of employment. If the company still trades, or if their insurers can be traced, it is possible that we can obtain access to such documents, and this can of course prove the working conditions you were exposed to.

Further, the insurers for your former employers may know that your employer exposed you to poor working conditions, such as excessive noise, or asbestos, based upon previous claims made by others, and their knowledge of the documents held by your former employers.

We will also obtain evidence from you, and any witnesses you may have, such as former work colleagues, who can confirm the working conditions. We would formulate witness statements on your behalf, which will be useful evidence if there are no known documents held by your former employer or their insurers. In the absence of any documents proving the situation as at that time, the Court will take account of the witness statements provided. Therefore, evidence being obtained from you, your family, friend and former work mates can often be key to your success.

These are difficult claims, and so it is always best to speak to an experienced specialist personal injury solicitor as quickly as possible.

10. I’ve been injured by a defective product. Can I still make a claim?

The Consumer Protection Act 1987allows you to pursue a claim against the producer of a product, if you can show it to be defective and you suffered an injury as a result of the defect. Usefully, this Act introduced strict liability for damage arising from defective products in England and Wales.

The term ‘product’ is wide reaching, and to assist covers all consumer goods you can imagine that you would purchase, from a kettle to a television. What is also interesting is that the law includes pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, and over the counter and prescription medication and medical devices, including replacement joints.

It also covers goods used in the workplace and wasn’t purchased by you. A product is said to be defective if, when it was supplied, it did not meet the reasonable expectation of the people using it. The Court will consider how the product was marketed, and any instructions or warnings which accompanied the product, and whether you complied with those instructions.

The ‘producer’ of the product is who you would claim compensation from for any damage caused by their defective product. The description is far reaching, and this is a complex area of law. However, the producer will include the person who manufactured the product, but can include any person who puts their name on a product or seems to suggest they are the producer, such as a supermarket ‘own brand’ product, where the actual manufacturers name is not included on the packaging or leaflet.

If the product was not made in Europe, as this area of law stems from European Directives, then the importer will be held as the producer, and your claim will proceed against them.

Whether you succeed or not, often depends upon the knowledge of the producer at the time the product that caused your injury was made, and if the defect could be foreseen. For this reason amongst others, you must bring your claim within 3 years of the date of the accident, or within 10 years of the product coming to the marketplace, whichever is sooner.

11. Why should I choose Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited

At Richardsons & Co we’re specialists when it comes to personal injury claims. Moreover, whether you’ve suffered a fall at work or have been the victim of clinical negligence, we’re passionate about getting you the maximum possible compensation. Living with an injury is never enjoyable. So let us help you secure the compensation you’re entitled to.

We believe it’s called personal injury for a reason, which is why we are proud to offer an extremely personal service and will do our utmost to secure the best possible result for you, whatever you’ve been through. The firm was set up to fulfil the belief of the owner, Richard Bate, an experience personal injury solicitor, that exceptional client care and service, with attention to detail and personal service and empathy is the best method to ensure you receive the maximum compensation that you are entitled to in the circumstances of your claim, in the shortest amount of time suitable for you, whilst doing so in a friendly, approachable yet professional and refreshing manner.

Our clients are the cornerstone of everything we do, and our practice is built around exceeding your expectations. We act for people all across the country who need support and deserve justice and compensation as a result of the negligence of others. We would be proud to represent you in your claim, and your claim is as important to us, as it is to you. We put the personal into personal injury.

We use all of our experience and skill to fight hard and tirelessly for your right to compensation you deserve and are entitled to. We achieve outstanding results time and time again for client’s of all ages and accident types.

Trust – Is there anything more fragile in this world? Here at Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited, we understand this, and take your trust in us seriously, knowing the truth of our mission statement. Don’t trust YOUR claim to anyone but the experts. Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited are the EXPERT personal injury solicitors, You can Trust with your claim, to ensure you get the best possible solution, and the maximum compensation.

We shall give you an honest assessment of your case the first time we speak, and if we do not believe you have reasonable prospects of succeeding in a compensation claim, we will tell you, and not provide false hope or waste your time.

12. What type of claim can Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited help me with?

Richardsons & Co Solicitors are experienced personal injury solicitors. No matter what type of injury you have, or the circumstances of the same, no doubt we will have experience of dealing with a claim just like yours.

However, to simplify we have experience of dealing with claims of a value of £1,000 and more, through to claims worth over £1m. We deal with all types of personal injury claims, be that following:

i) Road traffic accidents
ii) Accidents at work, including building sites.
iii) Industrial disease work, – injury and disease caused by previous working conditions.
iv) Medical Negligence/Clinical Negligence – claims against medical practitioners, hospitals etc
v) Accidents in public places, like shops, restaurants, houses and bars.
vi) Tripping accidents occurring on the pavement or public places similar
vii) Accidents occurring abroad on your holiday, when booked as a package holiday.
viii) Injury claims following harm caused by a faulty or defective product
ix) Sporting injuries
x) Injuries following a criminal assault

This list is not exhaustive. No matter what your injury is you can feel confident when instructing Richardsons & Co Solicitors Limited, The Injury Solicitors, the Solicitors you can trust.

Contact us now, for your free, no obligation and expert assessment of your claim. CALL 01270 747154 NOW

Richardsons & Co Solicitors are Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under the Registration No. 559997

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Very pleased with service. Friendly and Professional. 10/10!

Mr I. Crewe, Cheshire

I would highly recommend Richardsons & Co Solicitors. Richard Bate is very experienced and very professional. He keeps you informed and up to date with what's going on, and is very honest and works always to the best of his ability, to get what you deserve. I am very happy with all the hard work and effort put in and would choose to go with the same firm if needed in the future.

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