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In general, you can always instruct a personal injury solicitor to help you, but things get a bit more complicated when it comes to funding. If your accident was on or after 31st May 2021, and you suffered whiplash injuries whilst you were inside a vehicle (either as a driver or passenger), your claim will have to go through the Official Injury Claim portal. This process does not allow any legal fees to be recovered as part of your claim, effectively giving you the choice of going without legal support, or paying for it yourself. Unfortunately, because injury compensation awards are also lower within the Official Injury Claim process, paying for legal support yourself would almost certainly leave you worse-off financially. More on these reforms to whiplash claims can be found in our guide and FAQ. If the above does not apply to your situation, for example, if you suffered more serious injuries or you were injured whilst riding a bike or motorcycle, you can avoid the Official Injury Claim process and Truth Legal can likely offer to help you through a No Win, No Fee Agreement.    
Payment of compensation often depends on how long it takes for your personal injury claim to be concluded. Compensation is usually paid at the end of a claim. Sometimes, however, the party you are claiming from may agree to advance small amounts of compensation to you whilst your claim is ongoing. These are called interim payments.
If you have received a compensation offer to settle your claim, you are entitled to accept it if you wish. It is also possible to instruct your solicitors to make offers of settlement to try and bring a claim to a close. However, settling a claim is usually not recommended if you are still suffering from your injuries. It is important to ensure that any compensation offers take into account the full extent of your injuries and losses. This is because, once a personal injury claim has been settled, you cannot claim more compensation for that injury or its consequences at a later date. More information on this can be found in our blog post: ‘When should I settle my personal injury claim?’
Truth Legal does offer free initial consultation sessions. We understand that you may want to discuss your situation before deciding whether to make a personal injury claim. These consultation sessions provide you with this opportunity without any cost or obligation to proceed further. If you would like to book a free initial consultation, please contact us.
Many prospective claimants want to know the time it will take to conclude a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, it is difficult to give a meaningful idea. Many things can affect a case’s duration: such as recovery times, the time needed to gather the required evidence, and how quickly other parties respond. A personal injury claim can take anywhere from several months to several years – although cases at the upper end of this are normally those involving very severe injuries.
If you have lost your personal injury claim, you will not receive any compensation for your injuries, or for any other losses you may have incurred due to the accident. Personal injury claims can fail for a variety of different reasons. However, if your claim failed because of something your solicitor did or did not do – to the extent that their conduct fell below required professional standards – you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them.
Only a very small proportion of personal injury claims ever go to trial. Even when court proceedings begin in a claim, it does not mean that the case will automatically go to a court hearing. By Truth Legal’s estimates, only about 1% of our personal injury cases are concluded with a trial.
You can represent yourself in a personal injury claim – there is no legal requirement to instruct a solicitor. Following the changes to road traffic accident claims on 31st May 2021, you may have to represent yourself if you suffered a whiplash injury as a car driver or passenger. More information on these changes can be found in our whiplash reforms guide. However, there are many challenges to acting without legal support. A personal injury claim is a lot to take on by yourself, especially if you are still suffering from your injuries. The party you are claiming from may also try to take advantage of your situation. For example, an insurance company, with its huge financial resources, could work to prolong your claim, in the hope that you will settle too soon or abandon your claim altogether.
Even if you have already started a personal injury claim with a law firm, you are completely within your rights to switch your claim to a different firm of solicitors. It is your choice who you instruct to handle your personal injury claim, and if you are not receiving the service and legal support you deserve, you should seriously consider changing your lawyers to a better firm.
The most important thing, when you have slipped and fallen at work, is to focus on your well-being. Consider your injuries, ask for help or first aid if needed, and ask a colleague to call an ambulance if you have suffered more serious injuries. Any kind of personal injury claim should only ever be a secondary consideration.
There are legal time limits on all personal injury claims. If you miss the deadline, you may be unable to make your personal injury claim. In England and Wales, you must usually settle your claim within three years of the date on which you sustained your injury. Alternatively, you can start court proceedings within this time limit to protect your right to claim. There are some exceptions to these rules, so you should always discuss this with a specialist personal injury solicitor when considering a claim.
A personal injury claim is a form of legal action in which you seek compensation for injuries (and other kinds of harm) you have suffered in an accident. Personal injury claims are made against the people you believe to be legally responsible for your injuries. However, they will often be paid and ‘defended’ by any insurance companies involved.
Only a very small proportion of medical negligence claims ever go to trial. Cases can be settled right up until a hearing takes place, even after formal court proceedings have been started. NHS Resolution (the organisation which defends the vast majority of claims against the NHS) states that less than 1% of the medical negligence claims it deals with go to a court hearing.
Many different pieces of information are used to value an injury claim; the nature of your injury, what it has stopped you from doing, the duration of your symptoms, and many more factors will all play a part. You should be very wary of ‘valuations’ from compensation calculators, as they will not take any of your individual circumstances in to consideration. For more information on how injuries are valued accurately, have a look at our free ebook: ‘The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide’.
Unnecessary surgery is often a clear example of medical negligence. Surgery can cause a lot of pain, distress and disruption to someone’s life. If a medical mistake by your doctors has caused you to undergo surgery which was not required, or corrective surgery to fix a surgical error, you may have strong grounds for a medical negligence claim.
If a doctor has been negligent, it means that they have not met the standards of care which they legally owe towards their patient. Failure to meet these standards could take many forms, such as: misdiagnosing a patient, prescribing incorrect treatment, not properly investigating a patient’s symptoms, or giving a patient insufficient information to allow them to make informed decisions about their care.
You may come across the term ‘medical malpractice’ when searching online. It often appears in US law, but does not have any special significance in the UK. In the UK, the terms medical negligence or clinical negligence are used instead (and these are completely interchangeable – i.e. they refer to the same thing).
Every compensation claim has its own challenges; what may be disputed in one case, could be quickly admitted in another. However, medical negligence claims frequently involve complicated medical issues, meaning there is often a greater need for detailed evidence, especially when compared to more ‘straightforward’ causes of personal injury, such as road traffic accidents. This makes skilful and experienced legal support even more crucial. Instructing a firm of solicitors who specialise in medical negligence claims is the best way to give your claim its highest chances of success.
There are several elements to making a medical negligence claim successfully, and it is for you as the person making the claim (with your legal team) to prove these different elements. The two elements which are often central to medical negligence claims are: firstly, whether the medical practitioners involved failed to meet the standards required of them by law; and secondly, if there was a failure, whether this caused the injuries and harm for which you are claiming compensation. Evidence is crucial to proving these elements, and a claim will often rely heavily on reports written by impartial medical experts.
We usually think of negligence as carelessness, but in legal terms the meaning is more specific. Someone is legally negligent if their conduct is below a ‘standard of care’ which is required of them, by law, in certain circumstances. People have these ‘duties of care’ towards others in all kinds of situations – for example, doctors towards their patients, motorists towards other road-users, and employers towards their workers. If a person’s negligence causes harm to someone else, they could be legally responsible for ‘making good’ that harm – normally through paying compensation.
Medical negligence claims can encompass many different kinds of injury and harm. As such, if you have suffered harm through medical negligence, any ‘overall average payout figure’ would be a meaningless number to you. This is because the value of the harm you have suffered depends on your circumstances – i.e. the extent of your injury and how much it has affected your life. An overall average gives you no indication where your own injury valuation would be in relation to it.
You are always entitled to change your solicitor when making a claim, even if your medical negligence claim is already ongoing. Medical negligence claims are a highly specialised area of law, so it is important you have got the right solicitors working for you. If you are not convinced that your current solicitors are providing you with the best legal support, you should seriously consider switching your solicitors to a better firm.
The general rule, in England and Wales, is that you must settle your medical negligence claim, or begin court proceedings, within three years of the date on which you suffered the harm. The general rule doesn’t always apply, however. For example, if you only discover the harm you have suffered some time after it was actually caused, the time limit will instead start to run from the date you became aware of the harm. Legal time limits on claims can be complicated, so you should always discuss this with a specialist medical negligence solicitor when considering a claim.
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