We are often asked by clients about the progress of their claims. We aim to keep all clients fully informed at all stages. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we receive:
Frequently Asked Questions
If your injury is serious or takes some time to stabilise, we cannot settle the claim until we have final medical evidence. However, in straightforward cases where the injury settles quickly, we would hope to conclude the claim within 12 to 18 months of starting to act.
No, we offer a nationwide service from our offices. Most of our correspondence with you will be by telephone, letter or email, but if necessary we can arrange to visit you at your home or at hospital.
Most of our clients will need to obtain legal expense insurance in order to proceed with their claim. Your solicitor will advise you if this is necessary. Full information will be given to you by your legal expense insurer at the time of taking out insurance. At the conclusion of your successful claim the agreed premium will be deducted from damages. If you lose your claim and do not receive any damages, then it will cost you nothing. We only get paid when we successfully obtain damages for our clients, and then we receive our costs from the third party's insurer.
It is always helpful to get the accident registered as an industrial accident, and this will also enable you to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit. However, any accident that happens at work can be registered as an industrial accident. It does not mean that the employers were at fault. To prove that they were at fault, we have to investigate the claim and show that their negligence or breach of a legal duty caused your accident.
In certain circumstances, if there is likely to be a long delay in finalising your case (because for example your medical condition has not stabilised) we can obtain from the defendants an interim payment for you. This is a payment on account, so it will be deducted from your final damages. We cannot request an interim payment until we have obtained medical evidence.
If you pursue a claim for compensation, there are always two parts to the claim. One part is the financial losses and expenses that you have incurred and the other is for the injury itself. If you were to claim only for your lost sick pay, you would lose out on the injury part of the compensation. The medical report is needed to value the injury part of the claim.
This really depends on the circumstances of each case. Your lawyer will advise you as he or she has the experience to know when negotiation will produce an improved offer.
Compensation payments are made in full and final settlement of your claim. All the effects of your accident are dealt with in one go. This means that you cannot reopen the case at any time in the future. This is why it is so important that we allow time for your injuries to stabilise before we settle the claim. In very rare specified circumstances, the court will award what is known as provisional damages. This means that you get an award of compensation now and the automatic right to return for more compensation in the future if you develop a certain specified medical condition. Only in very rare cases will provisional damages be awarded. We will advise you if it is possible for you to claim provisional damages.
No, lump-sum compensation for personal injury is tax-free.
About four to seven weeks — as soon as the cheque arrives at Bakers Solicitors, it will be processed and sent on to you. Unfortunately, often the insurance company takes some time to issue the cheque and there is little we can do to put pressure on them.
The amount awarded in each case depends specifically upon the medical reports that have been obtained about the client's condition. Although it is easy to compare compensation awards, it is difficult to do so without seeing all the medical reports and the exact amount of your colleague's financial losses. The amounts awarded by the Courts for the injured party of the claim do vary from injury to injury. If your case does not settle, and has to go before the judge, and he or she will not be interested in hearing what one of your colleagues was awarded. Each case is valued on the evidence in that case.
No, however, the DWP benefits such as Incapacity Benefit and Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit do have to be repaid when the claim is successful. Particular rules govern which benefits have to be repaid and out of which part of your compensation. Your solicitor will ensure that you are advised about the amount of benefits to be repaid and the effect this will have on your compensation. Once the repayment has been made, no further benefits that you receive will have to be repaid.
If you receive any means-tested DWP benefits (for example Income Support) and you receive any lump sum, such as a compensation award, you will have to tell the DWP and it will review whether you are eligible for the benefit.<br><br>There are ways to protect your ongoing benefits by putting the compensation into a trust and your solicitor will advise you whether this is appropriate in your case. Benefits that are not means-tested (such as Incapacity Benefit or Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit) are not affected in this way and you will continue to receive them for as long as you are medically entitled.
Although your solicitor may be able to offer some advice regarding your benefits, we would recommend that you contact your local benefits office. Alternatively you can visit the UK government's website: https://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/index.htm or contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau: https://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e.htm.
Yes. If you have had an accident in the shop you can usually make a claim for compensation. We would be happy to investigate your claim and advise you. It will be highly likely the shop owner will have adequate insurance in place to protect for such eventualities. However, this is not always necessary. Accidents of this nature usually include slipping on liquid/food debris or tripping over objects and even goods falling on you. It is important to report the accident, noting the name of the store manager, and any witnesses, complete an accident report book entry if possible and obtain a copy. Most stores have surveillance in place these days, therefore it is important to make the occupier aware of your accident to ensure any crucial evidence is not destroyed inadvertently. The occupiers of any premises owe a duty to visitors to make sure they are kept reasonably safe. This duty is found within the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and it is usually under this piece of law that your claim is pursued. Do you try to obtain photos of any hazard or the cause of your accident on a mobile phone if possible. This evidence will be extremely helpful at a later date. Remember to keep a note of all losses incurred or sustained as a result of the accident, you are entitled to claim reimbursement of such losses.
If you have been a victim of a crime and sustained an injury, you can usually submit a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Association, known as the CICA. In some circumstances, you may also be able to bring a civil claim for damages against the person responsible. It is important to report any crime to the Police and obtain the crime reference number. We can assist you with a claim and ensure you receive compensation under the tariffs provided by the CICA.
The length of which any claim for compensation is dependent on many variables. If have recovered from your injuries within a relatively short period of time a straightforward claim could be settled within a matter of months. If your injuries are more serious, it is prudent not to rush into a settlement to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your injuries depending on the length of your recovery. If a compensating insurer does not co-operate, we may need to commence Court Proceedings to progress your claim. In these circumstances, your claim could take longer to reach a compromise. In the majority of cases, settlement is usually reached following the commencement of Court Proceedings to avoid additional costs being incurred.
No. Payments for personal injury compensation and associated losses are calculated from net figures. The compensation process and Court's aim is to put Claimants in the position they would have been in had the injury not occurred in terms of financial losses. Therefore you are in no better or worse position had the accident not occurred. Awards for personal injuries, that is compensation for your pain and suffering over and above your financial losses are not liable for tax.
The Statute of Limitations stipulates a maximum time of period of 3 years to start court proceedings for personal injury. If settlement of your claim cannot be reached within this period, proceedings will be commenced to protect your position. Proceedings would be commenced sooner should negotiations fail or a party fails to engage with us. It is therefore important to seek advice and appropriate representation as soon as possible following an accident or injury.
The Court of Protection plays an important role where an individual may not have the ability to make their own decisions. The Court of Protection was created under the Mental Health Act 2005 and its role is to ensure the protection of vulnerable individuals by making decisions on their behalf when they themselves are unable to do so. This can often happen in personal injury claims when someone suffers a serious brain injury or psychological reaction to an accident. The Deputy, a person appointed by the Court of Protection will act on the Court’s behalf to make decisions affecting the person. These decisions can be about the care a person receives, their finances or even decisions about their health choices. The costs of involving the court of protection where necessary are claimed as part of a person’s injury claim along with the other compensation they are entitled to. Please see below copy extract from the Court of Protection‘s website which provides a helpful insight into their work; If you would like to read more about what the Court of Protection do, please find below a link to their website https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection
Liability can simply be described as 'fault'. To establish liability, three factors have to be proven: • The other party owed you a duty of care • That duty was breached • Injury resulted from that breach of duty Liability has been admitted by the defendant, what does this mean? This means the defendant has agreed they were responsible for your accident or injury, i.e. at fault and they will therefore compensate you for any injury and loss you have suffered. Liability has been denied by the defendant, what does this mean? This means the defendant believes they can successfully show they were not negligent (have not breached any duty of care to you) and they consider therefore that they are not responsible for paying you compensation. If liability is denied, your solicitor will review your claim and advise you whether your claim will likely be successful if the matter proceeds to court.
The onus is always upon any person making the claim to prove his or her case. You will be required to provide instructions and appropriate evidence where needs be to ensure all heads of loss are substantiated where possible. We will guide you through this process. In circumstances where there is no immediate evidence, we can obtain witness statements to prove a particular loss to the Courts to assist with your claim for compensation and negotiations with the compensating party. In order to substantiate your claim for injuries, you will be required to undergo a medical examination. If there are multiple/serious injuries, you may be required to undergo further assessments.
It is only if settlement of your claim cannot be reached that court proceedings may be issued to progress the claim. The vast majority of claims settle without the involvement of the court. The objective of commencing proceedings is always to progress to an assessment of damages hearing or Trial to be heard at Court. However, in the majority of circumstances, a settlement is usually reached before the action progresses to a Court hearing. The Court rules allow for discretion to apply financial penalties to the parties if an action progresses to Trial unnecessarily, for example, if the other party refuses to negotiate or accept a reasonable offer made. If a settlement cannot be reached, you can rest assured full representation will be arranged for you should your action proceed to Court.
Yes you can. Being involved in an accident can affect individuals in different ways. In most circumstances, we can work collaboratively with the compensating insurer and arrange for appropriate therapy/treatment. The cost of which will be paid by the responsible driver’s insurer, if such treatment cannot be arranged collaboratively we can arrange for the treatment in the private sector and again include the cost within the claim. This will not affect the level of compensation you are awarded, the treatment costs will be claimed over and above other damages in your claim. During the claims process, we will arrange for you to be examined by a specialist medical expert. This will form part of the evidence upon which you are awarded damages for anxiety and PTSD or any other recognised condition.
Yes. If you have suffered emotionally or psychologically as a result of an accident and physical injury you are entitled to damages for such injuries. We will arrange for you to be seen by a specialist in this field of expertise to ensure the Court has adequate evidence to assess damages payable. Treatment can also be arranged by us to aid your recovery if needs be.