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Accidents

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that was someone else's fault, you will want to make sure that those responsible do what they should to make amends.

The term ‘personal injury’ is a legal term for an injury – or illness – that has been caused by someone’s negligence. If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be able to make a claim to recover compensation from those responsible. We can help you get the compensation needed to cover treatment, rehabilitation and care. We offer a free initial consultation to advise you on your right to compensation, how we can achieve this and funding options.

The members of our personal injury team have experience of a wide range of problems arising at work, in the home or out and about. We help people who have suffered from a range of personal injury accidents, including road traffic accidents, workplace injuries, accidents abroad, accidents in public places (eg claims against the council for slips and trips) and serious injury including amputation and brain injury.

Our team has a particular specialisation in helping those who have suffered brain injury as a result of accident or injury. For an individual and their family, a brain injury can be a catastrophe; rest assured we are here to help you every step of the way.

We deal with brain injury claims arising from road traffic accidents, accidents at work and clinical negligence – and we deal with claims arising both in the UK and in Europe. At all times we ensure that our clients’ compensation is maximised and delivered in the right format and that means going beyond the critical financial compensation for injuries and financial losses, to help deliver:

  • Access to specialist rehabilitation services

  • Access to specialist vocational rehabilitation services for return to work or education

  • Appropriate support worker/care regimes

  • Suitable housing

  • Specialist transport/vehicles to overcome mobility problems

  • Purchase of specialist communication equipment and IT

We’ve put together some commonly asked questions around personal injury and hope that you find our answers helpful:

 

What is considered a personal injury?

If you have been injured or become ill due to the negligence of others, then you may be able to claim compensation. So if you have suffered a personal injury that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to make a claim. Bear in mind that it’s important to keep all relevant information and any photographs that relate to the incident/accident – this will help us establish if you have a claim or not.

Is there a time limit on personal injury claims?

The general rule is that you have three years from the date of your accident in which to start a personal injury claim – or three years from the date that you were first aware that you had suffered an injury or illness. There are some exceptions to this, for instance where a claim is being made on behalf of a child, or where the injured person lacks mental capacity. Different rules can also apply for holiday claims or claims abroad. So, if you think you have a claim it’s really important that you get in touch with us as soon as possible.

How do I fund my claim? Are Cozens-Hardy ‘no win no fee’ solicitors?

One of the first questions you might have is how to fund your claim. If you have been injured and someone else was to blame, you have the right to seek compensation without any financial risk. That’s why for most personal injury claims we work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – officially known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’. We assess your claim at an initial consultation (for which there is no charge) and advise you whether we think you have a case. If we agree to proceed, then we proceed on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, which means that you won’t have to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. If your claim is successful, then our fee may be paid by the other party and/or deducted from the compensation you receive. We can explain all of this when we speak, so you will know exactly what to expect.

Do I have to go to court?

The majority of claims for compensation reach a settlement without the need to go to court. However, in a small number of cases it is necessary to attend court. This is especially so if the claim involves a child, as the court will want to be sure that they are receiving the right amount of compensation. If the claim does involve a child, both the child and their ‘litigation friend’ (a parent or guardian appointed to represent the child) will need to attend something called an ‘approval hearing’ at court. This hearing usually takes place in private in the judge’s chamber (a large office type room) so it’s more informal than a standard court hearing. If this is the situation, please don’t worry because we’ll be with you every step of the way and will ensure that the experience is as stress-fee as possible for you.

What/how much is the average personal injury settlement?

Our aim is to secure the best possible compensation package for you. This might be a one-off payment or index linked periodic payments for life – or a combination of the two. We fight hard to ensure that our clients’ compensation is maximised and delivered in the right format. We can help deliver access to specialist rehabilitation and vocational services, appropriate support worker and care regimes, suitable housing and transport, as well as specialist communication and IT.

Can I get compensation payments before the case has settled?

If the other party has accepted full or partial blame for your accident, then we can apply for early payments of your compensation. These ‘interim payments’ will help if you’ve been unable to work and/or have had to pay for treatment yourself. These payments would form part of your overall claim, so would be deducted from the final settlement.

How long will my case take?

Once we have had the opportunity to examine your case, we’ll be able to give you an idea of how long the case will take. There are many factors involved in a personal injury claim process, one of the key things being whether or not the other party accepts responsibility. The severity of your injuries may also dictate the timeline. We’re not avoiding the question – it’s just really hard to answer it until we have the chance to review your circumstances.

I signed a waiver – can I still claim for personal injury?

In many circumstances the answer will be ‘yes’. However, it is important that you get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can advise you properly.

My child has been injured, how do I make a claim on their behalf?

Under UK law, anyone under the age of 18yrs (or 16yrs in Scotland) cannot file his or her own personal injury claim. A parent or guardian, known as a ‘litigation friend’, is usually appointed to represent the child and to file a compensation claim on their behalf. The litigation friend will make decisions on the child’s behalf and be responsible for protecting the child’s interests through the process. A litigation friend cannot be anyone who was in any way responsible for the accident.

Why choose Cozens-Hardy as my personal injury lawyers?

You are probably aware that there are many personal injury claim firms in the marketplace. We are a small but hugely experienced team and we pride ourselves on our friendly, personal client service. Many of our clients comment on our expertise, patience and persistence – and we have dozens of handwritten ‘thank you’ cards expressing gratitude for the moral support that we’ve offered clients. We really are here to help and we’re happy to chat about your circumstances over the phone at any time.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice says that if you want to take legal action over a personal injury you should consult a solicitor who is a member of the Law Society’s personal injury accreditation scheme. Damian Short, the head of our Accidents team, is a member of this scheme. Damian is also a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), a not-for-profit association of solicitors, barristers and academics who specialise in personal injuries work. All APIL members are competent and experienced in a particular field of personal injury and promise to follow a code of conduct and a consumer charter. 

To find out more, call us on: 01603 625231

Accidents Team