Accidents are unfortunately a regular occurrence of day to day life, and clients often ask us whether they are entitled to make a compensation claim and how to go about it. In fact the most recent survey by research company YouGov found that a full 18% of adults in the UK had been the victim of some type of personal injury in the preceding five years. And the survey found that half of those injuries were caused by road traffic accidents and 16% by work accidents.
Here are Bonallack and Bishop we are personal injury specialists – with accredited members of the Law Society’s own Personal Injury and Medical Negligence panels – and can see you at any one of our four offices – Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Andover and Amesbury – and we also offer home and hospital visits to those unable to travel. The team handle claims for Personal Injury Compensation throughout Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Berkshire and Gloucestershire.
We always offer FREE initial phone advice, and a FREE initial first interview for all personal injury claims – so you can find out your chances of making a successful compensation claim without an expensive legal bill.
We deal with all types of Accident and Injury Claims on “no win no fee agreements”.
How you can tell our solicitors are genuine specialists
Not only are our Accident Claim Solicitors are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, but the team also includes fully accredited members of all 3 of the most specialist panels for injury claim solicitors –
- the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel
- the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panels
- the Action against Medical Accidents (patient justice charity, AvMA) panel.
Out of in excess of 180,000 qualified solicitors and legal executives, just 180 are on both of the Clinical Negligence Panels and approximately 400 are on the Law Society Personal Injury Panel.
But why should I claim compensation?
Many people don’t make an Accident Compensation Claim because they feel their injuries were only minor, or don’t want the stress of making a claim. However no matter how serious or minor your injuries are, if you didn’t cause them, it is only fair you get compensation. From minor whiplash accidents to the most traumatic brain injury, anyone who has been genuinely disadvantaged through no fault of their own deserves some level of Accident Compensation.
- Practical support
One of the main reasons for making a personal injury claim for compensation is for wholly practical reasons. For instance, if you have been unable to work because of your injury, you will have lost money – you will still need to live and will have bills to pay and the chances are that you may have a family to provide for, too. You may also have had to incur extra expenses as a result of your injury, and you shouldn’t be left out of pocket for something that wasn’t your fault.
Furthermore, some more serious injuries can result in lifelong disability. You may need special equipment, or require your home adapting, for example, to improve the quality of your life.
So, though no amount of money will ever make up for your injury, especially if it was particularly distressing, it can certainly help you get back on your feet and make sure you are able to meet your financial obligations while you are getting better.
- You have a right
If you have been the victim of an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to claim the compensation you deserve. Some people may decide not to claim, but many others do decide to claim compensation for their injuries, and may sometimes really need that compensation to help them adapt following the accident.
- Reducing worry
Knowing that you are covered financially can also give you peace of mind, which can help the recovery process. It might not remove all your problems but if you have one less thing to worry about, it can be easier to start on the road to recovery and to move on from what happened.
Specialist Accident Compensation Claims
Our specialist Personal Injury Solicitors provide expert legal advice in all Accident Claims including the following :
- Accident claims for pedestrians
- Accidents/injury abroad including:
- Accidents whilst working abroad
- Cruise line injuries
- Holiday accident claims
- Hotel illness claims
- Bike/motorbike claims
- Fatal accident claims and inquests – click here for more information about our specialist inquest service
- Head/brain injury compensation
- Horse accident claims
- Industrial disease claims including:
- asbestosis compensation
- pleural plaques claims
- mesothelioma compensation
- vibration white finger claims
- industrial deafness/hearing loss compensation
- Industrial injury/work accident claims
- Medical negligence claims
- Military accident claims ( including Navy, RAF and MOD compensation claims)
- Repetitive stress injury (RSI) claims
- Road traffic/car accidents
- Spinal injury claims
- Sports injury claims
- Trips and slip injury compensation
- Whiplash compensation claim
We are specialist accident compensation claim solicitors and our team’s medical knowledge enables us to instruct the right experts and get you the injury compensation you deserve. We have helped hundreds of clients claim accident compensation for all types of injury.
What can I claim compensation for?
If you had an accident in the last 3 years that was not your fault, you may be entitled to an Injury Claim. Compensation is split into the following categories:
- Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Damages for out of pocket expenses.If your injury is severe, you may be able to claim for expenses in the future including future lost earnings, future care, the cost of adapting accommodation, the cost of buying an adapted car etc.
- Damages for future expenses. If your injury is severe, you may be able to claim for expenses in the future including future lost earnings, future care, the cost of adapting accommodation, the cost of buying an adapted car etc.
- Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) These are damages for your physical injury, the fact that you may have problems going about your day to day activities or cannot enjoy hobbies you were involved in before the accident. They are assessed with reference to previous cases or people with similar injuries. The independent doctor helps us work out how serious your injury is.
Compensation claims – proving your case
To make a claim for accident compensation, you must prove that;
1. a person owed a duty to take care of you and broke that duty
2. your injuries are related to the accident
A simple example is a driver of a car hit from behind by another vehicle and suffering a whiplash injury. All drivers have a duty to take care of other road users, and if they do not drive safely and cause an accident, then a compensation claim can be made.
Another example is of a person who has had an accident at work. Perhaps they were asked to lift a load which was too heavy for them. All employees have to provide workers with a safe system of work. Getting someone to lift a heavy load on their own could be grounds for a compensation claim. The same rules apply whether you are a permanent employee or a contractor.
How do I prove that my injuries are related to my accident?
There is often a direct link between the accident and the injury eg a car driver who is hit from behind by another driver and has a whiplash injury can directly link the two. The person who lifts a heavy load and immediately has back pain can also establish a link.
Sometimes it is harder to establish a link. For example, a secretary who develops wrist problems may initially think that she started it digging the garden. It is only when symptoms persist that she realises the pain may be linked to typing all day.
To prove a link between injury and accident, our specialist accident claim Solicitors instruct an independent doctor to examine you and prepare a report. We work with doctors all the time and have links with very experienced doctors who are used to helping victims of accidents.
Compensation Claim funding
Our injury Solicitors operate various funding schemes for Accident Compensation Claims.
- We are approved by most legal expenses Insurers who will pay your legal costs
- We offer No Win No Fee schemes (also known as conditional fee agreements)
- You get to keep your compensation. Our fees are paid by the Defendants when you win
- We offer FREE initial interviews to see if you have an Accident Claim, and if so what is the likely level of compensation – without having to pay a Solicitor
Legal expenses insurance
Our Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors increasingly find that clients have legal expenses insurance attached to their car, household, contents or credit card insurance policies. Please check those insurance policies current at the time of your accident to see if you have this cover before seeing your solicitor. If you have insurance cover please ring for a claim form and bring it to the first meeting with your solicitor who can help you complete it. Legal expenses insurance is not back-dated so it is important to make a compensation claim on the policy early on.
We are on the solicitors’ panel of most legal expenses insurers.
How No Win No Fee works
Many people are reluctant to approach Solicitors to make a Compensation Claim because they worry about legal costs. However, you don’t need to worry if you instruct a No Win No Fee Solicitor. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, Solicitors agree not to charge any fees unless they win your case.
It’s important to take legal advice from our Injury Solicitors as soon as possible after your accident – time limitation periods apply and it is often easier investigating your Compensation Claim if you take early legal advice. At your first free interview with us, our Personal Injury Lawyers can tell you whether your Accident Compensation Claim is worth pursuing. We recommend you make notes about the circumstances of your accident and keep a diary of events.
Home and Hospital visits available
If your injuries our serious and as a result you can’t travel, don’t worry – one of our team can visit you at home or in hospital. Please contact us to book an appointment.
My child was injured – how do we claim?
It is possible to make compensation claims on behalf of children. Children need an adult to act for them – called a ‘litigation friend’. Usually the litigation friend is the child’s mother or father, but grandparents and aunts and uncles can also act.
When a child’s claim is settled, the settlement has to be approved by the Court. There will be a short Court hearing, usually a formality. The Court will invest the money on behalf of the child until they reach 18.
A member of my family was killed in an accident – can I claim compensation?
If there has been a fatal accident, the remaining spouse, partner of more than 2 years or children and sometimes other dependents, can claim a bereavement award, currently fixed at £12,890 (as at November 2017), plus funeral expenses, and sometimes money for future upbringing. We can advise you further about this at the initial interview, which is always free.
Don’t delay your claim – time limit for accident compensation claims
Time limits for accident claims are strict –
- Road accidents, accidents at work, slip/trip accidents etc – 3 years.
- If you did not know of your injury until after your accident (eg suffering an industrial disease following exposure to a chemical )– 3 years from the date you knew your disease was linked to your exposure to the chemical.
- Accidents involving children – 3 years after their 18th birthday.
- For a person who is mentally ill and subject to a Court of Protection Order– 3 years from when they recover and can handle their own affairs again.
- Claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – 2 years.
- Accident claims arising abroad or on airways – these can vary from as little as one year. Take legal advice immediately after any accident.
I had a work accident and am worried my employer will sack me if I claim compensation
Your employee cannot sack you for making a compensation claim. If you have worked for your employer for over one year , you can claim unfair dismissal if this happens.
I was the victim of a criminal assault – can I recover compensation?
You can claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if you have received an injury as a result of a criminal assault. The CICA is a Government run compensation scheme. It is easy to apply for but it takes about 18 months to 2 years for a decision to be made.
Making the most of your 1st appointment
At your 1st appointment it will help us if you can let us have as much of the following information as possible – in writing if possible.
- Your full name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and marital status and date of your accident.
- If you were driving a car, details of the make of car and the model, registration number and your own insurance policies (including home contents and buildings cover).
- If you were driving a car, details of the other person’s insurance.
- A summary of the accident – and if possible a diary of events,.
- Details of any communications with the police.
- A summary of your injuries and where you have been treated
- Any correspondence with the hospital and all your appointment cards
- A summary of any out of pocket expenses you have incurred, eg lost earnings, prescriptions, travel, care – and receipts for any equipment you had to or services rendered for your injuries
- Anything else you have which you believe is relevant to your accident claim.
- If the accident happened at work then you will need to let us have a copy of your employment contract
Protecting your compensation money with a Personal Injury Trust
Receiving a sizeable compensation settlement following an accident can affect your ability to claim means tested benefits – which mean your entitlement to these payments could be reduced or even suspended.
The answer may be a personal injury trust – click here to find out more about how our Trust Solicitors can help.
Contact our Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors ASAP
Our Personal Injury Solicitors can see you in our Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Andover or Amesbury offices and we have interviewing facilities in West Dorset. Our compensation team also regularly represent clients locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset and throughout England and Wales.
For legal advice from expert Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors, call us today.