Claims Process

Initial assessment

We offer all our client’s a no obligation free initial meeting and case assessment. We will ask you to provide us with the details of your accident and your injuries. We may send you some questionnaires to complete and return to us. This will save time at the free meeting and enable us to consider what you have to say before we meet. At the free meting we will advise you on:

  • the likelihood of you winning your claim
  • compensation you may be entitled to for your injury
  • the financial losses you can claim
  • how to fund your claim and the likely costs involved
  • the claims procedure

Funding

The main methods of funding a personal injury case are:

  • NO WIN NO FEE (conditional fee agreement)
  • use legal expense insurance
  • pay privately (not recommended)
  • use union membership

We will explain all of these various funding options to you and determine which funding option is appropriate in your case.

Evidence gathering

When you make a claim for compensation it is your responsibility to prove your case. We assist you to gather evidence in order to make every effort to establish that the defendant is at fault for your injury. As part of this process we will take a statement from you and may also take statements from any witnesses. We will also carry out investigations in order to establish what relevant documents exist in support of your case. We ensure that complete and rigorous investigations are undertaken in every case where appropriate. If a defendant admits liability in a case then it is often not necessary to undertake any investigations to prove your case.

It is also necessary to obtain evidence to prove that you have suffered an injury and to prove you have suffered financial losses. We will arrange for you to meet with a medical expert who will produce a medical report confirming the accident, your injuries and possibly recommending treatment. Other documents must be retained to prove other losses such as payslips for loss of earnings or receipts for medication and medical treatment.

Rehabilitation

In every case we seek to comply with the rehabilitation code. This means that we make every effort to ensure that an injured person’s quality of life is restored or improved as soon as possible. This is achieved by ensuring that every injured person (mainly in those cases where liability is admitted) receives appropriate medical treatment to assist with rehabilitation. Your opponent will be asked to pay for the medical treatment.

The aim is to ensure that an injured person makes the best and quickest possible medical, social and psychological recovery. We will discuss this with you at the beginning of your case.

Compensation

Our commitment to every client is to maximise your compensation and to expedite the claims process.  The types of compensation you can claim are:

Compensation for your injuries (called general damages)

The amount of compensation for your injuries is relative to their severity.  The level is determined by reference to previous claims for similar injuries and we refer to these cases as ‘precedents’.  Every case is different and we have to look at a number of similar previous cases which will provide us with a range of figures likely to be appropriate to your own case. We will give you full advice about the value of your injuries when the medical evidence in your case is complete.

Financial losses (called special damages)

In addition to damages for injuries as above, you are entitled to claim for all reasonable financial losses you suffer. Typical financial loss claims are: loss of earnings, loss of employment benefits, travel expenses, medical expenses, damaged clothing, care, pay for DIY and gardening, loss of insurance premium, loss of holiday or enjoyment of a holiday and possibly a lump sum claimed for losing your job. We will calculate these losses for you and prepare a schedule of your losses for you to check and sign.

Negotiation

Most personal injury cases settle after negotiation takes place. If your opponent admits liability then we will enter into settlement negotiations with them once the evidence in your case is complete and your claim is capable of being valued. We will keep you informed of progress at all times.

Involving the Court

Court proceedings are to be considered as a last resort and are generally only necessary if liability for your injury is denied or your opponent refuses to make a reasonable offer to settle your case. It is also essential to start the court process within 3 years of the date of your injury as failure to do so means that your claim will not be able to continue (this is the time limit on claims set out in the Limitation Act).

Where court proceedings are necessary we ensure that your case is handled efficiently with minimum disruption to you. We must comply with court orders and deadlines set by the court for evidence and witness statements to be completed. Your case may settle at any time before a trial actually takes place. Very few cases actually reach trial.

How long will it take?

Each case is different and it is difficult to give an accurate time estimate for compensation claims. As a general guide you should expect your claim to last for at least 12 months. Delays may occur if you require extensive medical treatment as it is not advisable to settle a case before the medical treatment and evidence is completed.

In addition your opponent may deny liability. This may cause delays due to the need to gather witness statements and documentation in support of your claim.

It is important to appreciate that whilst we do everything we can to ensure your case progresses without delay there are cases which could take a few years to complete. It is necessary to take the time to ensure your receive proper medical treatment and proper compensation for your injuries and losses.

What you need to do:

  • be honest with us and keep us informed
  • keep receipts and documents to support your claim
  • keep a pain diary if you are in continuing pain
  • attend all appointments we arrange for you (medical and court)
  • ask us questions if you do not understand anything.

What we will do for you:

  • guarantee that you do not have to pay anything if you lose
  • act in your best interests at all times
  • arrange rehabilitation treatment where possible
  • keep you regularly informed of progress
  • give you best advice about the value of your case and whether to accept an offer
  • send you your compensation as soon as we receive it
  • do everything we can to make the claims process stress free

If you believe that you have a claim then please contact contact Russell or James for free confidential advice on 01752 668246, or if you prefer simply click here to arrange your free initial compensation claim meeting.


If you are looking for a personal injury solicitor in Plymouth, choose the Plymouth personal injury solicitors, Gard & Co. Solicitors.

Accreditation Personal Injury colour jpeg 200

Gard & Co Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
SRA number 47766.
© 2017 - Gard & Co. Solicitors in Plymouth