Frequently Asked Accident Claim Questions
Over £90 million compensation recovered for our UK clients – Russell Worth Solicitors
Russell Worth Solicitors are committed to providing help and guidance in plain English.
The following questions and answers provide additional information about our service and are intended for general guidance only. If your question doesn’t appear here, email us for a prompt and friendly response.
How do I know if I have a claim?
If you have suffered an injury or loss (including loss of earnings) due to the actions of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out for sure, call 0800 028 2060 or complete the call me back form and one of our expert personal injury advisors will contact you. It is important to note there are three simple facts that need to be established to determine if you have a valid compensation claim:
- Another person or organisation must have been negligent (at fault) or in breach of a statutory duty.
- The other person or organisation must have the means to pay a sum in damages (often through their liability insurers)
- The accident “generally” must have occurred within the last 3 years (unless you are under the age of 18).
Do I have to pay any fees at all?
Win or lose, your legal fees will be met. Russell Worth Solicitors bear all the costs until the case is settled. When we win, we claim everything back from the losing side. If we lose, costs will be met by your Insurance Policy and / or under a No Win No Fee Agreement. Please remember we have a high success rate.
How is the cost of my claim funded?
You may have Legal Expenses Cover which can be used. If not, you are likely to be able to proceed under a No Win No Fee Agreement, together with an Insurance Policy which we will arrange for you. If successful the other party will pay your costs. In the unlikely event that you lose your case, we write off our fees so you pay nothing.
Do I have to get a loan?
No. However, it is recommended that you take out an insurance policy which will protect you, should you lose, as it will pay your opponents costs and your disbursements for example, medical fees. The premium is deferred until the end of the case, with no interest added, and if successful, your opponent will pay the premium. If unsuccessful, your insurance policy will cover any fees with no charges payable by you. This is subject to the insurers authority allowing the claim to proceed to every stage.
Will I have to pay the other solicitors’ costs if I lose?
No. Even though costs will be awarded against you if you lose your case, you won’t have to pay them. If appropriate, we will advise you on the merits of arranging an‘After the Event Insurance Policy’ to cover the other side’s costs. Weighed against the risk of having to pay your opponent’s legal costs this is an invaluable and reassuring option.
How much might my claim be worth?
In most cases the amount of damages you receive will be made up of two elements:
General Damages: these are awarded for the injury sustained and for the pain and suffering and ongoing disability associated with that injury. The amount depends upon such factors as the nature and severity of the injury, the period of recovery and the outlook for the future. General damages are assessed by the court primarily by reference to the medical report on your condition and comparing that report to previously decided cases. Guidance is also given by the Judicial Studies Board who produce guideline figures for general damages for all different types of injuries.
Special Damages: essentially these are your out-of-pocket expenses arising from the accident and includes such things as wage loss, medical expenses and travel expenses. Special damages are usually capable of exact mathematical calculation. The amount of special damages is added to the amount of general damages to make up the total of the damages award.
In more serious cases damages may also be awarded for such things as:
- On-going future loss of earnings
- On-going medical care and other expenses
- Disadvantage on the open labour market
- Lost opportunity for promotion
- Pension loss
We will advise you fully on the types of damages that should be claimed in your claim. Damages are intended to compensate the injured victim for the actual loss suffered by them because of their accident. Damages are tailored to the individual circumstances of the case. Because of this damages can vary greatly in apparently similar cases.
Beware of any firm who says they can tell you exactly what your claim is worth. The value of your claim can only properly be assessed after expert medical evidence of your injuries has been obtained and analysed by a Lawyer who is specialised and experienced in personal injury claims.
You can see our approximate claim values here but these are approximations only and every case, as already mentioned, is assessed totally individually.
Who will deal with my claim?
Your claim will be handled by a member of our experienced personal injury team.
Can I change solicitors?
The simple answer is yes – you can change solicitors for any reason you so wish. For more info please see this link.
How do I find out more about making a claim?
Call us on 0800 028 2060 or complete the make a claim form online and we’ll call you back.
Will I have to go to court?
Probably not, but there are no guarantees. Most claims are settled without the need for court proceedings. However, Russell Worth Solicitors are never afraid of commencing court proceedings if that is the best way of getting you the maximum compensation as quickly as possible.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Time limits for making a claim for damages are governed by the Limitations Act 1980. In nearly all cases, if you have had an accident, then you have 3 years from the date of that accident to make a claim. If you were under 18 when the accident happened then you have until your 21st birthday to make a claim. If you have developed a disease or some other condition through the fault of someone else then the rules are more complicated. In broad terms you have 3 years from the date you first realised that you had developed your disease or your condition and at the same time knew or should have known that that disease or condition was caused by someone else’s negligence.
What happens if I lose?
Russell Worth Solicitors have a high success rate of the claims we handle. However, in the unfortunate case that you do lose, you will not be liable for any fees or costs whatsoever, provided you have taken out necessary insurance cover or you have an insurance policy and cover has been authorised for your claim.