I have been seriously injured in an accident. Do I have to use the solicitor suggested by the insurance company?
Put very simply, no.
You can choose any solicitor to assist you in your claim. If you already have insurance cover eg legal expenses cover for home insurance or motor insurance, then we would contact them and arrange for them to instruct us.
It’s a very simple process.
What will it cost me to pursue a compensation claim?
Medical Negligence and Serious Personal Injury
We run all our medical negligence and serious personal injury claims on a ‘no-win-no-fee’ basis. This is an agreement between us that means if you lose your case you will not need to pay any legal costs to either us or the other side, providing you have not misled us.
If you win your case the Defendants will pay your compensation and most of the costs of the legal action. The compensation money is yours once you have paid an element to us for our success fee, any unrecovered costs and any insurance premium for your legal expenses cover. You will retain no less than 75% of your compensation.
If your claim is a Criminal Injury Compensation (CICA) claim there will be agreement between us and you on how your case is funded. Funding for these cases is not the same as for personal injury or medical negligence. Assuming you co-operate with us, if you lose your claim you will not pay any costs to us for our time or knowledge in helping you make the claim. You may still have to pay other costs though eg for reports. If you win your claim, you cannot claim our costs from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, they will be paid to us from your compensation payment. The costs of your claim for our time and expertise will be no more than 25% of your compensation (plus VAT) plus the cost of any additional expenses you incur to support your claim eg a Police Report or medical evidence. The rest of the compensation is yours.
We’ll explain carefully and in detail, how the funding of your claim works when we talk to you.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this further.
Should I make a claim about my medical care?
Making a complaint about an issue with your medical care can be a useful way in which to bring your concerns to the attention of the doctor or hospital who provided the relevant medical treatment.
You cannot, however, obtain compensation by making a complaint. Instead, your compliant will typically be dealt with by asking the medical staff concerned for their views. A response will then be sent to you based on this feedback.
For this reason, patients sometimes feel that responses to complaints are defensive. However, any such response can be used during a subsequent medical negligence claim.
If you’re thinking about making a complaint, do so and don’t waste time. You have 3 years from the date you knew were injured to bring a claim at Court. You case can be time barred if you don’t move quickly. Contact us if you are uncertain about this.
I do not live in the North West. Do I need to instruct a local solicitor?
Our experienced solicitors help clients across England and Wales. When we need to see you, or if you want to see us, we’ll visit you in your own home at a time that is convenient for you.
The reality is, even if you choose a local solicitor, almost all your contact will be by telephone, post or email. What’s important, therefore, is the level of expertise and the standard of service that you will receive.
We’re always available for our clients – you will have our direct dials and our mobile numbers – and we use email as our main source of communication when we need to write to you.
We prefer this because it helps us to work with you on your case and respond to you quickly. Obviously, if you prefer us to write to you we will do so and sometimes, for example when we need you to sign documents, we have to use the post.
Above all, you’ll find that we are more friendly, open and accessible than other solicitors. And importantly, you’ll have one of our expert solicitors dealing with your case.
I already have a solicitor. Can I transfer my case to Price Slater Gawne?
Yes. Even if another solicitor has started working on your case you can still transfer it to Price Slater Gawne. It’s a simple process which happens all the time. If you contact us and let us know you’d like to transfer a case to us, we’ll do the rest.
How will my compensation be calculated?
We can help you to claim compensation both for the injuries you have suffered, and for any financial loss resulting from these injuries.
Compensation for your injuries
This is usually based on the awards made in previous claims to people with similar injuries.
For common errors and injuries, there are often lots of comparable claims so it is easy to identify what level of compensation you should receive. However, in more complicated medical negligence and serious accident cases, there are, thankfully, fewer instances to compare. In such situations an experienced solicitor, such as those at Price Slater Gawne, will be able to advise you on what level of compensation you are likely to receive should your claim be successful.
Compensation for financial losses
When seeking compensation for financial losses every claim is different. Therefore, the amount you are likely to receive should your claim be successful depends on the specific losses you, or your loved ones have suffered as a result of the negligence or accident.
In addition to any losses already suffered, you can also obtain compensation for costs or losses that will arise in the future. Typical examples of specific financial losses include:
- Loss of earnings
- Medical expenses
- Paying for care and rehabilitation
- Travel expenses
- Necessary adjustments to your home.
It is important that documentation is kept, such as receipts, as these are helpful in proving the financial losses you have suffered.
Where possible, we’ll seek to obtain interim compensation payments to help ensure the necessary care and rehabilitation can begin as soon as possible.
If you would like to discuss the likely value of any claim, and whether you should pursue a claim please contact us for a no-obligation chat.
Compensation for claims for Criminal Injury
The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority make an award for the type of injury, the seriousness of the injury and the length of time it takes you to recover from it. These are a set amount. In addition you can claim for special expenses such as professional care costs, some treatment costs and in limited circumstances loss of earnings. In cases where someone has died, you can also recover funeral expenses. We will advise you further on this if you wish to pursue a claim.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation depends upon the type of negligence or injury suffered.
In most cases the majority of the compensation granted is for financial losses and these vary significantly (even for very similar injuries) depending upon the personal circumstances of the victim. For this reason it is impossible to give an accurate prediction of the amount of compensation you may receive without knowing more about your situation.
Be wary of websites which claim to be able to tell you how much compensation you will actually be awarded. It’s really not possible to do this!
If you would like to discuss the compensation likely in your particular circumstances, please contact us for a no-obligation chat.
How long will my claim take?
The length of your claim is entirely dependent on the nature of your claim and the severity of the injuries sustained.
In straightforward cases, where there is no doubt about which individual or organisation was responsible for your injuries, and there are no significant ongoing symptoms, your claim could be settled in a few months.
However, in more complex medical negligence claims, particularly where there are arguments about whether treatment was negligent, it can take significantly longer.
Similarly in claims for a serious injury as a result of an accident, there may be arguments about who was at fault and we will also need to establish the precise circumstances of the accident. We may also have to await the outcome of any Police or HSE (Health and Safety Executive) investigation.
In criminal injury claims we may well have to await the outcome of a criminal trial, and for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to carry out their own investigations into your claim. This will influence how long the claim takes.
Crucially, on any case we will need to investigate the full extent of your injuries, identify your future rehabilitation and support needs and all of your future and past financial losses. This takes time.
What we can say is that we’ll push your claim forward so that a conclusion is reached as soon as reasonably possible, and we’ll provide realistic estimates as to when this is likely to be.
Even where it’s not feasible to resolve your claim quickly, we’ll try to obtain interim compensation payments to help ensure that the necessary care and rehabilitation can begin as soon as possible.
How do I know which solicitor to choose?
It’s vital to appoint a solicitor with recognised expertise in your case.
At Price Slater Gawne, your case will be handled personally by an experienced solicitor supervised by our directors, who are qualified solicitors with many years experience. Experienced paralegal assistants will also assist in the preliminary stages. Once your case is up and running you’ll benefit from the years of experience we possess in working with our clients and obtaining the best outcome for them.