Personal Injury Solicitors General FAQ’s
What does personal injury cover?
Personal injury is the term used by solicitors to identify legal work which generally involves acting for claimants or defendants (or their insurers) in pursuing or defending a compensation claim for bodily injury.
What is personal injury?
A personal injury is an injury to the physical body or to a person’s mental health.
Can I make a claim?
If an injury is likely and has been caused by a person’s actions (or failure to act) which amounts to the breach of a common-law duty owed to the victim or by a duty laid down by a statute it may be possible to bring a claim. Some situations do not require a breach of duty, however, such as trespass to the person, and assault (a threat of violence) and battery (acting upon that threat of violence). Claims can also be brought for injuries received through a crime of violence, but such claims are to a Government body rather than against the assailant.
Do I need a solicitor for a personal injury case?
No, but you will need to thoroughly familiarise yourself with the law, procedural steps required and a number of pre-action protocols. You will also face Defendants who are professionally represented and who will do their best to trap you into errors. So, whilst you can act for yourself, it would be foolish to do so without legal training and experience in the relevant area. Mistakes could be extremely costly. There are a group of organisations called “claims managers”. These are licensed but generally unqualified claims agents who chase work by making nuisance phone calls and they are paid by taking a large cut from the compensation.
Is there a time limit for making a personal injury claim?
Yes. The time limit is three years from the date of the event relied upon or three years from the date of knowledge if later. However, if the victim is a child when injured, time will not run until that child’s 18th birthday. If the victim has no legal capacity, mentally, time never runs. Once the three-year clock starts it will render the claim a legal nullity three years later unless a claimant can negotiate an extension of the three year period with the opponent or in some cases ( for example, abuse cases ) a person can ask the court to extend the three years. For criminal injury claims the time limit is two years though in abuse cases it is readily extended. Cases involving ships, aircraft and airports are subject to a two-year time limit. Different time limits apply in different jurisdictions.
How long does a personal injury case take?
This depends on how much work is involved and upon the type and severity of the injury. For example, a simple claim can take 9 to 12 months, but a severe injury can take a number of years and a severe injury to a child should not be concluded until at least the child becomes a teenager so the effects of the injury can be properly assessed.
How much is my case worth?
It is impossible to give any meaningful guidance here since it all depends upon the type of injury and duration of suffering and extent of recovery. It is not just a claim for the injuries themselves. Financial needs and losses must be identified and claimed both in the past and in the future.
Will I have to go to court?
Many claims are settled before the court process starts in the pre-litigation phase so if the claim is settled before court proceedings start it is unlikely you will have to physically attend court. Even if the claim becomes a litigated claim it is still unlikely you will have to go to court unless the claim reaches a trial outcome, and this is relatively unusual.
What is the process of claiming for personal injury?
It is necessary to consider if there is a claim and how it can be proved. The evidence must be gathered and a Claim Notification Form submitted through the Ministry of Justice portal or a Letter of Claim sent for a larger claim – once that has been achieved, and the claim is considered to be worthwhile, the injury and losses must be quantified through the assistance of medical and often other experts.
Speak to Salmons Solicitors Personal Injury Experts
If you have any further questions about personal injury, speak to our solicitors today. We have worked in Newcastle under Lyme & Stoke on Trent for over 20 years and provide professional advice tailored to your individual case. In addition to the FAQs listed above, we have additional personal injury advice including Responsibility & Evidence Support, Funding & Support, No Win No Fee, & Scenarios.