There are several stages when making a claim, firstly we need to assess who is responsible for the accident, in legal terms this is known as determining liability for the accident. We will obtain all supporting evidence such as witness statements, police reports, locus reports, CCTV and in some cases we employ the use of an accident reconstruction expert.
Whilst we are determining liability for the accident, we will also be gathering the evidence in relation to what is known as quantum. This, essentially, is the value of your case in monetary terms. We will need to know all your out of pocket expenses and we ask you to keep any evidence of these.
We will also require evidence of your injuries. Accordingly, we will need your full medical notes so that we can instruct a medical expert, in the discipline of your injury, to examine you for the purpose of preparing a medical report. We then value your injuries based upon the content of the report. In the case of serious multiple injuries you may need to be examined by several experts.
Once liability has been determined, and all the quantum evidence has been finalised, your case can be quantified, the parties can then attempt to negotiate settlement.
In the majority of cases the claims are settled before going to Court and even before starting the court process. In the event that we cannot settle your claim prior to Court proceedings being issued, rest assured that your legal representative will guide you through the court process to make it as stress free as possible. Even if we do enter into the Court process your claim can be settled prior to a final court hearing.
Liability can sometimes be split, in that whilst the third party is primarily responsible it may be that you also have to bear some responsibility. In those instances your compensation will be reduced by the percentage that you are deemed to be responsible.
Eg. If your claim is valued at £50,000.00 and you were found to be 25% responsible for the accident, you would receive £37,500.00.
Your legal costs will be dealt with separately from your compensation payment. If you are successful the costs will be paid by the Defendant’s insurers. In the unlikely event your claim is unsuccessful your costs will be covered by an insurance policy unless you act against our reasonable advice or are found to be dishonest in connection with your claim. You will receive a full explanation regarding your legal fees prior to confirming you agree to instruct us.
In most cases we will arrange for an expert in the field of rehabilitation to carry out an initial needs assessment on you. This will determine the rehabilitation package that would be most beneficial to your needs. If liability is admitted the cost of rehabilitation can be included as part of your claim, or will be funded under the Rehabilitation Code by the Defendant’s insurers.
We can request interim payments from the Defendant’s insurers throughout the life of your claim. The sums can be large or small depending on your requirements. We can ask for assistance where you have for example a loss of earnings claim or rehabilitation needs. By way of example we have recently secured an interim payment in the sum of £1.5 million for the accommodation needs of a client with severe spinal injuries. At the other end of the scale, sometimes just an early payment of £1000.00 can help to alleviate the financial strain you may experience following an accident.
In serious injury cases it is vital that you are fully compensated for your injuries and financial losses from the time of the injury and the future consequences must be fully assessed. Due to the serious nature of your injury the prognosis cannot always be determined in a short space of time and the case must be fully and properly investigated to ensure you are fully compensated.
The length of your claim is dependent on a number of factors, such as whether there are liability issues, the nature of your injury and the recovery period. We cannot put a set time frame down, but rest assured that your claim will be progressed efficiently and your claim will be thoroughly investigated and evidenced to make sure you are properly compensated.
Every claim is individual. In valuing your claim we take into account your injuries, time off work, rehabilitation needs, out of pocket expenses, care and assistance requirements, and your future losses. It is impossible to put a realistic value on your claim from the outset but we ensure that we build the evidence to maximise the compensation to which you are entitled.
At Thorneycrofts we pride ourselves on our client care. We frequently travel across the country to visit clients at various points in their claim to ensure that you get to know your Solicitor and feel at ease with the service you are receiving. You will be allocated to one of our dedicated qualified legal representatives who will have the time and resources to get to know you and provide you with the attention you need to ensure you feel fully supported throughout your claim.