Millions are injured in accidents each year – at home, in their cars, at work, or outdoors. In many cases, someone else or something else is at fault and the accident victims have a right to compensation. Although personal injury law is complicated, with the help of a solicitor the process of making a claim can be quite straightforward.
At KBL we offer a free initial consultation and will be able to advise as to the merits of the claim.
How do I know whether I have a claim?
In most cases liability can be established reasonably quickly. We offer a free 30 minute consultation at our offices or elsewhere if appropriate.
At the end of the consultation we will, in most cases, be able to give an indication as to whether you should make a claim.
If I make a claim how do I pay my Solicitor?
For personal injury cases, the vast majority of claims are now pursued under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a No Win No Fee Agreement).
What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
A Conditional Fee Agreement is a written agreement whereby a Solicitor will agree not to charge you a fee if your claim is unsuccessful, except for certain situations (found in the agreement itself).
Within the Conditional Fee Agreement there is a ‘success fee’ whereby the Solicitor is paid an additional amount of costs for winning your case. Until 1 April 2013 the success fee was recoverable from the other party however, the government has now ruled that the success fee is payable by you.
If I win my case what do I pay?
If you succeed and recover damages, as explained above, the success fee is deducted from your damages. Unfortunately only when your case is concluded can the success fee be calculated. There is however a limit on the amount of costs that can be deducted from your damages which is an amount not more than 25% of your damages.
What happens if my claim is unsuccessful?
Under the terms of the Conditional Fee Agreement your Solicitor will not charge you any profit costs. You will however lose monies paid to cover expenses but you will be responsible for the fees incurred by your opponent. Such fees can be considerable. It is for this reason that when entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement a policy of insurance is also taken out which covers your opponent’s costs.
Prior to consulting a Solicitor you should check your motor and household policies of insurance to see whether you have the benefit of legal protection. If you have the benefit of legal protection there is no need for you to pay a further premium to insure against having to pay your opponent’s costs and you will keep 100% of your damages.
I have seen adverts by companies claiming to be Personal Injury Specialists. Why should I use a Solicitor instead of one of these companies?
Only a Solicitor can represent a Claimant in legal proceedings. Companies who advertise as personal injury specialists are invariably a Claims Management Company who agree to pursue a claim for a Client but then sell the claim to a panel Solicitor. Whilst these companies advertise a, “No Win No Fee” basis you often find ‘hidden extras’ such as investigation fees and vetting fees which are deducted out of damages. Some companies charge extortionately high insurance premiums and the Client is left having to pay the shortfall out of their own compensation.
We at KBL are regulated, like all Solicitors, by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our staff are all qualified and Chris Taylor is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a member of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society.
We have over 60 years experience in handling claims and an excellent record of successful cases.
How much compensation will I get?
This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions. Unfortunately the answer is not straight forward.
Compensation for claims falls into 2 categories:-
i) General Damages – this is what most people regard as compensation. General Damages is the term used to describe compensation for pain and suffering. The amount of compensation that a person is entitled to will depend upon the level of injury that they suffer and how quickly or slowly they recover (if at all). Claims can be finalised in less than 12 months but in other cases, where the injury is serious or liability is in dispute, claims can take years to be finalised.
ii) Special Damages – this is the re-payment of monies lost or liable to be paid as a result of an accident. Items claimed under special damages include loss of earnings, medical expenses, damages property etc.
“My son was injured as a result of an accident 10 months ago. The past 10 months can only be described as “awful” and throughout this difficult time Chris Taylor has been supportive, helpful and understanding. Without his help I’m not sure if we would have got through everything that has been levelled at us. He is a credit to himself and KBL Solicitors.”