It is dangerous to try and set out the law in any detail on this website. We could never adequately cover the facts of each case and a Claimant with a good claim might be put off.
In general terms the right to make a claim usually depends on proving that someone, other than the victim, was at fault.
Even this statement needs to be qualified. For example, a person who is partly to blame can still recover compensation. Also, an employer will often blame the injured employee for doing something "silly" when a closer examination of the facts shows that the employers’ system of work was the true cause of the accident.
If you would like some preliminary telephone advice about your accident please ring Sam Elsby directly on freephone 0800 011 2797 or use our email contact form. We are happy to give initial advice without any obligation or charge.
The insurance industry is rightly devoting increasing resources to stamping-out fraudulent personal injury claims. This involves the sharing of information and databases and the detailed investigation of some claims, including by surveillance. The Courts have allowed covert video evidence, even in cases where this evidence is obtained in breach of the Claimant's right to privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Internet and remote legal services may be contributing to an increase in such claims and this is one of the reasons why we like to meet all clients personally, if at all possible.
Any claims that are false or exaggerated will almost certainly be detected. Recent changes to the law are likely to result in the whole of a claim being rejected by the Court, even if only part of a claim is either made falsely or is exaggerated. A Claimant's own legal costs will not be recovered and there is a risk that the Defendant's legal costs will have to be paid by the Claimant.
Those making false claims also run the risk of imprisonment through the civil contempt of court rules and/or through a criminal prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006.
In road accident claims, which are valued at up to £25,000, we are required (along with all other personal injury lawyers) to submit a client's name to check any claim history in the previous five years. For more information on this, please go to http://www.askcue.co.uk/.
Most victims have a maximum of 3 years from the event (or knowledge of the event/injury) in which to make a claim. This period might be extended, in certain circumstances, by the court. However, do not leave a claim longer than necessary. Firstly, vital evidence to prove the case can be lost or lessened over time. Secondly, in some cases such as accidents at sea or air and in criminal injury claims, the time limit is shorter.
For a person under 18 the normal three-year time limit does not start to run until they reach the age of 18.
With either no win-no fee or Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI), if we win then the legal costs will claimed from the Defendant's insurance company - on top of the compensation. Historically, in over 98% of our cases Claimants have recovered compensation in full and not had to pay any legal costs.
From the 1st April 2013 there were some major changes on legal costs:
- With no win-no fee agreements, the success fee and the after-the-event insurance premium can no longer be recovered from the Defendant. We will explain how this might affect your particular claim.
- For most types of claim of up to £25,000, only Fixed Recoverable Legal Costs can be claimed against the Defendant's insurers. These costs depend on the value of the award and the stage at which the claim is concluded. We have found that we are often able to limit our fees to these Fixed Costs but we will be able to advise you in more detail if this is likely to affect your case.
If the case is "lost" the legal costs will be covered by any LEI policy. Under a no win-no fee agreement, we will not receive any payment for our work, and any adverse order for costs will be covered under after-the-event insurance, which we will take out for you.