Do I have a claim?
For a successful claim the incident that causes your injury must be someone’s fault. For example, a car driver being injured because another vehicle has collided with their car or an employee who suffers an injury as a result of faulty work equipment.
At MKB Solicitors we assess your claim at your first free meeting and will provide you with honest and realistic advice on the prospects of success.
What about the costs?
In all personal injury claims the first meeting is free and all funding options will be discussed at that meeting.
If you are not able to make a claim under your car or home insurance, then MKB Solicitors will act for you under a “no-win-no-fee” agreement backed by a separate insurance policy. This arrangement ensures that there are no up-front costs and, if you win your case, our costs and expenses are paid by the other side’s insurer.
In the unlikely event that your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay our fees under the “no-win-no-fee” agreement. Our expenses and any costs incurred by the other side are covered by a separate insurance policy. In cases started after April 2013 the cost of that insurance policy (the premium) cannot be recovered from the other side. However, other rule changes, again for cases started after April 2013, also mean that you are much less likely to have to pay the other side’s costs if you lose.
There are a number of changes in how cases are funded and costs dealt with generally from April 2013. At MKB Solicitors we will advise you fully on the funding options available under the new rules from April 2013.
How much is my claim worth?
Each case is different because every person is different. There are two basic types of compensation:
1. Compensation for your injuries – these are for your pain, suffering and loss of activities, for example, sport and hobbies. We obtain medical evidence so that we value this part of your claim.
2. Other losses – these are to compensate you for expenses including (depending on the type of claim):
Loss of earnings for time off work
Excess on car insurance
Travelling expenses for medical treatment
Damage to property
On each claim we discuss with you the types of loss for which you are able to claim. It is important that you keep a record and, if possible, documentary evidence of your losses, for example, invoices/receipts and hospital appointment cards.
How long will my claim take?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question as no two cases are the same.
Generally, if blame is admitted quickly and your injuries are not serious (although we appreciate that any injury is serious for the person who is suffering), the claim may be dealt within 9-12 months.
The reason why claims take a minimum of 9-12 months to resolve is that timescales are laid down by protocol for these types of claim, for example, insurers have 3 months to investigate claims after we write to them, medical reports (needed to assess compensation for injuries) can take months to obtain and, unfortunately, even when blame is admitted, many insurers make offers that are too low.
In April 2010 a new process was started for road traffic cases which are worth less than £10,000 which can reduce the time to deal with the claim. This process has now been extended to other types of case and includes cases worth up to £25,000.
If responsibility is denied and/or injuries are more serious, then the claim can take much longer.
Cases which go to court or are very complex can take years to complete. In more complex cases where responsibility has been admitted, payment on account of compensation is often made before a final settlement is agreed.
Will I have to go to Court?
The vast majority of the cases settle before going to Court as the guidelines for such claims encourage out-of-court settlements.
However, where necessary we will start court proceedings on your behalf. This could be because the other side are unreasonably denying responsibility, making offers which are too low or simply not dealing with your claim.
Please remember that simply because court proceedings are started, this does not mean that your case will proceed to a final hearing and settlement will often be reached after those court proceedings have been started.
However, if your case does go to trial, then we will represent you and advise you throughout that process.
Based on our last 10 years experience in personal injury work, only about 1% of all personal injury claims proceed to trial.