If you are considering making a claim, you probably have a lot of questions you need answers to, before you can make the decision to go ahead or not. 'What does no win no fee mean?'; 'How much compensation will I get?'; 'What type of accidents can I claim for?'; 'Where can I get impartial legal advice?' You'll find the answers to all these questions, and more, right here.

And as far as, 'Where can I get impartial legal advice from?', the answer is, right here. From the moment you pick up the phone, our goal is to help you understand if you have a case to make a claim and then, if you want to work with us, help you get the compensation you deserve. So, if you can't find the answers to the questions you have here, or even if you can and you want to go ahead, call us now on 0800 10 757 95 , our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're on your side, working to get you the result you deserve. 

Please click on the links below for answers to the following questions:

What type of accident can I claim for?

We can help you claim for a wide variety of accidents, illnesses or injuries. Select the most relevant option from the list below to find out more:

Is my compensation claim valid?

If you have suffered an injury in the last three years from an accident that was not your fault you are entitled by law to be compensated. Visit our compensation calculator to see how much you could claim

What must be proven?

For an injury claim to be successful, three things must be proven:

  • someone had a duty of care over you
  • they were negligent in preserving this duty of care
  • you suffered an injury as a result

We have a duty of care owed to us in most places that we go and in turn, many of us hold a duty of care for other people. For example, road users have a duty of care to other road users, a shop owner will have a duty of care to its customers, and a local council will have a duty of care to people on the areas of public highway and land.

It must be proven that either action or inaction amounted to negligence. For example, a negligent action would be a driver who was not paying attention at the wheel and drove into a car in front. A negligent inaction would be a shopkeeper's failure to clean up a spilt drink on the floor of the shop.

What time limits do I have to make a claim?

Under English law, a person can make a claim for injury, illness or accident up to a maximum of 3 years after an accident occurred or an illness was diagnosed, in the case of industrial diseases such as asbestosis. If someone tries to make a claim after this 3 year time limit, it is extremely unlikely that they would be successful.

If the person was under 18 when the accident occurred, the three year time limit is put on hold until the time that they turn 18. This allows them three years as an adult to decide whether to make a claim.

Although a child cannot take legal action by themselves, they can appoint a "Litigation Friend". This is normally a parent or close family member and who can speak on behalf of the child and in the child's best interests during the process.

Can I Claim Compensation After 3 Years?

Can I claim compensation after 3 years?

If you wish to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation the law allows you three years in which to issue court proceedings. Any later than this and you may lose your right to claim compensation.

In the case of a child (under 21), or someone who has a defined mental disability, the three year rule does not apply. For example, someone under 21 can claim for an accident that happened at birth.

The other main exception to the three year rule is when your condition does not develop for many years after the injury was suffered. In this case, the Court will still allow you to bring a claim, with the claim period running from the date you found out about your condition.

Complete the Free claim assessment form opposite or call our Free Claims Advice line on 0800 10 757 95

What is involved in a claim?

When third party liability is established, your solicitor will have to prove the value of your claim by obtaining independent medical evidence to substantiate the nature and extent of your injuries and the effect they will have on you in the future. He will also need to gather information about your financial losses and expenses. A Schedule of Financial Losses and Expenses is produced to prove these losses and show the Court they are reasonable.

Why do I need a solicitor?

You are of course free to make your own case for compensation to the Court. This would involve you funding your claim and paying for costs such as medical examinations, police reports and barrister's fees up-front, then claiming these costs back from the third party if you win your case.

The law relating to personal injury is complicated and ever-changing and each case brings its own individual circumstances. Your claim will invariably be against an insurance company who will be experienced in defending themselves against claims such as yours and will have the resources to put up a strong defence.

If you let YouClaim handle your claim, we will appoint an expert solicitor from the Law Society Personal Injury panel that specialises in the particular area of law relevant to your case. You will have the best possible representation to get you the compensation you deserve. 

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you are likely to receive depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • The speed of your recovery
  • The effect the injuries have had on your life
  • The financial losses you have suffered

If your case is successful you will usually receive compensation for your pain and suffering and any financial losss, which may include loss of earnings, damaged clothing, medical bills and travel expenses. 

There are four main areas of compensation that can be claimed for:

General Damages

This is compensation for the injury itself, including pain and suffering. As every accident is different, and people are affected by their injuires in very different ways, the Court does not put an exact figure on any one particular type of claim.

If you appoint YouClaim to assist you with your claim we will arrange for you to see a medical expert, who will write a report on your injuries and the effect the accident has had on your life. This will help to ensure you are awarded a fair and reasonable amount of compensation.

Special Damages 

This is compensation for your out of pocket expenses and losses. These can be calculated fairly accurately from receipts or estimates and can include; cost of medical treatment, personal effects damaged in accident, loss of earnings and transport costs.

Future Losses 

This is compensation for losses that you are likely to encounter in the future. These are obviously more difficult to assess, so a special calculation is applied to the estimated annual loss to determine a fair figure. 

Interest 

You may also be entitled to interest on some of your compensation. Rates payable vary depending on the type of injury and losses you have sustained. Our solicitor will advise you if you are able to claim this compensation.

See our Compensation Calculator for an approximate guide to amounts of compensation that are typically awarded for different types of injury. 

What is 'No win, no fee'?

YouClaim believe everyone should have access to justice regardless of their financial circumstances. This is why our solicitors work on a Conditional Fee Agreement, or No Win No Fee basis. It means that if your case isn't successful, you won't be charged for our services. 

We won't ask you for any money up front to get your claim started, and we will be clear and transparent about what's happening with your case at all times.  

Who will deal with my claim?

Every case is different and every claimant is unique, so we don't just pass clients through on a conveyor-belt. We understand that everyone will need varying levels of support throughout legal proceedings and we always act on that knowledge.

Firstly, our legal advisers will speak to you regarding your claim to tell you whether they believe you have a case, or simply answer any questions you might have about the claiming process.

Following this, if we believe that you are eligible to receive compensation for, we will find an expert solicitor to represent you and help you gain remuneration.

A friendly and experienced claims handler will answer any questions you may have at any time throughout your claim and keep you up to date on the progress of your case, and we will appoint and closely liaise with a solicitor from the Law Society Personal Injury panel which specialises in the particular area of law relevant to your accident.

Not only are our solicitors professionals, but they are sympathetic to your situation and will explain everything to you in plain English so that you don't have to worry about legal jargon.

How long will it take to get my compensation?

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast answer to this question as, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the nature of any personal injuries suffered, the time taken to achieve a compensation settlement can be anything from a few months to a number of years.

Often there will be some sort of investigation into the accident, particularly in the case of car accidents and work-place accidents, especially if the incident was serious, and it can take time to achieve full evaluation.

In certain cases there may even be a court case to determine liability for the accident and although seeking the services of a solicitor is a good idea from the outset, it may only be after a court hearing that a civil claim for damages can be made.

And if the full extent of personal injuries will not become apparent for many years, after a birth injury for example, the claim will be filed and postponed until such time that the effects on the person's life can be accurately calculated. However, in these circumstances, your solicitor will always attempt to negotiate interim payments from the at-fault party's insurer to ensure that the injured party can receive any treatment, rehabilitation and financial help needed to go forward with his or her life.

Will I need to attend any meetings?

At YouClaim we have developed our service so that everything can be dealt with by email/telephone and post. This means you won't have to take time off work to attend meetings and enables us to appoint the very best solicitors to handle your case, regardless of where you live. (Where it is necessary for you to have a medical assessment, your expenses, including any loss of earnings, will be reclaimed from the third party. )

Do I need to report my injuries to my doctor?

If an accident results in serious injuries, a sufferer should attempt to seek first aid as soon as possible. Although this will probably make the claims process easier – by providing a written record of their appointment amongst other things – obtaining medical attention could also ensure the health and wellbeing of the potential claimant.

In the event of minor injuries, such as bumps and cuts, a sufferer may just want to go home, relax and seek support from friends and family members. However, some injuries may be more serious than they appear and could require immediate medical attention.

Despite the fact sufferers can make a claim without seeing a doctor, seeking help from a medical professional is always advised.

How medical evidence usually factors into a claim

Your solicitor may recommend that you undergo an independent medical examination.

This assessment should involve a professional who has not treated you before. This is not because the doctor could be untrustworthy, but rather to satisfy a court that this evidence is independent and not biased.

This report will normally establish:

  • How the accident caused the injuries;
  • The extent of the injuries;
  • Treatment methods and any prescribed medicine; and
  • How the accident has affected your quality of life.

Once a medical assessment has been completed, a solicitor should be able to use this information to prove that the accident occurred and demonstrate how your suffering was directly attributable to another party. The information will also be used to calculate how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Will I need to go to Court?

You may be surprised to learn that over 90% of these types of cases are settled outside of court. This is down, in no small part, to the process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

There are three main types of alternative dispute resolution. All aim for consensus rather than fighting out the issues in a hostile or adversarial sense. Once this consensus is reached, it should be seen as directive rather than strictly binding decision.

The three main types of ADR:

  • Mediation: An impartial third party will usually meet separately with the "claimant" and "defendant" sides prior to the group meeting. During these separate meetings the mediator will hope to find some common ground on which the two interested parties can then build some consensus.
  • Conciliation: The mediator will play a more active role in this form of ADR. While the mediator still will not "impose" any kind of ruling on the interested parties, he or she may well be more "top down", offering suggestions in the hope that the two parties will benefit from a level of limited outside intervention.
  • Mini trial: As the name would suggest, this form of mediation is the one most similar to a formal legal trial. A neutral mediator will sit like a judge to hear the cases offered by representatives from the claimant and defendant sides.

Although ADR can be useful in securing compensation for people who have suffered injury in work or car accidents or cases of medical negligence, in very complicated cases or those worth a lot of money (usually more than £50,000) taking a more formal and traditional route may be the best option.

What if I have already have legal expenses insurance?

Everyone is entitled to choose their own solicitor to act for them - even if your insurance company puts you in touch with their recommended solicitor, you do not have to use them. If you have legal expenses insurance you can still appoint YouClaim to handle your claim.

Before instructing a solicitor, you should ask:

Do I have to fund my claim and pay for disbursements (medical reports, barristers fees etc)?

Many solicitors require payment up front. YouClaim's team of expert lawyers require no upfront payments.

Am I protected from all costs if I lose?
No-Win-No-Fee doesn't always mean that you won't have to pay the third party's costs if you lose your case. With YouClaim we guarantee you won't pay a penny if the case is lost.

Can I get Legal Aid?

In April 2000, Legal Aid was withdrawn for almost all claims. To give everyone access to justice regardless of their financial circumstances, YouClaim solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis or Conditional Fee Agreement, win or lose, with YouClaim you won't pay a penny.

What if I am on Benefits?

 

People who receive large sums of compensation from claims will inevitably have to think about what they will do with the money.

Experts such as lawyers and accountants tend to agree that one of the best things a person who receives upwards of £10,000 compensation can do is set up a personal injury trust (PIT).

There are several advantages to doing this. They are useful for the purposes of tax exemption, personal finance control and the basic protection of capital. However, they are perhaps most useful in allowing compensation recipients to protect their entitlement to means tested benefits.

Those in receipt of or hoping to receive any of the following means tested benefits should consider setting up a personal injury trust:

  • Housing benefit
  • Income support
  • Working families tax credit
  • Council tax benefit
  • Disabled person's tax benefit
  • Income based job seekers allowance
  • While lump sum compensation awards upwards of £6,000 can affect a person's entitlement to any of the above benefits, amounts of £10,000 or more are most likely to affect benefits. Those who receive £16,000 or more should almost certainly seek to set up a trust as sums of this size can lead to people losing benefits completely and only having a trust can mitigate against the possibility of local authorities vetoing a person's entitlement to benefits.

Although money held in a PIT will be guarded by trustees, recent changes in the laws relating to PITs mean that it is now possible for the compensation recepient to spend the money practically however they please.

If I decide to make a claim, what happens next?

Simply complete the free claim assessment form opposite and one of our claims negotiators will contact you within 24 hours to let you know whether you have a valid claim. Alternatively you can call us free on 0800 10 757 95 .

If you have a valid claim and would like YouClaim to help you, we will then appoint a specialist solicitor to pursue your claim and keep you informed at every stage of the case until you have received your compensation.

Not sure whether to claim?

The prospect of making a claim for compensation fills many people with fear and uncertainty. YouClaim understand the stress and financial worry that you have suffered already as a result of your accident and we have developed our service to offer a stress-free, no-risk way for you to get the compensation you deserve.

If you are still uncertain about pursuing your claim call our Free Claims Adviceline on 0800 10 757 95 and we'll be happy to answer all your questions and allay any concerns you may have. You are then free to decide if you wish us to help you pursue a claim.

YouClaim do not employ high-pressure sales techniques, we just provide access to the compensation you are entitled to.

What if they make a counterclaim against me?

When making a compensation claim on a no win, no fee basis, it is possible that the person you are making the claim against may make one, in turn, against you. This is known as a counterclaim.

Often, if injury has been suffered on only one side, someone defending a case will purely be interested in demonstrating that the accident injury was not his or her fault. As no damage has been suffered on the other side, it is unlikely that a counterclaim will be made.

However, in cases where both sides have suffered injury, and both blame the other, such as a car crash, a counterclaim is more likely. If a defendant decides to make a counterclaim, the claim that s/he makes will often (but not always) be delivered with his or her defence papers to the original claim.

A good no win, no fee lawyer will be able to discuss the merits of a compensation claim with a potential client and work out the possibilities of a counterclaim being made (and the possibility of that counterclaim succeeding). If a counterclaim is likely to wipe out any compensation that may be awarded to the original claimant, proceeding with legal processes may not be the best option.

If we haven't yet answered your question... 

If you have a question beyond those we have answered here, please do take advantage of our free legal advice. Even if you're not sure whether you can, or even want to make a claim, we will give you all the information you need to help you make your decision. Call us on 0800 10 757 95 , 24 hours a day, for friendly, impartial advice, without any obligation or pressure.