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Everything you need to know about making a claim

Complete our Free Legal Assessment Form and we will provide you with a speedy assessment of your accident claim and pursue your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

Every year, around 3 million people suffer a personal injury from an accident that wasn't their fault. Yet amazingly, only a quarter of them ever consider claiming compensation. Many people don't even realise that they can make a claim, or else they think it's too complicated, time consuming and costly. But that's where they're wrong!

Q. How Long Will My Claim Take?

The time between making a claim to settlement varies depending upon the complexity of the case. In some instances, where responsibility for the accident is admitted by a third party and injuries are not complex, settlement may be achieved within a very short period of time and even a matter of weeks.

Under the new scheme for dealing with injury cases worth between £1,000 and £25,000, the Defendant has to respond to the claim to confirm whether liability is admitted or denied. Settlement in such cases can take place very quickly after medical evidence is obtained (see "What is the Procedure?").

In all but the rarest of cases, settlements are once-and-for-all matters so you will wish to be sure that you have fully recovered from your injuries or that you know what is the long-term prognosis for your recovery, and that there is no risk of a deterioration in your condition which has not been built in to the level of your damages. We can assist you in the interpretation of your medical reports.

In summary, it is a balance of not rushing into a settlement too quickly for fear of losing out on compensation for future symptoms, against not allowing the defendants to delay your payment unreasonably.

Q. How Much Is My Claim Worth?

The amount of compensation you will receive if the claim succeeds is made up of two parts.

  • "General Damages" - this is the term given to the pain and suffering element. The value of this part of your claim depends on the type of injury you have suffered, how long you were suffering from your injury, and whether your injury is going to have a long term effect on your life. A figure is set for this part based on previous amounts set by judges in similar cases to yours, from the most serious of injuries to the more relatively minor injuries.

    For example -

    • Whiplash - reported cases for a 12 month (relatively minor) "whiplash" injury to the neck and back will be valued in the region of between £2,000 and £2,500
    • Wrist injury - these vary in complexity but for a fracture which heals within a matter of weeks the value might be in the region of £3,000 although for the most serious of wrist fractures the value can be over £30,000.00
    • Head injuries - again vary in complexity but can range from a minor injury causing cuts and bruises where the value might be up to £2,000 to the most serious of injuries causing brain damage whereby general damages of up to £300,000 might be awarded

  • "Special Damages" - this is the term given to the out of pocket losses and expenses incurred as a result of the accident and going forward into the future. This can include loss of earnings, future losses of earnings care and assistance by members of the family and friends, damaged items, the cost of medical care and attention (paid privately), aids and adaptations, loss of vehicle excess, hire of a replacement car, cost of public transport, prescriptions, and although in the usual case is a modest amount in the most extreme cases can run into several millions of pounds

Obviously these cannot be quantified until the accident claim is ongoing and even though the case might settle or go to court, there might be an element of future losses taken into account for the years of loss following settlement of the claim.

This amount is added to the value of your general damages to make up the overall damages award.

Q. What Does No Win No Fee Actually Mean?

Cooks Legal offer a "No Win No Fee" service, meaning that we will pursue your claim for no charge, the legal costs in successful cases being paid by the losing party (or their insurer) if and when we win the case (subject to the following).

There have however been dramatic changes to the funding of personal injury cases (introduced in April 2013) which are summarised below;

In cases where we lose, the legal costs of our involvement are effectively written off although any "disbursements" you have incurred e.g. for medical fees or court fees will be payable by you unless you are covered by "Before the Event" Legal Expense Insurance or we have taken out an "After the Event" Legal expense insurance policy upon your behalf.

In winning cases the law has changed to say that as and from April 2013 the success fee (which is the additional amount that solicitors can charge for working on a "No Win No Fee" basis) is to be taken from the compensation and must be limited to a maximum of 25% of the compensation payment i.e. if you win you will have to pay a success fee of up to 25% of the compensation you receive to us. In addition to this the government have also introduced a requirement that you are no longer able to cover the cost of insurance to fund your claim and this too will be deducted from the compensation award. We will explain this to you fully when we take on your case but.

Q. What is the Procedure?

We will first speak to you about your case over the telephone or we will arrange a meeting if needs be in order to take full instructions.

If the matter is dealt with under the Fast Track scheme for handling Road Traffic and Employers Liability/Public Liability Accidents (value between £1,000 and £25,000) we will enter the information onto the appropriate Portal and as long as liability is not disputed the insurers will agree to pay the claim within a matter of days.

In other cases we will deal with the other party's Insurers in accordance with the "Pre-Action Protocol". The Insurers then have 3 months to investigate the claim, after which time they must confirm whether or not liability for the accident is contested.

Before we can settle the claim, however, we need to obtain a medical report setting out the complete picture with regard to the extent of the injuries and the long-term prognosis so you will need to attend upon a doctor for a medical examination.

Simply complete the Free Legal Assessment Form and we will let you know if your claim is likely to succeed and how we can ensure that you are NOT one of the millions of people who miss out on their just entitlement to compensation. Ask for our Free Legal Assessment.

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It has been a good experience working with Cooks Legal. They tried their best to protect me and my son both physically and mentally. They helped me to see the medical specialists to make my case as strong as possible. They worked hard to get me the maximum compensation. Thanks to Tim Cook for all his hard work.
Mrs A, London£1 million

What We Did For Our Client...

Mrs A was injured when returning from a night shift working as a nurse at a local hospital. She was knocked down by a car involved in an illicit race in the early hours. She suffered horrific injuries including the loss of her right leg below the knee. After a hard battle, Mrs A received the sum of £1 million in an out of court settlement shortly before trial.