Have you had an accident and are thinking about claiming compensation? Are you worried it will be too expensive difficult and stressful to sue the party responsible? This is a misconception as claiming compensation is a very simple and easy and comes with no cost to you. Thanks to ‘no win no fee’ anyone can put in a claim for compensation at no cost to themselves. The no win no fee contract was put in to replace legal aid for personal injury. This is to make it fare to everyone who has suffered, not just those on a low income that would qualify for legal aid. With no win no fee, anyone with any income can put a claim in for any personal injury.
So how can there be no cost?
Basically with no win no fee your lawyer is working for nothing until the case has been won. Once the case is settled you lawyer will recover his or her costs from the losing party. If for some reason the case is not successful your lawyer can cover his or her costs from ‘after the event’ insurance. Your personal injury lawyer will explain all this to you at the outset and will get you to sign the relevant insurance forms. The only cost to you could be for medical records from your doctor. These costs will get reimbursed to you after the case is finalised. But if you really can't afford to pay for these there are ways around it and your lawyer will explain.
The good thing about no win no fee is that lawyers will only take on cases they know they can win. Because only a small percentage of cases end up in the courts a lawyer will take a case on regardless of the claimants’ home address. This is great because if you live in the south east but know of a good accident claim lawyer that lives in Manchester, you can still use them. Lawyers know what type of claims end up in courts and they would advice you to find someone closer to home if they think that could be the outcome. Most claims are pretty straight ward like whiplash claims from road traffic accidents. The lawyers’ job is to prove the accident wasn't your fault.
Should you put in a claim?
If you undecided about putting in a claim for compensation you should be assured that it really isn't a stressful process. Your lawyer does everything for you. You might think I am just saying this as I am promoting a website, which is partly true, but I have claimed for compensation twice in the past. The first was when legal aid was available and I claimed for injuries from a motorcycle accident. The other claim was for an accident my son had been on his way home from school. He couldn't open the school fence so decided to climb over the top. As he was about to climb down the other side a teacher called out to him to get down which made him jump and he ripped his finger on the top of the iron spiked fence. At hospital the finger was completely amputated. The compensation case went to court because the school denied any fault. As I had proof the fence was repaired the day after the accident we won the case. We did take 25% of the blame as apparently ‘he should have known better’. But we still came away with around 8 thousand pounds which has been in a court trust fund until he reaches 18. There were medical costs which were around £120 which I paid for at the time. This and other costs were reimbursed to me and not taken out of my sons’ compensation money. I was on very good terms with the school and they did support me to some extent. They understood why I claimed for compensation and they never held it against me or my son. They told me they would fight against it which is understandable but it was all done very fairly. The school really liked my son and knew he wasn't a trouble maker and that it was just a terrible accident.
I want to claim, what should I do?
The first thing you should do is write down every bit of information about the accident. The day, time, place and any witness's names and addresses. You might get asked to draw a picture of the accident so doing that while it is fresh in mind would be a good idea. Just get anything and everything you can remember about the accident down and you will be all set. Then you just need to find a good personal injury lawyer and give them a call. They will talk to you initially and see if you have a claim. If they think you do have a case they will send you a form to fill out and return to them. The form will ask all the details you should have already documented like the day time and details of the accident. Once this has been sent to them they do the rest. You might have a couple of forms to sign but that should be about it. You sit back and wait for your compensation.
Claiming for compensation is your legal right and ‘no win no fee’ contracts was put in place so anyone could make a claim. So put in a claim today, in a few months when you receive your compensation cheque you will be glad you did.
Carolyn is the webmaster of Accident Consult, experts in helping you Claim Compensation for an accident that wasn't your fault.