Personal Injury Solicitors Edinburgh, Before you can raise an action for personal injury, there are several things that must be established.
When a person experiences a major injury, it can be distressing for them and those closest to them, and the uncertainty about the future can add to the stress. There is, however, an opportunity to seek compensation for those injuries, particularly if they were caused by someone else’s fault or negligence.
No Win, No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers Edinburgh
Act now: If you have been injured in an accident at work, on the road or in a public place such as a supermarket or public highway, it’s important you act fast. Injury claims in Scotland are subject to a three-year time limit (known as the triennium).
While this means you have, in theory, 2 years and 364 days to contact your solicitor, this generally isn’t advisable given the length of time it can take to get a claim underway.
There are certain types of accidents and injuries for which this deadline is extended. These are normally industrial injury cases. Examples include Asbestosis, Vibration White Finger and deafness caused by exposure to machinery at work. These are conditions which can take years to fully materialise and thus justify extension of the three-year time limit.
Personal injury claims and Children: Another exception applies to children – if the injured party is a minor, the clock on the triennium, or three-year period starts ticking on their 18th birthday.
Making your claim: Before you can raise an action for personal injury, there are several things that must be established. Contact us for advice. We will take you through each step in detail and assess your case. The first thing to establish is the nature and extent of your injuries. The amount of compensation awarded will depend to a large extent on the exact type and nature of your injury and the existence of any ongoing symptoms. If you have suffered a drop in your quality of life, you may be able to claim additional compensation.
We’ll also help you find out who is responsible and who your personal injury claim should be directed against. In many cases, this will be clear cut – in a workplace accident it’s your employer, in a traffic accident it is the other driver, for instance. In some cases it may be less apparent – if it’s in a public place such as a shopping centre or park, it might not be clear who was responsible for taking steps to protect your safety.
No win, no fee Claims: In some instances, we’ll take your case on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means you keep 100% of the compensation because we will reclaim our costs from the party who caused your injury. On the other hand, if you lose, you don’t pay us a penny.
The benefits of no win, no fee are:
- You have no up-front layout. If your case doesn’t succeed, you don’t pay us for any of our work or pay any of our costs.
- We’ll give you a free consultation regarding your prospects of success. If we don’t think your case will succeed, we’ll tell you at the earliest opportunity.
- You don’t have to worry that your legal fees will spiral out of control.
- You will receive 100% of the compensation. We will reclaim our costs from the party responsible for your injury – after all, they put you in this position: it’s only right they pay your legal fees!
- You may not even have to go to court – most cases are resolved by way of an ‘out of court settlement’.
How does a personal injury claim work?
Personal injury claims are governed by the law of negligence. In short, we all owe each other a duty of care. This is a duty to take reasonable care in the circumstances for the safety of others. Clearly, what is reasonable in the circumstances depends on a variety of factors. Some are under a stricter duty than others: employers and proprietors are under a heightened duty for instance. If this duty is not met (i.e. the negligent party failed to meet the required ‘standard of care’) then you can raise a claim. If this ‘breach’ of their duty causes your injury, then you can sue them for the losses you have suffered.
What can I claim for?
If the injury was caused by someone else, compensation for the pain and suffering and related consequences of that injury is likely to be available. Instructing a personal injury solicitor with the right experience, as soon as possible, is the important first step in the compensation process.
You can claim for the injury, the lasting impact it will have on you and the cost of treatment. You can also claim compensation for the psychological consequences of the injury. This is known as ‘Solatium’ in Scotland. You should keep a detailed note of any expenses you incur in as a result of the injury, including the expenses of carers, because you may be able to recoup these from the party at fault.
The actual amount of compensation is based on guidelines laid down by a body known as the Judicial Studies Board. The Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for Personal Injury Claims (The JSB Guidelines) is a publication containing guideline amounts for injuries of all types and severities.
Personal Injury Solicitors Edinburgh
You might be able to claim for:
- The pain and suffering, both physical and mental, you have endured.
- Loss of ‘amenity’ – a reduction in your quality of life as a result of being unable to participate in favoured hobbies or to undertake ordinary daily activity.
- Medical costs, including the costs of care provided to you by loved ones or family members.
- Damage to your property e.g. your car in a road accident.
- Any costs you incur in adapting your home to cater for your injury or disability.
- Other expenses like insurance excesses and travel costs.
- The loss of future earnings – if you are unable to continue working you can sue for the loss of potential future earnings.
I’ve been offered compensation by the other side’s insurer, should I take it?
Absolutely not! Insurance companies are experienced and shrewd negotiators. They know that most people have no idea what a realistic award might be. In almost all cases they will offer you a settlement figure far below what you might realistically hope to achieve if you sue them. Even if the offer is tempting, you should take independent legal advice from an expert personal lawyer before you accept anything!
What if I was partly responsible?
The law recognises that not all situations are black and white. In law, this is described as ‘contributory negligence’. As an example, if you step into the road without looking and a driver who is driving negligently hits you, you will have contributed to your own injury, albeit blame chiefly lies with the negligent driver.
Unless you have willingly assumed the risk of injury (by running into a burning building, for example) then you can still make a claim. The way claims of this type operate is straightforward: if you are 50% at fault, your total award will be halved. If you are 25% to blame, you will receive 75% of the compensation.
Personal Injury Solicitors Edinburgh
Why choose Thorley Stephenson for your personal injury claim?
- Offer a free initial interview to give basic advice.
- Provide access to experts whose input will be needed to ensure you receive the right compensation.
- Negotiate to achieve a fair settlement for you.
- Will take your case to trial, if a fair out-of-court settlement is not offered.
- Provide a no win, no fee service with no up-front fees – You will have no outlay even if your claim is unsuccessful.
- Provide advice which is both impartial and confidential.
- Explain the law in relation to accidents in plain English.
- Offer a free legal advice service to ascertain whether your claim is valid since you may not be sure.
- Recover all costs from the person (or organisation) at fault. You will receive 100% of any compensation awarded.
- Ensure that you will not be charged anything nor will any compensation be reduced.
Personal Injury Solicitors Edinburgh