If the injury is relatively minor, the injured person has made a full recovery and there are no other financial losses, we can provide an accurate assessment of the value of a claim at an early stage. Even in these cases, it is sometimes difficult to provide an exact figure because all claims are subject to many variables including the skill of those conducting any negotiations upon the Claimant’s behalf.
Often it is more problematic to advise on the precise value of a claim, particularly if the injuries are severe and remain ongoing, with possible other associated losses. The value may depend upon many factors including the severity of the injury, for how long the injured person may have suffered or may continue to suffer, plus any other financial losses arising, such as losses of earnings.
When considering a claim for financial compensation, broadly there are three areas of claim to investigate. These are:
- General damages based on the actual injuries the person has suffered. The extent and severity of the injury dictates the possible award of damages. Where an individual suffers multiple injuries, the financial value of each specific injury is considered. Use our General Damages Calculator to estimate the value of your claim.
- Special damages namely the out of pocket expenses arising from the accident or negligent medical treatment, supported by receipts and invoices where possible. Experienced lawyers are able to secure the amount in special damages you deserve.
- Future losses are the losses and expenses likely to arise after the conclusion of the claim. Sometimes these sums may make up the highest proportion of the claim particularly if the injuries are severe and remain ongoing.
The sum awarded to you will be the combined total for General and Special Damages, plus Future Losses when they arise. Interest may also need to be added to the appropriate parts of the claim.
Before assessing any claim for medical negligence, it is vital to review the contents of the patient’s medical records, including the GP notes even if the claim does not involve the General Practitioner. When we represent you, M R Law will obtain your medical records on your behalf.
If you wish to obtain copies of your medical records yourself, you should write to the GP and/or the hospital to request all the notes. The healthcare providers may then ask you to complete a form consenting to disclosure of the records.
The general rule is that you are entitled to access all your records under the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Access to Health Records Act 1990, whether produced on computer or manually. A GP or hospital cannot refuse your request to access your own records subject to some minor exceptions.
Following a written request for copies of your medical records, the notes should be provided within a maximum period of 40 days. Exceptions could be:
- If the patient’s notes include entries that could cause harm to the patient or anyone else if they read them, the healthcare provider is entitled to refuse a request.
- Where the notes also refer to another patient, if disclosure might constitute a breach of confidentiality to that other patient, the GP or hospital may refuse a request by a patient to access their records.
- Where it is not possible to supply the patient with the notes, for instance when the records have been destroyed.
There is not usually a charge if you wish to read your notes, however there is likely to be a charge made by the healthcare providers for sending copy records.
The maximum fee for access to records is £10.00 and the cost of photocopying is claimable at 35p per sheet. The maximum total fee for accessing and supplying copy notes is £50.00 for each set of records, irrespective of the amount of records supplied.
For claims involving medical or clinical negligence, they usually require a greater amount of investigation and a more realistic timescale is between 9 to 48 months. More complex medical negligence claims, requiring comprehensive investigations into the treatment provided and the injuries sustained could take a number of years to conclude.
Where an individual has been involved in an accident and they have sustained a personal injury, on average, most cases can be resolved in 6 to 24 months. Some claims, for example following a road traffic accident, where an individual sustains a whiplash injury and makes a full recovery could be resolved in a matter of a few months.
Watch our short video to help you understand the personal injury process.
Many firms handle injury claims, but the quality of representation varies significantly. Some firms have inexperienced and unqualified claims handlers, with no legal qualifications, and minimal supervision resulting in poorly handled cases, substantial delays and recovery of inadequate damages. Always ask your lawyers what qualifications they have and what their success rate in handling similar cases is.
Some lawyers may not charge you any fees, but they will take a percentage of your compensation in damages. Prior to signing a contract with your lawyers, ask what your financial liabilities could be.
At M R Law we guarantee qualified and experienced injury lawyers will handle your claim at all times. We do not charge our clients, whether the case is won or lost. We recover our fees from the responding party and guarantee that you receive 100% of the compensation awarded.
It is extremely unlikely you will need to attend court. The overwhelming majority of cases settle without the issuing of proceedings, let alone you having to attend court. We estimate only 1 to 2% of all claims conclude at court, so the need of attending court is highly unlikely.
No. We do not use forms, questionnaires or repeatedly ask you for the same information. We obtain all the relevant details quickly and with the minimum of inconvenience to you.
It can be, but the point of instructing experienced and knowledgeable solicitors is to help you through the process and to minimise any stress for you. Our expertise ensures we deal with all claims in a friendly and approachable, yet determined fashion, making the process for you as simple as possible.
Not at all. We take pride in representing people from all over England, Wales and beyond in cases where the accident happened in the UK. We use telephone, e-mail or any other form of communication for the majority of the claim. Where a meeting is required, we will always travel to see you at home if that is your preference. You are not required to travel to our Offices.
We are extremely conscious a claim is more than seeking compensation. No amount of money may compensate for life changing injuries, but we aim to ensure that the quality of the injured person’s life is the best achievable, both during and after conclusion of the claim. Sometimes our clients want answers. We are passionate about achieving justice and in so doing promoting advances in health and safety or care and treatment in hospitals.
Whilst most personal injury claims tend to follow a reasonably similar pattern, this does not detract from the need for experienced and proactive specialists to deal with your claim.
When we take on your case, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide entirely specific to your circumstances on how we intend to pursue the claim on your behalf, together with a proposed timescale to conclusion.
You can choose to begin the investigations into your claim at any time; however, it is usually advisable not to delay investigations for too long as evidence may get lost or witnesses disappear. There are specific time limits for the commencement of any court proceedings. If you do not comply with these time limits, you may be unable to pursue a claim.
The usual rule, subject to the exceptions below, is for the commencement of court proceedings in respect of a claim by no later:
- Than three years from the date of the incident causing the injury; or
- Three years from the date, the person bringing the claim first became aware of the injury.
Exceptions could be:
- In cases involving injuries to children, proceedings must be commenced before their 21st birthday.
- For mentally incapacitated individuals, there is no time limit for commencing proceedings.
- In cases where an individual later dies after suffering injuries, the three-year period recommences from the date of death.
- The other rare exceptions to the three-year rule include applications to the CICA where the maximum time limit is 2 years from the date of the incident or from when the person bringing the claim first became aware of the injury.
- If issuing proceedings in another country for an accident outside the UK, different time limits may apply.
If you are concerned about the handling of your claim by other lawyers, we are able to take it over with the minimum of disruption and consequences for you. You should never accept a poor quality of service when dealing with potentially one of the most important events in your life.
- If you are concerned about how your current lawyer is dealing with the claim, we always advise you initially raise your concerns with them. They may be able to provide reassurance.
- If you remain dissatisfied with their response and the problems are continuing, you may wish to seek a second opinion from another firm.
- You should never be concerned about seeking independent advice. You want to achieve the best award of compensation possible.
- We are able to offer you advice without charge or commitment on how we may be able to assist, following which you can decide whether you wish to change solicitors.
If you decide to move your case, the process is simple and straightforward. We will take care of all the necessary arrangements. All that is usually required is to sign some consent forms requesting we take over your claim, which we will then send to your existing solicitors.
If you wish to transfer your papers, it should not have any financial consequences for you. If you request our involvement and it then transpires there are financial consequences with your current lawyers, you can always decide not to make a change.