Our Guide Our Guide

CAM Legal Services can help you to pursue a claim for compensation because you have been injured as a result of someones negligence.

What do I do in the event of an accident?

Follow these four simple steps:

  1. Get as much ‘on the spot’ information as possible, photographs could be very helpful if possible.
  2. DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY.
  3. Try to obtain names, addresses and contact numbers of any witnesses.
  4. In the event of injury, you are obliged to contact the police.

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Why do I need expert advice?

According to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the presence of a lawyer meant that the final settlement was around 200 per cent more than if the injured claimant had accepted the first offer made by an insurer.

We also work in conjunction with a number of professionals including doctors, costs consultants, specialist accident investigators and barristers who have a wealth of experience.

We work in partnership with rehabilitation co-ordinators Unite Professionals http://www.uniteprofessionals.co.uk/ who have years of experience working with the victims of scooters, motorcycles and mopeds accidents who can arrange to assess you and organise treatment as quickly as possible to help you get back to work and normal life as soon as possible. This will not cost you anything.

You will need help to ensure you get the right advice to receive maximum compensation and to ensure your claim is progressed as efficiently as possible.

What happens next?

If you decide to pursue a claim, we will need to obtain a signed client care agreement, conditional fee agreement or contingency fee agreement, confirmation of your identity and address and obtain further details about your accident. This is the information gathering phase.

Once we have all the information we need we will then prepare a claims notification form (“cnf”), this document is used to start your claim.

The Ministry of Justice have arranged for all new personal injury claims where someone had been injured in an accident and the damages are likely to be over £1,000 but less than £25,000 to be processed through a computer Portal. The Portal is a system which is accessed by your lawyer and the Defendant’s insurer and they exchange information which enables them to assess the value of your claim and hopefully agree upon a settlement.

If your claim is more serious then it will then follow the personal injury pre-action protocol, if your claim is not settled in the Portal or through the personal injury protocol then you may need to issue proceedings.

Once your claim is sent to the Defendant then they will have a deadline to decide whether they agree their insured is responsible for your accident.

Sometimes claims can be agreed on the basis that the Defendant is only partly responsible for your accident, this is called contributory negligence. For example if you have a claim which is worth say £4,000 and liability is agreed at 50/50 in other words each party is equally to blame, then in this case you will receive £2,000. You will receive your full entitlement to costs from the Defendant.

What can I claim?

You are able to claim for two types of damages:-

Firstly general damages for the pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Secondly, you are also able to claim for special damages, which is out of pocket expenses, these can include loss of earnings, travel, care and damage to clothing for example. We will advise you on what you can and cannot claim as the claim progresses. I enclose a special damages questionnaire for you to complete and return.

How do we know what a claim is worth?

Your lawyer will arrange for you to see a medical expert, who will examine you and prepare a report establishing the seriousness of your injuries and they may indicate when you are expected to recover. Sometimes they will wait for a further period of time before the expert can say how long the symptoms are likely to last, this could be if you are receiving treatment, such as physiotherapy and the expert may want to wait to see how you get on with the treatment before making a final decision on the likely length of your symptoms.

We will also look at other court cases where the symptoms are similar to establish the likely range of your award.

What if you cannot agree a settlement with the Defendant’s insurer?

If proceedings are issued then the court will set down a timetable for your case and arrange a trial window when they expect to decide on whether you have a claim (a trial) or assess the level of your damages.

The vast amount of personal injury claims (around 95%) settle before they go to a court hearing, typically a Claimant will make an offer, the Defendant will make a counter offer and then after some discussions between the parties a figure is reached between the two parties. We will guide you through the process and advise you on whether we think you should accept the offer.

Will I have to pay any costs?

If your claim is worth less than £25,000, you will be able to recover limited legal costs from the Defendant.

You will pay a success fee which will be deducted from your damages. This excludes future losses and is capped at 25%.

You may also need to take out an insurance policy, which will costs £200 and be deducted from your damages.

If your claim is worth over £25,000 then your costs will be recorded on our hourly rate and we will try and agree the costs with the Defendant at the end of the claim, sometimes the Court has to get involved to decide the correct level of costs.

How long will my case take?

The Portal and Protocol both set down timeframes for a response from the Defendant at each stage. How long a case takes will depend upon how quickly you supply us with information at the start, how quickly you give us instructions when we need a response, how quickly the Defendant responds and most importantly how quickly you take to recover. This means you can influence how long your claim takes.

Typically a straight forward case can settle within nine months whilst a more complex claim may take two years or more, so on average a case will take fifteen months. However, with the majority of cases going through the Portal and more fixed costs then this will hopefully mean cases are dealt with more quickly in the future.

If you do have any more questions then please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my team on 0333 200 4605 or email enquiries@camlegalservices.co.uk