We have put together a summary of the most frequently asked questions concerning personal injury claims. Simply click the question to see the answer. If you would like further information or to speak to a personal injury advisor, please call us on 0300 333 0303.
Why should I instruct a solicitor?
Instructing a solicitor through UnionLine makes the process of claiming for compensation much easier. You will need some professional advice to make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are due. Insurers will try to under-settle your claim at an early stage.
How long is my claim likely to take?
Most claims are resolved within six months, but this can vary depending on the type of claim and how serious your injuries are.
In the majority of cases, the defendant’s insurer is allowed three months at the outset of your claim to admit or deny liability for your injuries. If liability is admitted quickly then a claim could settle within a few weeks.
Cases involving injury of a catastrophic nature can take a number of years to resolve.
How long do I have to make my claim?
You have three years to make your claim – either to resolve the claim or to commence court proceedings. In the case of clinical negligence and industrial disease claims, you have three years from when you became aware of the injury or condition. Claims can be made for children in England and Wales up to three years following their 18th birthday, and three years following their 16th birthday in Scotland.
How do I prove I was injured?
You will need to attend an independent medical examination to prove that you suffered an injury. We will make the arrangements on your behalf, where possible, at a venue local to you.
The medical expert will prepare a report based on their findings from the examination. If you are satisfied with its content, this report will be relied on as evidence of your injury.
Why do you need to review medical records?
We may need to see your medical records to prove that you have suffered an injury. We may also need to check that there were no pre-existing conditions that could have contributed to or been worsened by your injury.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation varies from case to case. Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) depend on the type of injury you sustained or the condition from which you suffer, the period you suffered for, and the effect it will have on the quality and enjoyment of life you previously had.
Damages for this aspect of a claim can range from £1,500 to £6,000 for a whiplash injury in a road accident, to over £300,000 for a brain injury suffered in an accident at work.
In serious injury cases, claims for PSLA are usually only a small proportion of the overall damages awarded which can often run into millions of pounds when dealing with significant, life changing injuries. Such cases are usually made up of claims for loss of past and future earnings, medical treatment, nursing care costs, and even claims for new or adapted accommodation.
Our team of expert lawyers will be able to advise you on the likely value of any compensation award once all the medical evidence is available, outlining the injuries you have suffered and how these will affect you in the future.
Can I recover my expenses?
You can include reasonable expenses you incur as direct result of your accident in your claim. This may include lost earnings, medication fees and vehicle repair costs.
Who can make a claim under my union membership?
You, or any member of your immediate family can make a claim for compensation through your union membership.
Will you take a deduction from my compensation?
UnionLine offers a ‘no win, no fee’ service. Unlike other firms that you may see advertised, we also don’t charge you a fee if we do win your case – other firms may take a cut of the damages they win for you.
You also won’t be liable to pay the costs of the other side should you lose your case, but other firms can make you take out insurance to cover the cost of this. There are two exceptions to this. The court could order that you are liable for the costs – if the case goes to court and a judge decides that there is what is called ‘fundamental dishonesty’ or if the other sides makes an offer of compensation and a court awards an amount less than the offer. Each of these circumstances is rare and the risk would be discussed with the fee earner dealing with the case.
UnionLine guarantees that you will receive 100% of the compensation we win for you.
What kinds of claims does UnionLine cover?
If you have suffered from an accident or injury that was not your fault, you can bring a claim through UnionLine.
We deal with personal injury claims that cover: road traffic accidents for drivers, pedestrians and passengers; accidents at work, public liability accidents, industrial disease, slips and trips, animal attacks, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims, travel accidents, and clinical negligence cases.
Why do I have to provide information for the claim when I am the one who was injured?
As the claimant in a personal injury case, it is your duty to prove the accident or injury you suffered was the fault of the defendant – that is the person you are claiming against.
Will making a claim against my employer affect me at work?
You cannot lose your job simply for making a personal injury claim against your employer.
Your employer is legally required to have insurance to cover the risk of injuries to employees and accidents in the workplace.
If I have already been dealing with another firm, can I still bring my case to UnionLine?
We are happy to consider the merits of your claim at any stage in the process, even if you have been dealing with another firm, but you should bear in mind that, depending on how far you are along in the claims process, you may have to pay a charge to your current firm for them to release the case.
Some firms will want an upfront fee to hand over your file of papers, but others may want to take a percentage of the damages you win. This is to cover work they have already done on your case.
There are many reasons why you may want to change firms, and we are happy to discuss your options with you before you make any decisions. You can call our legal advice line for guidance.