FAQ

Claiming For Compensation

How do I get compensation?

There are millions of people in the UK and many who have not only been injured in vehicle accidents but also at work or in a public place that were no fault of their own. If you have suffered an injury that was caused by someone else, we are here to help.

At Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors Personal injury compensation is our specialty and we provide our customers with the very best representation for their personal injury claim.

Contact us at today to find out how our personal injury compensation claim service can help you.

If its more convenient, then please request a call back using the form opposite to get one of our dedicated team members to call you back at a time that’s suits you or pick up the phone and call us now on 0800 2800 976.

How long do I have to make a claim after an accident?

The law states you have three years from the date of the accident or the date when you knew or ought to have known that you had a claim for compensation, in which to make a claim. The longer you leave it to make a claim before you deal with it, the harder it becomes to pursue your personal injury claim as peoples memories fade and documents go missing.

The best advice is to contact Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors as soon as possible after the accident, on 0800 2800 976 so that we can help make a personal injury compensation claim.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

The amount of compensation you may receive depends on the circumstances and the severity of the injuries you received as a result of your accident, as well as the time it took to fully recover from your injuries. Because every case is different, it is impossible to give an exact indication of the amount you may receive but a rough guide is available here.

Due to legislation, a case will only be possible if the injuries warrant more than £1000 in compensation.

When should I make a claim?

You can make a claim up to 3 years after the accident. However it is advised that you make your claim as soon as possible in order to proceed with your claim in the most efficient way.

What will I have to do?

To make your claim simply call us on 0800 2800 976 and we will advise you on what to do next and guide you through the process.

At Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors our team knows that this is a very difficult time for you and we pride ourselves in making the process as easy as possible.

When you call in you will be given a dedicated file handler who will deal with your claim from start to finish. They will explain all of the different steps to our claims process, making it as easy for you as possible. Once you have spoken to your claims handler, we will send out one of our highly dedicated agents, to your home or place of work, whichever if preferred to explain all about the paperwork and how your claim will be handled and remember, if you do have any questions you will be able to call your claims handler who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What if I lose the claim, will it cost me anything?

You can protect yourself from the risk of losing your claim and having costs to pay by taking out insurance or by using legal expense insurance that you may already have. Amanda Cunliffe Soliictors will explore this with you and advise you on your best options. As long as you follow our advice you should not have anything to pay if you lose your claim.

Does it matter if I was injured whilst not wearing my seatbelt?

Your ability to claim compensation will not be affected by you not wearing a seat belt if one was fitted, but your compensation could be affected by up to 25%. It can also depend on what injuries occurred due to you not wearing the fitted seatbelt. Some injuries can also be caused by the wearing of seatbelts.

How are my damages calculated?

The damages that you are entitled to are calculated in accordance with those recommended on to Judges by the Judicial Studies Guide.

After the medical report has been obtained by the Solicitor, they will be able to give you more guidance as to what your claim could be worth.

How Much Will Making A Claim Cost Me?

We offer a no win, no fee structure, so you pay no up front fees.

Once your case has been won, we deduct our fee from your compensation award. Our success fee amounts to 25% of the compensation awarded, and this is deduced from your compensation cheque.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Will my claim need to go to Court?

Most claims for compensation are settled without even going near a court. Only a small number of claims go to court. You will not be obliged to go to court and a typical reason for the claim proceeding to court is if you are not happy with the compensation that has been offered to you or you decide to go to court instead of your solicitor.

Will I have to attend for a medical examination?

Yes. In most injury claims, the solicitor need a medical report from an independent medical expert in order to calculate the compensation claim. The medical expert will obtain your medical records from your GP and produces a balanced report that is sent to your solicitor.

Can I recover medical expenses?

Yes. The costs for medical expenses can be recovered and reimbursed to either you or your insurance company depending on who has paid for them. Such costs that be recovered include prescription charges, and even private medical expenses if you have been sent to a private medical examiner.

Is Legal Aid still available?

Yes. Legal Aid is available only in a very limited number of cases but is still available. Legal Aid can be awarded in cases of particular public interest or is an extremely high cost case.

What is Before the Event Insurance?

Before the Event Insurance (BTE) is taken out as an addition to other insurance policies, such as home contents, buildings policies, credit cards or other club memberships. Trade Unions can sometimes operate BTE schemes as well.

What is After the Event Insurance?

After the Event Insurance (ATE) is a policy that can be taken out by your solicitor, on your behalf. This is taken out to ensure that in the event of your claim not being successful you are not left liable for the payment of any legal disbursements made by your solicitor and the third party’s solicitors. If your claim is successful, the cost of the premium is usually recovered. If your claim is unsuccessful, the ATE premium is a self insured premium.

Before an ATE policy is taken out you need to make sure that you do not have a valid BTE insurance policy.

Personal Injury Questions

What does injury mean?

The legal definition of Injury is any physical or emotional harm. Damages can be claimed for psychiatric illnesses and physical injuries as an outcome of your accident.

What is a whiplash injury?

Whiplash mostly occurs in vehicle accidents involving sudden acceleration or deceleration. Whiplash is a term given to the soft tissue in the spine being stretched and strained, when the body is thrown in a sudden and forceful movement.

What is whiplash motion?

The whiplash motion starts at the time of impact in an accident. The head is thrown backwards whilst the body moves in a forwards direction. The muscles and ligaments in the joint get excessively straightened as a result of this movement, which is known as hyperextension. The head may then get thrown forwards causing the neck to over bend, which causes the chin to touch the chest. This movement is call hyper flexion, which can cause further damage to the neck.

The process for hyperextension, hyper flexion and returning to the typical neck position can take approximately 1/5th of a second. A whiplash injury can occur in a very short period of time and most people think that whiplash only occurs at high speed. Research has shown that in a car accident of no more than 8 mph, the head will move up to 40cm in a very short period.

The energy in an accident is transferred directly to the occupants of the vehicle. This energy comes from the change in velocity of the striking vehicle decelerating and the struck vehicle accelerating.

Whiplash is medically known as soft tissue damage. The whiplash movement very rarely affects the bones in the neck when it occurs; it is usually the muscles, joints and ligaments which suffer the effects and can cause extreme discomfort.

What is Whiplash-Associated Disorder?

The term whiplash was only meant to describe the flexing action of the neck rather than a neck injury. A study which was carried out on Whiplash Associated Disorders (WADs), called Quebec Task Force looked into the whiplash motion and its resulting injuries gave this definition to clarify the issue:

Whiplash is an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck. It may result from rear end or side impact motor vehicle collisions, but can also occur during diving and other mishaps. The impact may result in soft-tissue injuries (whiplash injury); this in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations (Whiplash Associated Disorders).

Some symptoms of Whiplash Associated Disorders can include neck pain, restricted neck movement, shoulder pain, tingling or heaviness in the arms, dizziness, tinnitus and pain down the legs.

What are the most common symptoms?

The most common symptoms of Whiplash Associated Disorders are pain and restricted movement in the neck. Research in the USA and Australia found the cause of neck pain to be in the facet joints. The facet joints are covered with a lubricating fluid and cartilage that allow the joint to rotate but do not perform their job properly when damaged.

The most common symptom of a whiplash injury as reported by over ¾ of people diagnosed with a Whiplash Associated Disorder are headaches. These occur due to damage to the cervical area between C1-C7 and are known as cervicogenic headaches. Inflammation of the nerves and damage to the joints and cervical discs are all possible reasons for cervicogenic headaches.

After a whiplash type injury pain in the lumber region of the back can also occur due to damage to the discs, facet joints and sacroiliac joints, which is experience by about half of whiplash sufferers.

Are there any less common symptoms?

Yes. Less common symptoms, what are reported by around a quarter of whiplash sufferers can include tingling in the arms and fingers, pain and heaviness. These can be caused by nerve inflammation as a result of cervical disc damage.

If damage is done to the starting point of a nerve, the pain is felt at the site the nerve serves. This is called referred pain and some whiplash sufferers experience pain in the arms and shoulders due to this, even if no injury has been identified in that area.

Whiplash sufferers have also reported memory loss, depression, concentration loss, sleep loss, irritability, ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and sometimes vision problems. All of which are considered to be caused by either pain, medication or very rarely a slight brain injury.

How do they diagnose Whiplash?

Identifying a whiplash injury can be extremely difficult, and many people who sustained a whiplash injury did not receive any treatment due to the injuries being dismissed as something suffered by hypochondriacs, purely because the injuries could not be seen on x-rays or identified by physical examination.

However whiplash is now a well document occurrence and the resulting injuries have been seen in many studies. Because of this, Whiplash Associated Disorders are now taken more seriously by doctors and it is easier to get compensation for your whiplash injury.

After a road traffic accident in any type of vehicle, anyone with suspected whiplash will often visit the accident and emergency department at the hospital or their local GP. The doctor will ask what symptoms the victim has, the circumstances of the accident and carry out a physical examination. If the doctor suspects a possible fracture, an x-ray will also be carried out immediately.

How do they Diagnose Whiplash Associated Disorders?

Further testing maybe carried out if after 12 weeks the symptoms persist or are painful. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, computed tomography (CT) scans, and electromyography are some of the techniques used to pin point a certain neck injury.

MRI scans can be used to the benefit of whiplash patients to see injuries, which include disc hernia’s, disc injuries and nerve compression due to the user of magnetism to visualise the tissues in the body.

Recovering Costs and Loss of Earnings

Can I recover loss of earnings?

Yes. You can recover for loss of earnings; any loss of earnings will get added onto your claim for injury.

Can I recover loss of earnings if I am self-employed?

Yes. Loss of earnings for self-employed people can be calculated by looking at copy accounts, invoices, and books etc. This does make it more difficult; however loss of earnings can still be calculated.

Can I be compensated for losing my job?

Yes. For the time that you were injured after you have lost your job, you can claims for loss of earnings. In other case you can recover compensation know as loss of congenial employment, which mean you can claim for the fact you loved your job and now have to take another job.

Can I recover future loss of earnings?

Yes. You can recover future loss of earning if your future earning capacity is going to be affected by your injury.

Can I be compensated for not being able to find another job after my injury?

Yes. This is generally awarded in a lump sum by the courts, which can cover loss of earnings from anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. This is dependent on the extent of the handicap and how you are going to be prejudiced on the open labour market.

Can I recover the cost of someone looking after me when I am injured?

Yes. The cost of a carer can usually be recovered, whether it be a professional carer that is justified by the medical evidence or a family member that is looking after you. The costs are calculated at different rates for a professional and a family member.

Can I recover the cost of hiring another vehicle whilst my vehicle is damaged?

Yes. Providing the cost of the vehicle is kept to a minimum and also providing the vehicle is similar to the one you have lost, the cost of a replacement vehicle can be recovered.

What could your claim be worth?