FAQ

PERSONAL INJURY

What does “No Win-No Fee” actually mean?

Wimbledon Solicitors is a solicitors firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. No Win No Fee arrangements ensure that if you do not win your accident claim, you do not have to pay your solicitor fee. Our team of expert solicitors provide the best legal services on time, without charging you even a penny.

Can I claim compensation if my accident happened some time ago?

Yes. If you have suffered injuries at the fault of others and if the accident happened in the UK and the accident was within a period of last three years to lodge your compensation claim in court.

Do I need to visit my appointed solicitors?

It depends on case to case basis. Most of the information regarding the claims can be taken over phone or by emails. However, in case of need when the solicitors feel that more clear information has to be taken for which they need to have personal interactions, an appointment with the solicitor will be scheduled as per your convenience, and will be communicated to you accordingly. There will be no special solicitors fees charged for any such visits/meetings.

If accident happened at my work and I make a claim against my employer, can my employer dismiss me?

No. Your employer has no right to dismiss you. Your employer is required by law to sponsor insurance cover against staff/employees accidents. It means that your employer’s insurance company will pay your compensation, and not your employer. Most of the employers do act in the interest of the staff and be in good conduct of the laws. However, if the employer acts against laws he will be liable for unfair dismissal and damages.

Do I have right to claim compensation?

In the civil society every individual say for example – employer, a fellow workmate or another driver should have been taking reasonable care for you or other’s safety. Therefore if you suffered injuries at the fault of others, you will be entitled to claim for injuries suffered. Our expert solicitors will brief/explain you about your rights to claim, before they start the legal claim process with your consent.

How much compensation can I get for my injuries?

As per the law there are no standard charts that decide the compensation amount. Our expert team of personal injury solicitors will be able to give you some guidelines about – how much you might be entitled for your kind of claim. See our compensation calculator to get an approximate value of amount you may claim basing on the seriousness of the injury. The amount in this guide is only for your injuries, pain and suffering. Your claim amount may increase when added by other losses like – loss of earnings or treatment costs.

Who pays the compensation?

It will be the other side (defendant-who is at fault) insurance company who will be paying all your legal claims. However, if the other party is an un-insured motorist, or in the absence of insurance, the Motor Insurers Bureau ensures to pay you damages.

Hidden Costs

Will I lose a percentage of my compensation or otherwise be charged?

Do I pay if I withdraw?

NO. You will not pay any penny if you wish to with draw the case in time with a proper communication. However, we cannot assure if you failed to communicate us in time before the case was initiated as per your instructions and where prior expenses being incurred, liability being admitted and proceedings issued.

Please ensure proper and immediate communication to the solicitors if you are willing to withdraw your claim, in order that steps can be taken to help you avoid any un-necessary legal cost and consequences.

How long will a personal injury claim take?

We at Wimbledon Solicitors assure the same day claim process, leading things as quick as possible.  By our experience we can assure claims can be settled in minimum time. However, injury cases that are severe in nature generally take longer time. Every case is different and need to be handled prudently. Our expert solicitor will help you to know the average time that may be taken in your type of cases. We only act on your directions and make sure that your interest are of supreme importance.

Do I have to fill out loads of paperwork?

All the required paper work will be handled by our expert solicitors. There will be no burden on you, except to check the details of your claim before they are submitted for the claim.

Do I need to attend court calls?

Most of the cases get settled before attending the court as our expert solicitors take every possible measure to notify that the other side (defendant) is at fault and is liable for the injuries suffered. However, if the case is complicated and demand your presence for completing the legal process, then you may have to attend the court calls, which happens in rarest cases.

Do I have right to claim? I don’t know who caused the accident?

Yes. You can claim for the injury that was caused by an act of others, whom you don’t recognise, leading to criminal injury. Criminal injuries can be serious leaving victims suffering from lasting physical and psychological damage and distress. We deal with all types of criminal injuries and do assist you in getting claim by:

  • Assessing the damage caused due to an injury both – physical and mental.
  • Evaluating past or future lost earnings or special expenses caused by criminal attack, etc.
  • Getting right claim in case of permanent or temporary disability.
  • Acting on behalf of you for every right of claim.

Note: You can make a claim directly from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).  See www.cica.gov.uk for more information.

This is my first experience for legal claims – should I be worried?

Wimbledon Solicitors is there to protect and safe guard your interest. We assure you quality legal assistance and will act upon your directions aiming to put you on the most beneficial side. Wimbledon Solicitors has been successfully using specialist solicitors and has helped many injured people win their claims.

What will happen after you submit a claim?

MIB will confirm receipt as soon as possible and explain what action is being taken. The action will vary depending on the case and the information you have been able to supply. However, as well as investigating the amount of your claim, we must try and contact the uninsured motorist to obtain his account of the accident as well as his permission to intervene.

Why do you need the permission of the uninsured motorist to deal with my claim?

Even uninsured motorists have the right in law to deal with their own affairs, and the agreement does not permit us to ignore their rights. However, if the uninsured motorist does not co-operate, we will tell you what options appear to be available to progress your claim.

What if the motorist cannot be identified?

If you have been injured by a vehicle that does not stop, you will be able to submit a claim under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement. Damage to property claims can only be considered if the accident occurred on or after 14 February 2003.

The accident must be reported to the police within 5 days and a claim made within 9 months.  It is a requirement that the vehicle causing the damage must be identified as a condition of being able to claim for property damage.

If you have been injured you must report the accident within 14 days to the police or as soon as reasonably possible.

What is the position with Cross Border Claims?

For green card claims, that is accidents which have occurred in the UK where the other is foreign registered, the claim will be investigated according to UK Law and contact made with foreign bureaux or insurers.

Claim arising from accidents abroad can be more complex as local law may apply.

How long will my claim take?

This is difficult to predict as many factors are involved.

If your claim is limited to property damage or minor injury it should be resolved in 4 or 5 months, or less.

If, on the other hand, your claim involves contested liability, evidentiary difficulties, or serious injury it may require the police report to be obtained, which can take some time, especially if its release is delayed by criminal prosecutions.

Injury claims can also be delayed if it is difficult for your doctors to agree on the effects, and you may be advised to wait until you have recovered fully, before agreeing any compensation.

MIB will make every effort to reach a decision on responsibility for the accident within three months and to keep you informed. Where there seems to be the prospect of a long delay, MIB will consider an interim payment.

Claims arising from accidents abroad may depend on responses from foreign bureau and insurers and can take longer.

Will my claim be paid in full?

Responsibility for the accident has to be agreed, decided by a Court in uninsured cases or an arbitrator if the responsible driver is untraced. The decision will be based on the evidence, and your claim may be reduced by a proportion, or possibly rejected if the evidence is that you were partly or wholly responsible.

Where MIB accepts a claim is one for payment, property damage claims (which includes claims for losses arising from the damage to property, as may be allowed by a court) will have an excess of £300 deducted. If the accident occurred before 1 October 1999, the excess applicable (under the previous Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement) will be £175.

For accidents dealt with under the Uninsured Agreement, which occur on or after 07 November 2008, no excess will be deducted.  For accidents dealt with under the Untraced Agreement, the £300 excess still applies.

There is no excess on green card claims.

Injury claims including loss of earnings, are subject to a legal obligation on MIB to refund to the Department for Work and Pensions certain benefits that you have been paid as a result of the accident, and to deduct that amount from your claim for loss of earnings. You are advised by the DWP as to the amount MIB has to pay and, if you disagree, you have a right of appeal to the DWP.

What can I do if I think I have grounds for complaint?

MIB endeavours to handle all claims quickly and efficiently however, if you are dissatisfied contact your solicitor or representative and ask him to resolve the problem by telephone.

If you are not represented you should contact the claims handler in the first instance to discuss and advise them of your concerns or issues.

The handler will then attempt to resolve the situation.

If you remain dissatisfied you may lodge a formal complaint. You can write to the Customer Service Manager who will investigate your complaint and attempt to resolve the matter.

If you feel your complaint has not been resolved through this procedure, the Chief Executive of the MIB is always happy to review any decisions on complaints. If you are still not satisfied and your complaint is a matter of principle that may be of public interest, you can write to the Minister for Transport. The minister will want assurance that our complaints procedure has been followed before becoming involved.

How does CICA handle my application?

When they receive your completed application form, they will give you a personal reference number. This helps them identify your case quickly when you contact us. CICA will then contact the police and, if we need to, your doctor or the hospital that treated you, and any other organisations or people with relevant information about your claim.

If you need help or advice while they are working on your claim you can call the helpline.

As soon as your case is registered they start our enquiries by gathering information from the police. This helps CICA assess whether you are eligible. When they get the police report they will decide whether they can take your application further. CICA may need more information before they can make a final decision. It takes time to collect this information but they work closely with the police and medical authorities to get it as quickly as possible. They will write to tell you about our progress.

How long will this take?

CICA may take a year or more to make a final decision. More complex cases can take longer, especially if they involve loss of earnings or future medical expenses.

Wherever possible, they settle applications by offering a single payment of compensation – a final award. But they can only do this if your medical condition and financial losses are clear. If there is likely to be a long delay in getting this information, but you are clearly eligible for compensation, they may be able to pay some of the money before the final award is made. They call this an interim payment and we would deduct it from your final payment.

What do you do with my personal information?

CICA keep and use the information you provide under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. This means you can ask to see all the personal information they have about you.

What happens when CICA make their decision?

As soon as they make a decision, they will write to tell you or your representative what it is.

If we have reduced or refused an award, we will tell you why.

What do I do if I agree with CICA’s decision?

If you wish to accept our decision, you will need to sign the acceptance form and return it to CICA.

They need your written acceptance of an award within 90 days of the date the decision was issued. If they do not get this within 90 days and you do not apply for a review, they may withdraw the award.

What if I disagree with CICA’s decision?

Asking for a review

If you disagree with CICA decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed. They send you a review form and a guide to review procedures when they issue the first decision. The person who made the first decision will not make the review decision.

Appealing against the review decision

If you disagree with CICA review decision you can appeal to the Tribunals Service – Criminal Injuries Compensation (TS), who are independent of CICA. They will send you an appeal form and a guide to appeal procedures when they issue the review decision.

How are the awards paid?

CICA pay awards electronically to bank or building society accounts.

They no longer accept an instruction to make an award payable to anyone other than the applicant. This policy applies to applications received on or after 7 October 2010.

Applications received prior to this date will continue to have the facility to pay an applicant’s award to a nominated person such as a representative, friend or relative should the applicant instruct us to do so.

This change in policy does not affect applications made on behalf of adults who do not manage their own financial affairs or applications made on behalf of children or young people. They will continue to operate a policy of retaining awards until children or young people reach the age of 18, as outlined below.

Special arrangements for payment of awards

CICA may sometimes need to make special arrangements for paying an award, to take account of the circumstances of the victim or other relevant issues.

For example, if the victim is a child they will retain the award in an interest-bearing bank account until the child is 18 years old. Awards for adults legally incapable of handling their own affairs may be paid into trusts for the applicant’s benefit.