At Jackson Boyd we have extensive experience of helping people from across Scotland who have suffered injuries as a result of negligence. When we are instructed we frequently get asked the same questions, which we’ve shared and answered below.
How long will it take?
Our aim is always to help quickly and effectively whilst putting your needs first. In an ideal world, your claim would be resolved within weeks but, unfortunately, the reality is the length of time it takes for claims to conclude can range from months to years.
There are two main factors that will play a part in how long things will take:
- Is the cause of the accident/injuries straight forward?
- Has the other party accepted liability for the accident/negligence?
- How severe are your injuries?
- Have you made a full recovery?
- Are your symptoms on-going?
If your injuries are serious we would not be encouraging an early settlement, as to enable us to accurately value your claim we ideally need a starting point (the accident date) and an ending point (the recovery date).
Unfortunately, some of our clients suffer life-changing injuries that they will never fully recover from. In these cases it is important we have the full picture of the impact your injuries have had so, in addition to extensive input from a range of independent medical experts, we may also require input from other experts, such as vocational consultants and pension experts. All this can take time.
How much will I get?
This is probably the most common question we get, and we understand why! However, we can never answer this question at the outset of a claim, as it is dependent on the progress of the injuries, the content of the medical reports (see question 4) and other losses you have suffered (such as a loss of earnings or if you have required services). Our article, ‘More Than Just Personal Injury’ details out the various other losses you can recover.
The progress of your injuries is crucial in correctly valuing your claim, as what can first appear to be a relatively minor injury with a short-term recovery period can turn out to be more severe in nature. An example of this can be found here.
Once we are further into your claim and have obtained all the necessary reports, we will be able to give you a rough indication of what we would expect to achieve.
What does it cost me?
For all personal injury work, we provide a no-win, no-fee service, which is exactly as it says – if your claim is successful our fee is 20% plus VAT of your settlement figure; however, if your claim is not successful we do not charge a fee.
Will I need to go for a medical examination?
Yes. We will arrange a consultation with an independent medical expert (even if you are no longer experiencing any symptoms from the injury), who will examine you and thereafter provide us with a medical report detailing their independent medical opinion of the injuries suffered. The medical report will form the basis of our valuation of your injuries.
The type and severity of your injuries will determine which independent expert we instruct. Depending upon the severity we may require to instruct more than one expert. We have access to a wide-ranging field of highly-regarded experts, from orthopaedic specialists to psychiatrists.
Do I need to have received medical treatment to pursue a claim for my injuries?
No. Clients often think they are unable to pursue a claim for their injuries if they did not receive any medical treatment; however, this is not essential.
Why do you need my medical records?
We require access to your GP/hospital records even if you haven’t received any medical treatment. Your medical records are securely forwarded to the independent medical expert who will confirm sight of these in their medical report. This ensures the independent medical expert is satisfied the injuries you have suffered are as a result of the third party’s negligence and not another cause i.e. an underlying, pre-existing condition.
We will never release your medical records to any third party without your express consent.
Will I have to go to court?
This is dependent on a number of factors and can rarely be answered at the outset of a claim. The most frequent reasons for claims being litigated (proceeding to court) includes: the liability of the accident or the cause of the injuries being disputed; the third party not making any offers (sometimes this can simply be due to their workload); or your claim approaching triennium (the 3 year time limit from the date you sustained your injuries to raise court proceedings by).
Why do you need my national insurance number?
The third party insurers will not proceed with your claim for injury without this, as they write to the Department for Work and Pensions to establish if you are claiming any benefits related to the accident.
Can you help me with rehabilitation?
At Jackson Boyd, we know that rehabilitation is a crucial part of your personal injury or medical negligence claim. Jackson Boyd is able to arrange your rehabilitation treatment with our own treatment providers, meaning that you can be seen immediately and without any waiting around. You can find out more about rehabilitation in your personal injury claim here.
What happens if I’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or untraced driver?
You may be entitled to make a compensation claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The MIB is an organisation set up to compensate victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.
It is, however, vital that you report the accident to the police straight away as the MIB will want these details. Our article, ‘What To Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Or Untraced Driver’ covers this in more detail.