Accident and Injury Claims

Legal-Hour-Accident-and-Injury-Claims

Our Accident and Injury Claims Legal Hour is hosted by Yasmin Ameer, Senior Associate in our Personal Injury Team.

 
If you require further help regarding accident and injury claims, please phone us on 01279 755777 or contact Yasmin Ameer directly. 

Our Accident and Injury Claims Team will be hosting the Nockolds Legal Hour on the following dates:

Wednesday 6th December 2017 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 7th February 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 21st March 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 2nd May 2018  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 13th June 2018  12pm - 1pm 

Our Latest Legal Hour Questions (06.12.17)

Read your previously answered questions here

A member of my family has recently been involved in a serious accident that has resulted in various physical and emotional injuries. They would like to make a claim a personal injury claim but are worried about the cost implications of doing this. What types of funding is available in order to help? 

Personal injury claims can be funded in a number of ways – all of which are designed to prevent the claimant as far as possible from losing money. 

Most Personal Injury claims are funded by a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA), which is more commonly known as a “no win no fee” agreement. In their simplest form, these agreements basically mean that you would not be required to pay any legal fees unless you win your case. However, similarly if you are to lose, you may be required to pay your opponents costs. For this reason, we often recommend that you also obtain After The Event Insurance (ATE). This type of insurance will cover you for any costs that you may incur and is normally taken out alongside the CFA. 

It may be that you already have some sort of insurance policy in place already; this is known as Before The Event Insurance (BTE). If this is the case, then generally there is no need to enter into a CFA as the insurance will cover the costs of both sides.

There is also the potential for some cases to be eligible for public funding known as Legal Aid. However this is generally for clinical negligence claims and the case must comply with strict funding criteria. 
It is important that you discuss all potential funding options with your solicitor before a claim is issued - this will ensure that you have a full understanding of what is involved and are aware of any associated risks.  

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. 

Our daughter was born in May 2014. At the time of her birth there were some complications and she had shoulder dystocia. There was an inexperienced midwife in charge and she was late in calling for assistance. At the time of birth our daughter appeared to be distressed and was rushed out of the room and placed in resusitaire. Shortly afterwards we were told that the baby was well and we had nothing to worry about. We brought the baby home and although she seemed lethargic, we were first time parents and didn’t really notice anything different. As she grew older we were concerned about some aspects of her development but again we were told she was a ‘slow learner’. She is now just over 3 and half and she has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury and cerebral palsy. We have now been told that it is likely that this injury occurred during her birth. It is now over 3 years since our daughter was born. Is it too late to make a claim? How do we get started?
Although there is generally a limitation period of three years from the date of the injury or the date of knowledge, whichever occurred later, that three year limitation period does not apply in the case of a child. In the case of a child the limitation period is still three years but it does not start to run until the child is 18. In other words, your daughter will have until her 21st birthday in order to pursue her claim. Limitation period will expire on her 21st birthday. 
To get started with the claim is not a complicated matter. You will need to select a specialist solicitor who has experience in cerebral palsy cases and in particular to birth injuries. The Solicitor instructed will then obtain the medical notes from the Hospital and the GP and consider these notes in order to study the circumstances surrounding your daughter’s birth. All of the medical notes should be available and therefore it would be quite easy for the solicitor to check whether there was any breach of duty or fault on the part of the midwife and the hospital at the time of your daughter’s birth. It will also be necessary to establish that the brachial plexus injury and the cerebral palsy arose as a result of such breach of duty. 

In cases such as your daughter’s, a number of medical experts will need to be instructed but the solicitor will look after all of this. If it can be established that the midwife was in any way at fault during the birth of your daughter and it was that fault that gave rise to your daughter’s current injury/disability then there will be a claim. Your solicitor will write a letter of claim to the hospital and start off the claim. 
If a claim is established and your daughter is successful then damages will be recoverable for all of her disabilities. If it is possible to get an early admission of liability from the hospital for your daughter’s injuries then it should be possible for your solicitors to obtain substantial interim payments before the claim is settled in order to provide your daughter with proper rehabilitation, support and any medical treatment that she may require.

Because your daughter is still very young it is unlikely that this claim will settle for a further period of time of around another eight years or so. In the meantime, as we say, interim payments will be made available to enable her to have a quality level of rehabilitation and provide for all of her needs. 
We offer a free consultation for claims such as this and if you would like to discuss the matter further please do get in touch with us.