What Sort of Person Makes a Claim?
Most claims cases are unremarkable. They involve ordinary people, who are often unable to work and cannot pay their mortgage, rent or other bills.
The majority do not initially want to make a claim. Often they come to me because their employer is only paying the minimum sick pay, despite their being off sick after an accident at work. Or, they have been involved in a car accident and are having to pay privately for physiotherapy to ease neck and back pain.
Personal Injury Myths
Despite what is reported is the newspapers, personal injury claims are not a windfall. If you win, you are compensated for financial losses and awarded something for pain and suffering. The awards are in many cases not that generous: for example, the maximum guideline figure for a broken leg is around £7000, unless it is a particularly complicated or long lasting fracture.
Most personal injury lawyers do not take on frivolous or silly cases, because under no win no fee arrangements we don’t get paid if we lose the case. So if I take your case on, it is because I think you will win.
The vast majority of cases DO NOT go to court. Most cases settle through a process of negotiation between the Claimant’s lawyers and the Defendant’s insurers. Even in high value or complex cases it is often more efficient to settle out of court.
Is It Just About Money?
Having seen hundreds of injured people during the course of my career, there are lots of things apart from money that I can help with.
The most obvious is the injury itself. People who are in pain want the best possible and quickest treatment. I have therefore set up an arrangement with Thetford Physiotherapy Sports and Injury Clinic to provide immediate treatment to clients who have a good case. The cost of that treatment is then claimed back from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. If the case does not succeed you don’t pay.
I refer people to appropriate specialists. If, for example, you have a back injury, I will instruct a back specialist to report on your injury and recommend treatment, which can often be done privately, at no cost to you. You may not get the same level of expertise or speed via the NHS.
What About Justice?
Sometimes people feel wronged and simply want justice to be done. Making a successful claim can bring a sense that the wrong has been righted.
Areas of Specialism
Although I deal with all the mainstream types of claim I have particular expertise in claims by adults who were abused as children. These cases can involve public bodies such as local authorities whose employees abused those in their care. Where abuse was by a family member there is often a right to compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme. The usual 3 year time limit for making a claim (2 years for CICA cases) can be extended in abuse cases, so even if it happened decades ago it may not be too late. However once you become aware that you may be able to claim, you should seek advice quickly.
I am a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, a group formed in the 1990’s to assist lawyers undertaking this work, and to share knowledge. Membership of this group means I have access to resources such as the latest reported cases and lists of appropriately qualified medical experts and barristers.
For those whose first language is Portuguese I work with a Portuguese lawyer who is fluent in English and who can translate all documents and interpret at meetings.
I have a postgraduate diploma in medical law and have particular expertise in cases involving mental health, mental capacity and the deprivation of liberty safeguards. I have also brought many more straightforward medical negligence cases against hospital trusts and local authorities.