Category: Dispute Resolution

Vouched For Rob Clarke

5 Star Robert Clarke

5 Star Robert Clarke It wasn’t long ago we were congratulating Rob on his Crystal’ Anniversary as a Solicitor, now we are once again celebrating his achievement this time for his client care and service. Rob has been recognised by Vouchedfor  the comparison website for professional services for receiving 5-star feedback from clients for the  spring. 

The award is a fantastic recognition and goes to show what his clients think of his work  particularly in personal injury and negligence claims in which he specialises. When seeking out help from solicitors, we encourage clients to view reviews from other sources as well as the company’s website. We are very proud of the achievement from Rob, and we  are sure many more awards are to follow. If you are interested in the wonderful reviews Robert received you can view them now. 

“Its always nice to be recognised for the hard work put in to make sure that each client gets the best outcome and service possible” Robert Clarke, Dispute Resolution

 

 

 

 How can we help?

Robert specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, and works on a no-win no-fee basis for his clients. If you have been involved in an injury or have been the victim of medical negligence and want to understand your options then call Robert on 01302 965 402.

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

 

The Queen’s Speech – and what it might mean to you

The Queen's Speech outlining the political agenda for the coming two years was given this week after the result of the recent snap election. The speech was dominated by brexit which is also the reason the agenda was set out for two years rather than the usual one.

While brexit did take up the bulk, other areas were also covered. We have identified three different areas which may be of some interest to you regarding new changes to the legal sector including:

 

Family Law

Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill

The Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill’s main purpose is to protect victims of domestic abuse. The bill has a few different elements to ensure this.

The main elements of the bill will be

  • To define what is meant by domestic abuse in order to create clarity for the courts and victims
  • A Domestic violence and Abuse Commissioner will be appointed and their role will be to
    • Stand up for the victims and survivors
    • Raise public awareness
    • Monitor the response of statutory agencies and local authorities
    • Hold the justice system to account in tackling domestic abuse
    • Ensure that if abusive behaviour involves a child, the court can hand down a sentence that reflects the devastating life-long impact that abuse can have on a child

 

Alison Kitchman, Partner & Head of Family Law

“It is a welcomed bill which will hopefully see zero tolerance of domestic abuse so that we can confidently help victims and protect them from future abuse.”

If you would like to know more information please visit our domestic abuse page.

 

Conveyance

Draft Tenants Fees Bill

This bill got introduced before the snap election and was expected to be upheld whatever the outcome as it was popular amongst most of the parties. The Tenants Fees Bill would remove the responsibility of paying letting agent fees from the tenants and be passed on the property owner. Buy-to–let property owners need to be aware of these changes and understand that it will be their responsibility to pay the fees once the bill becomes law.

Potential implications are that landlords pass the cost onto the tenants through increase of rent. The bill also states that renters will be able to recover any fees which were collected illegally. 

 

Mark Walton, Head of Conveyance

“The Tenants Fee bill is obviously good news if you are a renter, however if you are a landlord or are considering a buy-to-let property you need to be aware of any potential extra cost. You may want to take this into consideration while negotiating when buying the property or with incoming tenants rental agreement”

 

Dispute Resolution

The effect of the Civil Liability Bill on Personal Injury

Earlier this year we wrote a blog to inform people of the proposed amendments to the Personal Injury claims process. Within the Queens speech the reforms were referred to, but now as ‘The Civil Liability Bill.’

(Please seen the link above for the full break-down).

Here are some of the key points:

  • At present personal injury in excess of £1,000 allows for recovery of legal costs.  The proposals are to increase that to £2,000 for general personal injury and £5,000 for road traffic accident whiplash claims.
  • The Bill has been prepared with the intention of reducing the number of whiplash claims.

 

Emma Cornell, Head of Dispute Resolution

“Personal Injury claims seem to have a bad reputation.  Of course fraudulent claims need to be stopped, but the proposed reforms have to make sure that they are not at the expense of denying compensation to those who are genuinely injured through no fault of their own”

For more information or questions on any of the issues above please use our contact form and we’ll call you back.

Will and probate dispute

Will Disputes On The Rise

One of the most stressful situations after a loved one has passed away is going through what they left behind. A Will is always a good idea to help make the process more simple and efficient as it sets out the last wishes of the deceased. It can however, be particularly painful if the Will created is not amended or updated as that persons relationships change, potentially leaving new people or family out of the Will.  

Most commonly in a Will, a deceased chooses to pass their money and assets down to their closest family members. In recent years we have seen a boost in the housing market with property prices increasing, meaning that the values of estates are much higher. The latest trend shows that more and more elderly people are bypassing their children and naming their grandchildren as the main beneficiaries.  

We have seen recently that one of the main issues people are having is forgetting to update their Will as they get older. Circumstances and relationships change with time so to avoid any potential problems or legal implications it is incredibly important to amend the Will whenever there is a change in circumstances.

The number of disputed cases brought before the courts has increased from 11,735 in 2014 to 14,167 the following year. This figure is likely to increase due the so called ‘wealth mountain’ that is expected to be passed on in the future. 

The Legal Implications

Some legal grounds why a will may be disputed may include: 

Validity

  • Has the will been validly constructed and signed? If the wording is not clear on some of the gifts then the Will may be valid but a specific gift fail.
  • Did the deceased have capacity?
  • Was the deceased subjected to any undue influence?

Challenges regardless of validity

  • Inheritance Act claims i.e. did the Will make reasonable financial provision?
  • Proprietary estoppel. Did the deceased promise to leave something to someone, who in return has acted on that promise and then not received it under the terms of the Will?

A recent case study of a dispute without a will came to an end last month after 13 years. A case last month which granted Heather Ilott £163,000 of her mother’s estate had been overturned in the high court. The judgement was responding to a court of appeal ruling to increase the sum a county court granted her on the grounds that her mother had acted in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh” way towards her.

The amount she will now receive is just £50,000 of the estate instead of the £163,000 she had appealed for. The mother and daughter had fallen out and the mother passed on all of her £500,000 estate to three charities and Heather was left out of the will. The case has been ongoing since Melita Jackson died in 2004 and was wrapped up last month. Ilott made an application under the Inheritance Act 1975 for “reasonable financial provision” from her mother’s estate.

"There can be strict time limits in which to challenge a Will or seek reasonable financial provision from an estate.  We would suggest that you do not delay in seeking legal advice".

Emma Cornell is head of our Dispute resolution team, dealing with a wide range of personal business disputes ranging from Will, trust and probate disputes to criminal and personal injury. Emma brings extensive and varied experience, including having worked on numerous contested probate cases and general litigation cases that progressed to Appeal at the High Court

 

 

 

How can we help 

If you are in need of either writing or amending a will, our Wills, Probate and Trusts team can assist with a variety of different options to help you through the process clearly and efficiently.

If you are unsure if you have a case to dispute a will our dispute team can help you understand if and what you are entitled to and fight to get you  the desired result.

 

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

Robert Clarke Celebrates his ‘Crystal’ Anniversary as a Solicitor

Robert Clarke Celebrates his ‘Crystal’ Anniversary as a Solicitor

Congratulations to Robert, who recently celebrated 15 years since he qualified as a solicitor, his ‘crystal’ anniversary.

Of course, ‘crystal’ is totally appropriate for Robert. He excels at providing ‘clear’, comprehensible and coherent advice. Like all crystals, he is a bit of a gem, indeed a jewel of a solicitor in Doncaster – which is why he is the only Civil Litigation/Personal Injury Solicitor in Doncaster to get a 5 out of 5 rating over the past 12 months on VouchedFor.

It’s crystal clear why his clients like him. He works hard to put his clients at ease and he helps people when they need help the most. Of course, like all crystals, he’s totally transparent regarding fees and charges. Not only that, his advice is clear and unambiguous.

When he’s fighting on behalf of a client he’s as hard as diamond.

We’re all wishing him another 15 successful years, and after 30 years of practice he will be a ‘pearl’ of a solicitor.

How can we help?

Robert specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, and works on a no-win no-fee basis for his clients. If you have been involved in an injury or have been the victim of medical negligence and want to understand your options then call Robert on 01302 244 875.

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

Surveillance in Personal Injury on the Rise

Surveillance in Personal Injury on the Rise

Surveillance in Personal Injury on the RiseWhen making personal injury claims, claimants often don’t realise what impact their social media activities can have on their claims. For most people, posting a simple Facebook or Twitter update about their life is an everyday occurrence. However, it is now quite common for defendant firms to search social media platforms for evidence they can use to imply your symptoms are exaggerated, even if they aren’t.

Defendant firms and insurance companies have been known to search your Friend lists on social media to see who you are friends with and whether you are linked to anyone else involved in your claim.

Our advice to clients is to always be aware that your activities could be being watched when you leave the house or that anyone could be reading what you post online. It may be worth checking your privacy setting on your social media sites just in case.

If you are unsure whether to post a certain video or status update, please check with your solicitor before doing so.

Cases in the courts

Locke -v- Stuart and another (2011)

A series of 9 road traffic accident cases were investigated after the insurance company used information taken from public Facebook profiles and compiled it into 3 lever arch files to present to the Court. The insurance company argued that the cars were crashed deliberately so that the parties could make personal injury claims. The Court found against the claimant and held that the accident had been manufactured.

Fairclough Homes -v- Summers (2010)

The claimant was found by the Court to have grossly and dishonestly exaggerated his injuries following an accident at work, after video surveillance footage was disclosed by the defendant’s insurers. His compensation was reduced significantly as a result.

How can we help?

If you have suffered a personal injury and believe that you have a claim then talk to our specialist personal injury solicitors, who have a wealth of experience. We can offer advice not only about the claim but about other things such as your social media activity. We have offices in Sheffield and Doncaster, but can help anyone in South Yorkshire.

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

Personal injury discount rate changes

The Personal Injury Discount Rate is Being Cut – But What Does That Mean?

Personal injury discount rate changesThe Lord Chancellor has lowered the discount rate applied to personal injury compensation claims from 2.5 per cent to -0.75 per cent. This means that anyone awarded compensation will get higher amounts to cover their lifetime care and future financial needs.

 

What has Happened to the Personal Injury Discount Rate?

Liz Truss, the Lord Chancellor, has changed the personal injury discount rate (also called the Ogden rate). She has said that in law this was the only thing she could do. The discount rate had not been reviewed since 2001, and of course interest rates for investments are much lower now than they were then.

Personal injury compensation is paid as a lump sum. The courts assume that the lump sum will be invested and will earn interest, and therefore they discount the lump sum to take those future earnings into account. The bigger the discount, the smaller the lump sum.

This change therefore means that insurers (and public bodies such as the NHS) will have to pay bigger amounts as a lump sum because the discount has been reduced.

 

What does it Mean?

For the individual who is making a claim and who has won compensation, this is good news. They will get a bigger lump sum. This has been welcomed by The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

For the insurance company, of course, it goes the other way. They will now have to pay more. Direct Line, for example, has calculated that a 1% decrease in the Ogden rate takes £190m off its profits, and the rate has reduced by 3.25 per cent.

Because of this, insurance companies are warning that motor and liability premiums will have to go up for everyone else. Some have estimated that a 22 year old driver might see premiums soar by £1000 a year, though the average increase might be closer to £50-£75.

By and large, it would be fair to say that the insurance industry is not happy with Lynn Truss! Her decision has been described as ‘crazy’. The insurance industry is meeting with the government, and it is possible that lobbying pressure might cause the rate to be changed again, but to one less advantageous to the victim.

 

How can we help?

If you have been in an accident and think that you should receive compensation for a personal injury then our expert solicitors can help you.

 

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

Amendments to Personal Injury Claims Process Confirmed

Amendments to Personal Injury Claims Process Confirmed

The government has recently announced the changes that will be made to personal injury, in particular road traffic accident claims over the coming years. Part one of the response to the “Reforming the soft tissue injury (‘whiplash’) claims process” has been published following the closure of the consultation in January 2017.

Amendments to Personal Injury Claims Process ConfirmedThe small claims limit will rise from £1,000 to £2,000 for non-road traffic accident claims. This means that your general damages (compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity) will have to be worth £2,000 or more for the claim to be appropriate for the online portal process. If the claim falls below this and into the “small claims” bracket, each party pays their own legal costs which means that many firms will not be able to deal with these kinds of cases on a “No Win No Fee” basis. In relation to road traffic accident claims, the small claims limit will rise to £5,000. The risk with these changes is that people will be forced to represent themselves if they cannot afford legal representation, which could result in lower awards as people do not have the knowledge to fight for themselves when faced with insurance companies’ wealth of experience.

There are many other changes to be implemented in terms of road traffic accidents, in particular a tariff system to be introduced for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity aspect of a claim for injuries that last up to 24 months. This will be for whiplash and minor psychological injuries and will apply to anyone injured whilst using a motor vehicle or being carried in or on a motor vehicle. The exceptions will be pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

The tariff is as follows:

Duration of injury Award
0-3 months £225
4-6 months £450
7-9 months £765
10-12 months £1,190
13-15 months £1,820
16-18 months £2,660
19-24 months £3,725

The judiciary will have the power to increase an award if exceptional circumstances apply, but only by a maximum of 20%. They can also decrease an award for contributory negligence.

The amounts for the new system differ significantly from the existing guidelines for injuries contained within the Judicial College Guidelines. The most recent edition of the guidelines gives a bracket of £1,160 to £2,050 where there is a recovery between 28 days and three months. As little as £25 can be added if there is an element of a psychological injury.

The government is also going to ban offers made before a medical report has been received in whiplash claims. These are known as “pre-medical” offers and are commonly made immediately after the insurers have admitted liability for an accident but before the client has obtained a medical report. These offers are therefore made before the client’s solicitors are able to correctly value the claim and the injuries sustained in the accident.

Insurance companies have vowed that the benefits of the reforms will be passed on to consumers and that premiums will be cut by £40 per year as a result.

However, statistics show that whiplash claims are actually falling. Solicitors who act for claimants are concerned that the new reforms will reduce access to justice for those innocently injured in accidents, particularly road traffic accidents, through no fault of their own.

The reforms are currently due to be implemented on 1 October 2018.

 

How can we help?

If you have had a road accident leading to an injury and believe that you have a claim then talk to our specialist personal injury solicitors, who have a wealth of experience. We have offices in Sheffield and Doncaster, but can help anyone in South Yorkshire.

 

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

Essential Tips from the Dispute Resolution Team

Our Dispute Resolution Team have put together their top tips on hassle-free dispute resolution

Contract Disputes (for the sale of goods/supply of services)

  • Ensure that you have terms and conditions and that they are up to date
  • Ensure that every customer/potential customer is provided with your terms and conditions and they apply to the contract
  • Ensure that every contract/agreement is recorded in writing
  • Investigate the credit-worthiness of a customer/potential customer before agreeing to provide credit terms
  • Enforce any payment terms strictly

Personal Injury

  • Photograph the accident scene, measure any defects and photograph any visible injuries
  • Take full details of the driver – name, address, telephone number and insurance details
  • Take full witnesses details
  • If your car has a dashboard camera, save all the footage
  • Keep a list of all of your expenses and losses, including any travel mileage, and keep all receipts

Contesting Wills / a deceased’s estate

  • Don’t delay! For some claims, you only have 6 months to bring a claim from the date of the grant of probate
  • Obtain details of witnesses who may be able to provide statements as to the deceased’s capacity / relationship with others etc

Debt Disputes

  • Keep invoices / receipts
  • Keep bank statements showing any payments
  • Retain all correspondence, including emails and text messages
  • Don’t admit to owing a debt without seeking advice first
  • Don’t delay there is a limitation on the time within which a claim can be brought

Landlords

  • If there is a mortgage on your property, ensure you obtain consent from the mortgage lender to rent the property out
  • Ensure you have the correct insurance for a tenant-occupied property
  • Prepare a schedule for the property’s condition, with photographs, and ensure the tenant signs it
  • Speak to us to ensure you fulfil all of your landlord obligations

Boundary / Neighbour Disputes

  • Do not destroy any deeds
  • Photograph your boundary wall and again if the boundary ever alters keep all photographs and ensure they are dated
  • Keep any correspondence
  • If you ever alter a boundary, consider whether your mortgage provider’s consent is required
  • Obtain a surveyor’s report

And remember, if you think it’s a dispute, it’s probably a dispute!

How can we help?

Our dispute resolution specialists have an in-depth knowledge of relevant laws and legislation that, combined with their unbeatable skills, produces outstanding results for our clients. We will help you get matters into perspective and find the most timely and cost-effective solution. Our specialist dispute resolution team offers a practical and highly skilled service.

For further information, contact our Dispute Resolution team at disputes@taylorbracewell.co.uk. You can also call us on 01302 341414 in Doncaster or 0114 2721884 in Sheffield.

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

SPOTLIGHT ON Robert Clarke

Today’s Spotlight shines on Robert Clarke, Compensation Solicitor.

Robert has achieved consistent 5-Star ratings on the independent Vouched For’ website and has been listed in the Sunday Times 175 Top UK Solicitors.

Have you got a law degree?

Yes, I qualified as a Solicitor in 2002.

How long have you worked at Taylor Bracewell?

Not very long! I started working at Taylor Bracewell in January 2016.

Your job title at Taylor Bracewell?

I am a Compensation Solicitor within the Dispute Resolution department. I deal with Personal Injury cases such as Road Traffic Accidents, Accidents at work, slips and trips, public and product liability claims, clinical/medical negligence claims and Consumer disputes.

What was your first job?

I have had many jobs, working almost full-time in a public house while studying before university, but my first “real” job after university was at a salad packing factory while I decided what I was going to do with my degree.

My first job in Law was with a law firm in Sheffield. I joined as a data input clerk in 1999 and left in 2006 as a Director of the company.

Did you always know you wanted to do legal work?

From a young age I was always told that I would argue black is white but it was not until a family member suffered life changing injuries that I knew I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that people were treated fairly and not left without help.

Your journey to becoming a lawyer?

In 1999, while living in Hull, I secured employment with a law firm in Sheffield and started my journey by inputting client data on to internal computer systems. After 6 months, the time and expense of the journey from Hull to Sheffield every day was becoming too much so I secured alternative employment with a debt recovery company in Hull. The Partners in the law firm in Sheffield did not want me to leave so they persuaded me to stay with the incentive of a guaranteed training contract if I passed my Legal Practice Course, which I did at Huddersfield University while still working full time in Sheffield.

What do you love about the work you do?

I am dedicated and passionate about helping people in their time of need and take real pride in getting to know clients so that I can be confident in identifying what they need and rightly deserve out of any dispute. I thrive on the challenge of securing more compensation than previous Solicitors have suggested would be reasonable.

What do you love about Taylor Bracewell?

The apprenticeship scheme and investment in people is really encouraging and, from my experience to date, unique in a law firm.

What do you do in your spare time?

Before the arrival of my two children, Lexi-Mae and Loui, I enjoyed competing with other pubs in the local pub pool team. I also enjoyed fly fishing in scenic locations such as Chew Valley and have even tried my hand at sea fishing in Hartlepool, Bridlington and Whitby. Nowadays my spare time is spent with my family and we frequently escape for caravan weekends away.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

I would be a Cat as they are independent, loving and loyal, they have 9 lives, can be fierce and if provoked can leave a lasting scar.

What is the most exciting thing you have done?

Witness the birth of my 2 children, the first of which I almost had to deliver on our living room floor.

Which superpower would you have and why?

Duplicity to be in more than one place at a time.

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

News Release: New Head of Department and Expanded Team for Yorkshire Law Firm

Continued Expansion for Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell, a South Yorkshire law firm with offices in Doncaster and Sheffield, has experienced significant growth recently, resulting in the expansion of the Dispute Resolution team and appointment of a new Head of Department.

Emma Cornell joined Taylor Bracewell as Head of Dispute Resolution in January 2016, having progressed from Associate Solicitor to Partner in her previous firm after qualifying as a Solicitor in 2004.

Emma’s experience is extensive and varied and includes numerous Contested Probate and General Litigation cases that progressed to Appeal at the High Court. Joining Emma are Solicitors Robert Clarke and Paul Hayhurst.

Robert is a Compensation Solicitor responsible for handling Personal Injury cases. He brings excellent Personal Injury and Consumer Disputes experience from his previous role at L A Steel Solicitors. Helen will be also be dealing with a wide range of Personal Injury claims. Paul specialises in Commercial Disputes and can assist clients with Commercial Property Disputes as well as disputes involving directors, shareholders and partnerships.

“I am delighted to welcome Emma, Robert, Paul and Helen to our Firm,” says Managing Partner Sharon Beck. “I know Emma will skilfully lead our Dispute Resolution team to achieve even more desired outcomes for our clients and am confident she has a solid, strong team to support her.”

Taylor Bracewell, a Legal 500 UK recommended firm, operates from offices in Thorne Road and Railway Court in Doncaster and the Fountain Precinct in Sheffield.

About Taylor Bracewell

The Firm’s specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

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Paul Hayhurst | Emma Cornell | Robert Clarke

Personal Injury: Frequently Asked Questions

Bringing a personal injury claim against someone who has caused injuries or even fatality by being careless, negligent, and reckless or a combination of all can be a confusing and daunting task for many people. More often than not, our Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution specialists find themselves answering the same or similar enquiries from clients. This article addresses some of the most common questions on how to, when to and where to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party.

  • Do I have a claim?

If you have sustained an injury in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. The “accident” does not necessarily have to be a car accident; it could be an accident at work, in a supermarket or other public places.

  • Will I need medical evidence to prove my injury?

In most cases, Yes. You will need to book and attend an appointment with your GP where you will be required to explain the impact the accident has had on you physically. Injuries can also be emotional and/or psychological. The medical expert will prepare a report of his or her findings and where injury is established and confirmed, this report will prove very useful in ensuring that you are adequately compensated for the injuries caused by the accident. This will not apply to pre-existing conditions found in your medical history.

  • How much is my claim worth?

The compensation you receive depends largely on the extent of your injuries and the level of expertise applied by your Solicitor. There is no standard level of compensation; each case is accessed on its own merit and a claim awarded as deemed appropriate. Where the facts are similar and injuries comparable, the outcome of previous cases may be of assistance to your lawyers in the valuation for your claim.

The law permits you to claim compensation for your injuries from the responsible party to ensure that you are restored to the same financial status you had prior to the accident. Where relevant, you will be compensated for both your injury and your financial loss such as loss of earnings to go to the hospital and for the length of time you may be unable to engage in gainful employment as a result of your injuries.

  • What happens next?

Once it is established that you have a valid claim, a letter will be sent to the person/employer or organisation responsible for the accident notifying them of your intention to bring a claim. Their insurers will also be notified in the case of car accidents. Under the Personal Injury Protocol they will have a maximum of 3 months to investigate the claim and then confirm whether they accept responsibility or not.

  • Will my claim go to court?

The majority of cases are usually settled out of court because the court process can be very expensive and time consuming. Your solicitor will conduct the entire negotiation on your behalf to maximise your chances of being adequately compensated.

  • How long will my claim take?

This depends on a number of factors. If the responsible party and their insurers accept liability quickly and you recover from your injuries in good time, it may be possible to settle the claim between 6 and 12 months. However, if the claim is contested then it may take longer.

  • Is there a time limit to bring the claim?

In most cases, the statutory limitation period allows you 3 years to bring a claim from the date of the accident. Legal assistance should however be sought because some claims have different limitation periods. For instance, children usually have until their 21st birthday to bring a personal injury claim as the limitation period does not start until their 18th birthday.

  • What will it cost me?

There is a range of funding options available including what are often referred to as “no win, no fee” agreements. It would be best to seek legal advice and have a consultation with one of our experts to determine the estimated cost.

  • Will it be difficult to work with my employers after a claim?

This does not have to be the case. If the situation is dealt with in a sensitive and professional manner then you should not experience any problems. Employers will be insured and simply have to pass on the letter of claim to their insurer. If however you experience any discrimination or less favourable treatment on account of bringing a legitimate claim against your employer, you should speak to our HR & Employment Solicitors.

  • Anything Else I Need to Know

There is usually the requirement to obtain medical evidence and an investigation is carried out to establish if you have a valid claim and the extent of your injuries. So you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you delay making a claim you may lose all rights completely.

If you have been involved in an accident and believe you may have a claim against the person responsible, speak to one of our specialists today for advice and legal guidance.

Mark is a dispute resolution veteran and is renowned for his exceptional negotiation skills both in litigation and the less adversarial methods of resolution. He will expertly guide you through your options and provide you with tailor made counsel and legal assistance. Mark can be reached on 01302 341414 or via email mark@taylorbracewell.co.uk

Doncaster lawyer is Chair of South Yorkshire & District Resolution

Family solicitor, Alison Straw, a partner at Doncaster legal practice Taylor Bracewell, has taken over the mantle as Chair of South Yorkshire and District Resolution (an organisation whose members follow a code of practice and are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes).

Already an accredited specialist in finance and children, a trained collaborative lawyer (a method of resolving family disputes without going to court, where partners work face to face with a lawyer by their side), and the Collaborative liaison officer for Doncaster and Rotherham, as well as a member of the Children Panel, Alison does not shy away from her added responsibility and says; ldquo;I have been involved with Resolution for almost 20 years and I am really looking forward to my new challenge. As always, we will be very busy this year debating, deliberating – and challenging – the family justice system, as well as helping to keep members in the region up to date with other issues, and of course a bit of socialising too!. We have already started on an exciting programme of events and we look forward to welcoming existing and new members to get active and involved. Full details of our events can be found on the Resolution web site at www.resolution.org.uk”

Alison, a former Doncaster Grammar School pupil came back to her roots in 2007, joining Taylor Bracewell after 18 years as a partner at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield and Leeds. She has over 21 years- experience in divorce, finance, children issues and complex, high value financial cases.