General Questions

Provided the accident was not your fault you can claim for any loss or injury caused by the accident. The sorts of claims that might be included are damages for personal injury, cost of the provision of any care that you might need as a result of the accident, the cost of repairs to a motor vehicle or the cost of replacing the vehicle and loss of earnings. Also, the cost of hiring a replacement motor car, damage to clothing or property in the vehicle. Receipts are likely to be required to claim for these sorts of items. It all depends on the circumstances of the accident. The guiding principle is that the items that you are claiming for must have arisen as a result of the accident.

Depending on the value of the claim it will be submitted under the Low Value Personal Injury Protocol for claims worth less than £25,000.00 or the standard Personal Injury Protocol for claims in excess of that sum. The protocols are designed to try and reach agreement without the need to issue proceedings. The maximum protocol period for admission of liability is three months and three weeks. If liability is admitted then it is likely that damages will be agreed without the need to issue Court proceedings.

This depends entirely on the Defendant and his insurers. The Defendants are given every opportunity to admit liability and to settle the claim within the existing personal injury protocols. If they don’t settle the claim within those protocols then proceedings can be issued. Typically, the earliest time at which proceedings could be issued would be between four and five months after the date of instructing your solicitor. If a case can be settled without the need to issue proceedings then the case is likely to be settled within that four to five month period. If proceedings have to be issued then the case is likely to take up to eighteen months depending on the availability of Court time.

Although Coyne Learmonth issue proceedings in many cases in which they are instructed the clients rarely have to go to Court. In percentage terms, you have got a 5-7% chance of having to go to Court.

If you have suitable Before the Event insurance cover (BTE), then that legal costs insurer will pay your legal costs.

If you have no BTE or the BTE is unsuitable Coyne Learmonth will offer you a No Win no Fee Agreement (a Conditional Fee Agreement).

If the case is lost but includes a claim for personal injury then any Order for costs made against you will be unenforceable against you provided your claim is not fundamentally dishonest.

If your claim includes a claim for damages for personal injury then in order to properly value the claim for personal injury a medical report is required. Coyne Learmonth will arrange that medical examination and report which will be obtained from an approved expert with experience in preparing reports in litigation cases. It’s important to understand that the examination for the purposes of this report is to identify what injuries have been sustained and what the period of recovery is likely to be. IT IS NOT an examination for the purpose of identifying treatment and advising you in relation to a treatment programme. It is quite different from any other medical appointment which you may have had with, for example, your GP or any Consultant recommended by your GP.

The Defendants insurers will often make contact with Claimants offering a replacement vehicle. In many cases the offer of a replacement vehicle is not on a true like for like basis. You might have to pay a deposit through a credit card. There may be waivers and excesses which are unsuitable. It may be difficult to obtain insurance, particularly if you are a young driver or a driver with a poor record. Furthermore, the period for which the car might be available may be limited. No offer of a replacement vehicle made by an insurer should be accepted without taking legal advice.

The Government has decided that Defendants should not have to pay all of the Claimants costs even if the Claimant wins.

You will have to pay a contribution to your costs but that contribution will be limited to 25% of damages recovered for personal injury and loss of use claims. The 25% will not attach to vehicle damage claims including credit hire charges and storage charges or loss of income claims or cost of care claims.