In putting together this information, we have tried to group the questions together under relevant headings and we hope that is helpful to you.
Where more detail is available elsewhere, we have provided links to articles. Some of these are on the Moray Claims website and some on the Grigor & Young LLP website.
If you have a question which is not answered here, please let us know. The purpose of the website as a whole is to provide as much help as possible to anyone with a potential personal injury claim, whether they end up being a client of Moray Claims/Grigor & Young LLP or not.
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
The fact is, you don’t know necessarily.
That’s why solicitors are there to help.
Solicitors don’t mind you getting in touch with a question about a possible claim that turns out not to be viable, for whatever reason. There won’t be any charge for an initial enquiry. It is essential to get some level of information from you in order to be able to form a view on whether there is the potential for a claim to be made.
Time limits apply to all personal injury claims and it is never a good idea to delay in getting advice.
How do I know if I need a solicitor for a personal injury claim?
This could be because you think any claim might be too trivial or because there are other people telling you that a solicitor will be an unnecessary cost or hassle (or both) and you can just sort things out yourself.
The fundamental problem is that most injured people are first timers and all insurance companies are experienced, repeat players in the field of personal injury compensation claims. Insurance companies have to put the interest of their shareholders first so they cannot have your best interests in mind, no matter what they say. Only an independent solicitor can truly represent you and protect your interests.
- Why a DIY personal injury claim is a bad idea
- Help From The Other Driver’s Insurer (How To Avoid Being Misled)
- Should I settle my personal injury claim directly with the insurance company?
How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?
In Scotland, the basic period is 3 years. Within that time from the date of the accident, you must either settle your claim by negotiation or raise a court action to keep the claim alive beyond the 3 year period.
Of course, this is the law and things are never quite as simple as that.
For example, if you were under the age of 16 at the time of your accident, the time bar date will generally be your 19th birthday. The 3 year period runs from the point when you become an adult.
In some situations, the 3 year period reduces to 2 years. Accidents on ferries and in airports may be in this category.
Also, there can be situations where it is not easy to calculate the date from which the 3 year period began to run. People do not always realise immediately that they have been “injured”.
Again, it means that it is always a good idea to get advice as soon as possible. And even if you think it might be hopeless and you’re too late to claim, you should still get advice because there may be a way of proceeding nevertheless.
How much will it cost to make a personal injury claim?
If your claim is unsuccessful, it should not cost you anything beyond what you have already lost, in financial terms.
If your claim succeeds, however, you may not get to keep 100% of your compensation. A typical deduction from compensation is 20% but it can be more or less than that. (In most of the cases we handle, for example, the client loses nothing from their compensation).
Whether you get all your compensation in a successful case or just most of it, your solicitor will usually be paid by other means apart from the money taken out of your compensation. Insurers will pay an extra-judicial settlement scale fee on cases which settle before a court action is needed and solicitors will be able to recover judicial expenses if the case has to go to court.
It’s important to be aware of the potential hidden costs in making a personal injury claim.
- How much does a personal injury claim cost?
- The hidden cost of some personal injury claims.
- What do we mean by Full Compensation for Personal Injury?
- How does your personal injury solicitor make money if they do not charge you anything?
How long will it take to make a personal injury claim?
There is a common perception that these things take “forever” but that is not the case. It is difficult to give an exact timescale but, at any stage of a claim, your solicitor should be able to give you at least a ballpark idea of how long it will take until completion.
A number of factors will influence the length of time it takes, including: the nature of your injuries; the seriousness of your injuries; whether or not liability is admitted; how long it takes to obtain medical evidence; and the complexity of the case, generally.
The insurers have made me a direct offer to settle my claim for personal injury soon after my accident – should I accept it?
We would always advise against this and recommend that you obtain legal advice.
Like all claimant solicitors in this line of work, we have our own bad experiences to relate – where insurers have tried to buy off claims at drastic under-valuations.
It is quite possible that pre-medical offers (in other words, an offer made at a time when no one can have a clear idea what the proper value of the claim may be) may in time be outlawed. In the meantime, we will continue to advise that they are probably not a good idea, no matter which side of the fence you are on (injured person or insurer).
- Why early settlement of your personal injury claim is probably a bad idea.
- Early settlement of personal injury claims: bad news for everyone?
What funding methods are available for personal injury claims?
In essence, in Scotland, the practical options are:
- before the event insurance (legal expenses insurance);
- after the event insurance (no win-no fee); or
- civil legal aid.
We offer all of these options.
- A comparison of personal injury claim funding methods: No Win-No Fee vs Legal Aid vs Legal Expenses Insurance.
- Legal Aid for personal injury claims in Scotland.
- How your solicitor gets paid no win-no fee in Scotland.
- FAQs about speculative fee agreements and after-the-event insurance.
In what ways could my claim fail, so I either get no compensation or reduced compensation?
Solicitors will generally only take on – and keep going with – a claim where reasonable prospects of success exist. That means the claim has a better than 50% chance of winning.
It’s always a matter of impression and the prospects are constantly under review, as each additional good or bad bit of evidence comes to light.
There’s never a guarantee of winning, of course.
The following articles look at ways your claim could fail completely and/or partially. Partial failure is usually due to a thing called “contributory negligence” – and it’s worth having an understanding what that is. We have lots of articles about it.
Classic contributory negligence situations include failing to wear a seatbelt. But each case must be considered carefully on its own merits. Failing to wear a seatbelt won’t always lead to a percentage reduction in an injured person’s compensation.
- Prove negligence but lose your claim – when can that happen?
- Contributory negligence or entirely your own fault?
- When not wearing a seatbelt will not reduce your personal injury compensation at all.
- Contributory negligence: what is it?
- Can you get 100% contributory negligence?
- 2 ways exaggeration of injuries can damage your personal injury claim.
- How social media surveillance can undermine your personal injury claim.
- How a Minute Of Tender can destroy your personal injury claim.
What is the best way to go about finding an appropriate solicitor to handle my claim?
We recommend you to use the services of a local, specialist personal injury solicitor. There are various ways to go about finding someone suitable and we suggest either the Law Society of Scotland’s Find a Solicitor tool or the one which is specific to personal injury solicitors on the APIL website.
- The best way to find a solicitor in Scotland.
- How to find a local, specialist solicitor in Scotland. (Discusses how to get the best out of the Law Society of Scotland’s Find a Solicitor website search feature).
- How to choose a personal injury solicitor in Scotland.
- Do you have freedom of choice of personal injury solicitor?
What is Moray Claims and how does it relate to Grigor & Young?
Moray Claims is the personal injury compensation claims service of Grigor & Young LLP, Solicitors, Elgin and Forres, Moray. Moray Claims is a trading name of Grigor & Young.
Grigor & Young is a firm of solicitors which has been established in Moray since 1828.
The firm has 2 solicitors who deal with personal injury claims. Peter Brash is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Personal Injury Law. Peter and his colleague, Marie Morrison, are accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as Senior Litigators. The Elgin office of Grigor & Young holds corporate accreditation from APIL.
- What is Moray Claims?
- Why APIL is good for you.
- Why an APIL solicitor is best to handle your personal injury claim.
- Grigor & Young’s Elgin office becomes an APIL-accredited practice.
- Accredited personal injury claim specialists in Elgin.
How we can help
We hope you have found these Frequently Asked Questions and the various links to be useful.
You can find more “FAQ” articles via this blog category page on the Moray Claims website.
Some people think that website FAQs are a bit of a waste of time:
Website FAQs are never the Qs you want to ask.
— MꙬse Allain (@MooseAllain) 5 February 2018
Please get in touch with us if you have any supplementary or other questions. We’re always glad to deal with enquiries because that fuels the basis of additional content for this website. The more questions we answer, the more people we can help.