Personal Injury And Legal Aid
One of the main worries about pursuing a personal injury case is that it might cost you financially. Therefore, many people are curious about whether you can receive legal aid when seeking damages in a personal injury case. First it is important to understand what legal aid is.
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What Is Legal Aid?
If you would like to press charges against someone or you seek damages against someone but you cannot afford to pay for a solicitor, then you could be able to use Legal Aid. Legal Aid is essentially a system where the government provides money to help pay for your legal case. The finances for your case come from the Community Legal Services Fund (CLS) and it is administered by the Legal Aid Agency.
Legal Aid And Personal Injury
However, as the government states, legal aid is not granted for personal injury cases. Therefore, your solicitor should outline the cost of your case at the start of the process. Furthermore, if you need further advice about taking legal action or hiring a solicitor, you could speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
While this may concern you, you should remember that most solicitors’ firms operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. You should discuss whether your case can be paid for through a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement when you first meet with your solicitor. If you enter into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, you will only have to pay the solicitor’s legal costs if you win the case. These costs will simply come out of the money that you have earnt through the personal injury case in compensation. Therefore, you will technically not lose any money by undergoing a personal injury case because you will not have to pay if you do not win your case.
Certain ‘no win, no fee’ agreements still state that the client has to pay other costs if the case is lost, such as:
- Court fees.
- Fees to pay for experts, such as a medical expert who will create a report.
- Travelling expenses to and from court or medical appointments etc.
However, you won’t always have to pay these costs if you do not win your case. It simply depends upon the terms of your ‘no win, no fee’ agreement as specified through your contract with your solicitor. The terms of your ‘no win, no fee’ agreement should be clearly and carefully determined by speaking to your solicitor who should outline their financial expectations in great detail. If you do not understand anything, you should make sure to ask and clarify until you are completely sure before you sign any contracts.
Furthermore, if you lose your case, it is likely that you will be expected to pay these costs:
- Court fees
- Fees to pay for experts such as medical experts.
- Travelling expenses.
However, once again it is important to note that these costs will likely be paid by your insurance, if you have insurance, rather than yourself directly. Once again, you should discuss these conditions and possible costs at the start of your case with your solicitor. If there is anything that you don’t understand or are worried about, you should bring this up to them so that they can clarify.
There is a time limit for personal injury cases. If you would like to make a claim against a business, employer or an individual, you have three-years from the date that the initial accident occurred. Therefore, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to ensure that you can claim.
As previously stated, if you win your case in a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, your legal fees will be paid for through compensation. To understand how compensation is calculated, you should read on:
Compensation For Personal Injury Cases
Compensation amounts are unique to each case because every case is unique. The amount of compensation that you are awarded will be determined by looking at two specific categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages refers to the physical and emotional damage caused by your injuries. In the simplest terms, it refers to compensation for pain and suffering. This type of compensation also covers any losses of amenity, aka a decrease in ability to function, that has arisen from the injuries sustained in an accident. To view estimates for personal injury types, visit our compensation calculator.
The amounts outlined in the compensation calculator are only general estimates for general damages compensation. The most accurate way to determine how much compensation you are likely to be owed is to speak to a personal injury solicitor directly. They will take the specific details of your case into account.
Special damages compensation refers to compensation that covers the financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of an accident or medical negligence. Special damages could help to reclaim a loss of income if you have been unable to work due to your injuries. Similarly, if you have had to pay to go a medical appointment or if you had to pay to travel to a medical appointment, you could be able to claim these medical costs back.
You should keep detailed records of any receipts or other documents which help to outline any relevant financial losses relating to your injuries. These can later be used during your personal injury case to try and determine how much compensation you are owed for financial damages.
Making Personal Injury Claims
If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation. First Personal Injury solicitors are available to assist you and ensure that you win the compensation that you deserve.
First Personal Injury work with both families and individuals across England and Wales, leading them on their legal journey and helping them claim compensation after an accident or injury. Contact our specialist team to begin the process, either by phone on 0800 808 9740 or through our online form.