Frequently Asked Questions

If I make a claim, will I lose my job?

The short answer is, ‘No’. It is understandable that people are often concerned that if they make a compensation claim against their employer for an injury suffered in an accident at work or having contracted an illness due to the job they do or once did, they may be treated unfavourably by their employer or even lose their job as a result. At Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors we regularly act for employees who are injured at work and continue to work for the same employer without any problems.

The fact is that employers are required by law to have an insurance policy in place to cover accidents, which means that any claim would be handled and paid out by the insurer and not by your employer. Furthermore, there are strict employment laws to protect you from victimisation, harassment and bullying. If your employer were to breach any of these then you may make a further claim for discrimination or unfair dismissal. 

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How much compensation can I claim?

This depends on a variety of factors including, the nature and extent of your injury; pain and suffering suffered; the prognosis and duration for a recovery; the amount of earnings lost; any treatment and travel costs; even emotional stress and psychiatric damage can also be included.

The amount can vary from £3,500 for a minor soft tissue injury with good recovery to several hundred thousand pounds for head injuries with brain damage. Whatever the final award we will ensure that you get 100 per cent* of any compensation awarded to you.

*Note: Criminal injuries cases and untraced driver cases may have slightly lower compensation rates.

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Will my legal costs be covered?
Yes. You won't have to pay us any fees. We will recover all our costs from the other party.  

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What will it cost me?
Pearson Hinchliffe LLP can conduct cases through any pre-existing legal expense insurance you may have. Alternatively, in appropriate circumstances, we offer a No Win No Fee Agreement supported by an insurance policy to insure against losing the case. This is known as “after the event” legal expenses insurance and the payment of the premium is deferred until the end of the case and in the event of the case being successful is recoverable from the party at fault.

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Will I have to pay anything upfront?
Unlike some firms that will ask for an upfront fee we will not ask you to pay a penny now or in the future. No catches and no small print.

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How will my compensation be calculated?

When determining the amount to be awarded to you the court will consider four main areas: General Damages, Special Damages, Future Losses and Interest. See below.

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General Damages
This is compensation for the injury itself, including pain and suffering. These are difficult to calculate precisely. Independent medical reports will be obtained to assist the court in awarding a fair and reasonable figure. Your solicitor will be able give you an idea of the sums that are commonly awarded for different types of injury.

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Special Damages
Special damages comprise compensation for your out of pocket expenses and losses. These can be calculated fairly accurately from receipts or estimates and can include; cost of medical treatment e.g physiotherapy, personal effects damaged in accident, loss of earnings, transport costs and even care and assistance from family and friends.

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Future Losses

This is compensation for losses that you are likely to encounter in the future. These are obviously more difficult to assess, so a special calculation is applied to the estimated annual loss to determine a fair figure.

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Interest
You may also be entitled to interest on some of your compensation. Rates payable vary depending on the type of injury and losses you have sustained. It is worth remembering that you will receive 100% of your damages award.

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Do I have to pay anything if I lose my case?

No. If we take on your case but don’t win, you won’t be charged for our services. If you win you still don’t pay anything.

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How quickly will a solicitor see me?

As soon as you contact us, we can take details of the claim over the phone, in our office or vist you at your home address.

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How long does a claim take?

This is a common question in the early stages. However, there is no definitive answer as each case must be considered on its own merits. There are numerous factors to consider, not least your own pain and suffering and recovery rate. Also, the ‘other side’ can add to the timeframe if they choose to dispute liability.

Through your discussions with your solicitor you will both be able to eventually establish when is the right time to accept the settlement that is right for you. This may take several months, and in cases where the issues are very complex and the likely award is of particularly high value, it may take even longer to conclude.

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Can I make a claim?

We understand that you may be unsure about making a claim; in fact most of our clients begin as reluctant participants. Most people are hesitant for various reasons, but if you have been injured in an accident in your workplace or have contracted an illness because of your work due to someone else’s negligence, there are provisions in the law that recognise your fundamental rights and are specifically designed to allow people like you to be compensated. However, there are time limitations within which most personal and workplace injury claims must be brought (the exception to this are industrial diseases like asbestosis where slightly different rules apply).

If you are over the age of eighteen, the limitation period is three years from the date of the accident. For children the three year limitation period begins on the date of their eighteenth birthday. In any case, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible as events may be fresher in your mind.

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How much do I have to do?

Initially you will need to discover the strength or weakness of your case or what you might stand to recover; for this, you need to speak to a Pearson Hinchliffe personal injury solicitor. In a free interview, over the telephone or in person at our offices or your home, we will review the facts of the case to determine whether or not they are sufficient to justify moving forward. If, together, we decide that your injuries and other losses are significant enough to justify the investment of time and work required to pursue your claim, we will arrange funding of the case and pursue the case on your behalf.

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Can I start my claim now?

You can start your compensation claim today by phone, email or through our website. The first step is to get in touch with us. You will get to speak to a solicitor straight away who will give you a free initial assessment on the merits of your case over the telephone. You may then book an appointment at our offices. A Pearson Hinchliffe solicitor can even visit you at your home if you so choose.

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What if my injury happened over 3 years ago?

In the majority of cases personal injury claims need to be started within 3 years of the date of the accident. After this time, except for certain exceptions, it is almost certainly too late to make a claim. There are exceptions; for example, in cases of industrial disease where it takes some time for the symptoms to manifest themselves after the initial exposure, it is possible to use the ‘date of knowledge’, the time when the claimant became aware of the nature of their injury, as the start point.

Where a child has been injured the time limit begins on their eighteenth birthday. And, in criminal injury cases, the claim must be submitted within 2 years of the incident. The limitations on injuries suffered abroad vary from country to country; contact your solicitor for further information. In workplace accidents and personal injury claims, time is of the essence, so please contact us straight away. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can begin your claim.

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Who deals with my claim?

Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors are not ‘claims managers’, we are an established and highly successful firm of solicitors, specialist in the field of workplace accident compensation. In fact, our firm can proudly trace its roots back over 130 years.

You will be able to deal directly with your solicitor who will manage your case throughout. Your solicitor will be available for face-to-face meetings whenever necessary and via phone and email to keep you up to date with the progress of your case until the final decision is made. Each case we take on receives the quality assurance and oversight of a partner in the firm.

We are accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in Personal Injury Law and are one of a select number of solicitors firms who carry the Law Society’s ‘Lexcel’ kite mark. Whatever the circumstances of your workplace accident, our solicitors possess the legal knowledge and experience to help you.

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Do I need to provide any documents?

The success rate of your claim can depend to a large extent on the evidence you provide to support your case. Documents including witness statements, medical bills, doctor’s letters, photographs and any other written records can all serve to paint a picture of what you have been through and continue to suffer, thus, strengthening your argument. Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors are experts in constructing the most persuasive case possible based on documentary evidence, and the more you can assist in this, the better. Your solicitor may also assemble the testimony of experts who fully understand the nature of your injuries, suffering and likely long-term consequences, to further corroborate what you have claimed. The whole process is managed by your solicitor who will guide you through each stage.

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Will I have to go to court?

It is possible but highly unlikely. There are clear protocols in place to ensure that claims are settled through negotiation where possible. The vast majority of injury claims are settled out of court. Court action may be necessary to ensure that you are properly compensated if negotiations on liability or valuation break down.

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