What happens when I come to see you? When you make an appointment to see us you will usually be seen by Steve Webb. Steve heads the TSP Personal Injury team and is a Law Society Accredited Personal Injury specialist. If for any reason Steve is not available you will be seen by a senior solicitor in the team.
We will take full details of what has happened to you and find out what you want to achieve. If the answer is compensation, and it very often is, we will discuss with you in detail the precise circumstances of your accident and injury in order to assess the prospects of success in your case. The initial meeting that we have with you is completely free of charge and we will spend as much time as we need to with you to be able to advise you.
If you are unable to come into the office then we are happy to visit you at your home, or your hospital bed if necessary. Whilst we act for clients who live close to our offices in Clacton and Colchester we also deal with a national client base. In this instance we would talk to you initially on the telephone to assess your case and travel to see you if necessary.
At our first meeting we would ensure that we got enough information from you on your areas of loss as well as about the nature of your injuries to be able to assess the likely value of your claim in general terms. We would also be sure to advise you on and talk through with you possible funding options. We understand that the cost of bringing a claim is, for many, a very real worry.
Do I need to bring anything with me when I come to see you? Potential clients often offer to bring a doctor’s letter with them when they come to see us for the first time. However, if we take your case forward, we will need to see all of your medical records so this not necessary. In the first instance it is only important that you are able to explain clearly to us what it is that has happened to you and give us a general idea of the level of losses that you have sustained.
Is there anything else that I will need to do? In due course you will need to be examined by an independent doctor who we will instruct. We will prepare a detailed letter outlining how your injury has affected your life and your ability to work and will ask the doctor to prepare a report that contains both a detailed diagnosis and a prognosis for the future. The doctor cannot be your own doctor, or a doctor that has treated you at any time. They must be completely independent.
You will also at some stage need to supply documentary evidence of any losses, or special damages, as they are called, that you are claiming, such as payslips for example. We would also advise you to keep detailed records of any expenses that you incur, such as taxi fares or prescription charges along with the receipts.
How long will my claim take? There are two major factors that will determine how long your case might last. The first is
- Your medical issue – how quickly you recover and whether you do has a big impact on the time a case may take to resolve. It is generally inadvisable to settle a claim until you have a clear prognosis. Many cases cannot settle until this information is known, and secondly
- The approach of the Defendant can be a major factor with regards to time. If a case is admitted then it is likely to be processed much more quickly than a fully defended case which can take a number of years to conclude.
Will I have to go to Court? Even if a case is admitted you may still have to go to Court if the level of damages cannot be agreed. In this case we would issue Court Proceedings. There will then follow a fairly long process towards a hearing at which a Judge will assess damages. The vast majority of cases do tend to resolve without the need to go to Court, but if agreement cannot be reached, then it is likely that a client will need to give evidence about the injuries and losses they have sustained – although this is becoming increasingly rare, particularly since the introduction of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Will I need a Barrister? If your case is fully contested and goes to Court then it would involve the instruction of a Barrister. However, procedural hearings will be dealt with by your solicitor. Sometimes though it may be necessary to instruct a Barrister to advise as a case progresses, even if it is unlikely to go to Court.