Personal Injury Claims

Have you been injured or suffered loss in an accident which was not your fault? Accidents can happen anywhere – often at work, on the roads or as a result of medical negligence. We understand the impact that an accident can have on your life. We have the legal expertise to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your suffering and for your losses.

We have extensive experience in handling a variety of claims including:
• Road Traffic Accidents
• Slipping and Tripping
• Accidents at work
• Medical negligence

Our initial aim is to settle your claim swiftly by corresponding directly with the opponent or with the opponent’s insurers. However, in some cases it becomes necessary to raise court proceedings. In such circumstances we will represent you throughout the court process.

We will discuss funding including:
• recovering costs from the opponent
• no win no fee arrangements
• eligibility for legal aid

Beware of strict ‘Time Bar’ deadlines, as court proceedings must be raised within time limits in order to preserve the claim. You should therefore ask us for advice at the first opportunity.

Contact Don Uttley by completing the form or by telephoning 0131 554 6321.

You can also access the downloadable guide here.

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Guide to Personal Injury Claims

 

Our initial meeting
At our first meeting, we will discuss the circumstances of your case and the prospects of securing damages to compensate you for your suffering and for your losses. We will explain to you the process by which liability is established and the process by which the value of damages is quantified. We will discuss any investigative steps which may need to be undertake in order to prove liability or to quantify the value of your case. We shall confirm your instructions with a view to commencing the claim by intimation to the opponent or the opponent’s insurers. We shall discuss with you how the legal procedures are to be funded. Where applicable, we shall discuss no win no fee arrangements.
Pre-litigation and “Out of Court” settlements
Wherever possible, our aim in the first instance is to settle your claim swiftly and by way of correspondence with the opponent or the opponent’s insurers.
Court Action
In some cases however, it may become necessary to take the claim to court. Court action may become necessary where liability is disputed or where the value of the claim is disputed. Alternatively court action may be necessary in order to avoid your claim becoming time barred (see the section below on Time Limits). Whenever it becomes in your interests to take the matter to court, we will represent you throughout the court process. The action may be raised in the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court or in the Court of Session. The choice of court will be discussed with you and is usually determined by the value of the claim. We fully understand that the prospect of raising a court action can seem daunting. Should court action become necessary we shall fully explain the procedures and the cost implications.
Road Traffic Accidents
If you are involved in an accident whilst the insured driver of a car, your claim should be made through your insurers. You should contact us in any other circumstances. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, cyclist or passenger in a car, we are here to help.
The general rules for legal liability are that:
• the damage must have been caused by someone who had a duty to take reasonable care not to cause you injury;
• the circumstances must be such that a reasonable person would have been aware that there was a risk of causing you injury;
• a reasonable person could have taken precautions to avoid the risk of injury;
• the loss you are claiming is for something a reasonable person would anticipate could arise in relation to the kind of injury inflicted.
Often the identity of the person at fault is already known to you. In some circumstances the identity may require to be established by further investigation such as police report or witness statement.
Uninsured Driver Claims
If the person at fault is an uninsured driver – or an untraced ‘hit-and-run’ driver – it is still possible to seek compensation by making a claim with the Motor Insurers Bureau. We can assist you in submitting the claim and in dealing with the Motor Insurers Bureau on your behalf. Such claims operate under framework provided by the Motor Insurers Bureau (Compensation of Victims of Uninsured Drivers) Agreement 1999 the Motor Insurers Bureau (Compensation of Victims of Untraced Drivers) Agreement 2003. Contact us now for further advice.
‘Slip and Trip’ claims
If you have been injured in a ‘Slip and Trip’ incident in the workplace, compensation may be sought from the employer if the employer contravened the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (see below). Outside of the workplace, other individuals/organisation have legal duties to take reasonable care for members of the public. Examples include the duty of a local authority to take reasonable steps to inspect and repair roads and pathways for which they are responsible. The test applied to such claims is one of reasonableness. We can advise you on whether the circumstances of your accident support a claim against such an organisation. Contact us now for further advice.
Accidents at work
There is a wealth of government legislation intended to protect you in the workplace. Some examples which are often relevant in personal injury cases are:-

• The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. These regulate many aspects of the workplace including the condition of floors, steps, stairs, passages and gangways. There is regulation of lighting, ventilation and cleanliness. Importantly for office workers, these regulations impose an obligation upon employers to ensure that an employee’s seating and workstation is suitable for its purpose. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. These regulate the suitability of work equipment. There is a requirement for employers to ensure that work equipment is maintained in efficient working order and inspected at suitable intervals. There is important regulation regarding protection against specified hazards in the workplace. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.These are important regulations obliging every employer to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of anybody in the workplace. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. ‘Manual handling operation’ means ‘any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or by bodily force.’ These regulations provide that employers must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such operations undertaken by employees in the workplace. Appropriate steps must then be taken by the employer to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. In certain circumstances these regulations oblige every employer to ensure that every employee is provided with suitable personal protective equipment (including footwear) where the employee may be exposed to a risk to health or safety. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. These regulations oblige anyone with control over construction work to ensure that the site is kept safe for all the workers on site. Obligations are imposed regarding specific issues. Examples include the stability of structures, excavations, demolition, explosions, traffic routes, vehicles, emergency procedures and more. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. These regulations relate to any operation at work concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load. Obligations are place on employers to ensure such operations and equipment used for them are as safe as reasonably practicable. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• The Work at Height Regulations 2005. These regulations are usually associated with the construction industry but can apply to any workplace where employees require to work at height. There is an obligation upon every employer to ensure that such work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is safe insofar as reasonably practicable. The employer must ensure that employees working at height are competent to do so or, if being trained, adequately supervised. In addition to the requirement to carry out a risk assessment, specific obligations are placed upon employers in relation to matters such as guardrails, working platforms, scaffolding, inspection of equipment, ‘personal fall protection systems’ and more. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012. These regulations provide that any employer shall not carry out work which exposes (or is liable to expose) employees to asbestos unless they carry out a suitable risk assessment and implements various steps specified in these regulations. The requirements are detailed and complex. Has your employer breached these regulations causing you injury? Contact us now for further advice.

• Merchant Shipping & Fishing Vessels (Health & Safety at Work) Regulations 1997. These regulations place a duty on the employer to ensure the health and safety of workers and others, insofar far as reasonably practicable. Contact us now for further advice.

• Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This Act provides that employers can be liable for harassment by their employees in certain situations. If you have been injured as a result of a ‘course of conduct’ amounting to harassment at work by an employer, or by another employee, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us now for further advice.

Medical Negligence
To establish liability against a doctor for medical negligence it must be proved (1) that there is a usual and normal practice; (2) that that practice has not been adopted; and (3) that the course adopted was such that no doctor acting with ordinary care would have taken.
To advise you regarding a claim arising from medical negligence, in the first instance we require to recover copies of your medical records and thereafter to obtain a medico-legal report from a consultant in the relevant medical field. Contact us now for further advice.
Compensation for Criminal Injuries
Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Acts, a claim for compensation may be submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in respect of an injury directly attributable to a ‘crime of violence.’ The award of compensation is calculated with reference to a statutory scale of awards. The claim must be received by the CICA within two years of the crime. We will assist you in dealing with the CICA and advising on any offer of award. You should note that any award will not include your legal costs. Contact us now for further advice.
Other Types of Personal Injury claim
It may be that the circumstances of your accident do not fit neatly into any of the above categories. You may still have a claim for compensation. Contact us now for further advice.
Time Limits
It’s important to get advice as soon as possible as there are strict time limits for making a claim after an accident. Usually this is 3 years from the date of the accident but in some cases the time limit can be shorter. If you don’t claim in time, you may lose the right to claim compensation entirely.
The law about time limits is complicated. The rules do have some exceptions which may allow a late claim, but you should take legal advice as soon as possible. If you or a family member has been injured or suffered loss in an accident, contact us now to discuss how we can help.