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To pursue a personal injury claim - long, sorry!

(40 Posts)
Bingdweller Tue 28-Aug-12 11:27:24

I feel in such a dilemma regarding a personal injury claim for an accident I had a few weeks ago. I don't want to out myself by giving away too much so I will keep it vague without hopefully drip feeding.

I suffered a terrible accident in a public place. It involved paramedics, ambulance transfer to A&E, transfer to my local hospital then surgery and a 5 night stay in hospital. All is going well with my recovery and my initial rehab will take approximately 6 months with full function in around 2 years. I have very disfiguring scarring and will need further surgery. Basically, a lifelong impact although thankfully I will be able to get back to work in a few weeks and resume most of my normal activities.

The incident occurred due to defective flooring (worn metal). The HSE are involved and the local council have informed me an inspection has taken place - the establishment involved were duty bound to report due to the severity of the accident.

The repercussions have been enormous. DH was working abroad and had to be brought home (took 2 days). I have 2 pre-school DC and I am unable to do anything for them. I need help with the most basic tasks - washing & dressing myself etc. never mind looking after kids. My DH is paid per the day and we have lost a lot of money in wages due to him coming home - he does not get paid when not working. He will have to go back to work next week as all our savings are needed for next months bills. I will need to rely heavily on family and friends.

I have always been very disparaging of the "no win, no fee" solicitor adverts. I am gutted to be in the position of needing to claim. The dearth of crappy adverts encouraging people to claim, frankly, disgusts me. Since being housebound I am shocked at how many of these adverts are around.

I have been advised by my lawyer this morning that I have a very good case and they are happy to pursue legal action on my behalf. I feel shit about it and don't know what to do. My morals tell me it was an accident and not to claim, my bank balance tells me we are massively down on DH earnings and have lots of associated expenses due to the injury. I don't know what to do....

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Tue 28-Aug-12 11:34:19

Will you be claiming from a private individual or is it a corporation?

Tee2072 Tue 28-Aug-12 11:37:11

It makes no difference if it is an individual or a company. What a ridiculous question.

Sounds like their negligence caused your injury and loss. Sue 'em.

And I never say that.

Bingdweller Tue 28-Aug-12 11:39:42

Not, no it no a private individual.

redexpat Tue 28-Aug-12 11:40:16

You and your family have suffered and will continue to suffer. There is nothing wrong with claiming to gain back the wages your husband lost, and to pay for care now and any other care you may need in future.

This is basic fairness. Why should you and your family be out of pocket because they didn't keep the floor up to standard?

TraineeBabyCatcher Tue 28-Aug-12 11:41:13

I dont like the No Win No Fee, i think it encourages people to claim when normally they would just accept accidents happen. However in genuine circumstances such as your own then they have put you out and should at least help tide you over in some way.

Bingdweller Tue 28-Aug-12 11:41:42

Well that didn't make sense! It's not a private individual.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 28-Aug-12 11:42:42

Yanbu.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Tue 28-Aug-12 11:43:14

In that case I would definately claim. Companies will have insurance in place for this sort of thing so it likely won't be them that pay out anyway.

Good luck.

Nancy66 Tue 28-Aug-12 11:43:28

It's the people who fake whiplash during a car prang - and put everyone else's insurance up as a result - who piss me off.

In your case I think you are totally justified.

Use a good lawyer though - not one that advertised on TV during the Jeremy Kyle show..

CharminglyOdd Tue 28-Aug-12 11:43:43

Well it might have been an accident but it was a totally preventable accident and it was due to their negligence. I hate those adverts too but I would sue in your position.

lisad123 Tue 28-Aug-12 11:43:59

I would, clearly they are at fault, it's not like you tripped over a rock!
Hope your ok, just to be clear though, takes long time so not quick fix to your bank balance sad

ZonkedOut Tue 28-Aug-12 11:44:05

I also dislike the current trend of trying to get money for the slightest accident that is really no-one's fault, but what you seem to describe is not like that.

If you can honestly say that the accident wouldn't have happened if the flooring had been properly maintained, then go for it. You have suffered financial loss due to their negligence, why should you be the one out of pocket as a result?

SeventhEverything Tue 28-Aug-12 11:47:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kissyfur Tue 28-Aug-12 11:48:46

Don't feel bad about claiming, you've been seriously injured and lost money as a result cos of your DH not being able to work. Like others have said its the people faking whiplash or other minor injuries that shouldn't be claiming. Good luck with it all and hope you have a speedy recovery

LulaPalooza Tue 28-Aug-12 11:52:40

So-called 'no win no fee' arrangements are fairly common in any civil litigation matters. They're not immoral, they are covered by an insurance policy in most cases and are called conditional fee agreements. Solicitors will only take on a claim under a CFA if they think they have a good chance of winning

I hate those adverts which say "you get to keep 100% of your damages" because that's what happens in all cases anyway, unless a person chooses to pay some of the costs from their damages payment. Most people will take out an after the event insurance policy which covers things like expert witness fees etc. in the event that they lose the claim.

info on CFAs

QuenelleOJersey2012 Tue 28-Aug-12 12:04:17

I hate the culture of frivolous claims but your situation is exactly what personal injury claims are for. You have already paid dearly with your health and yours and your family's heartache and inconvenience for this accident. You can't be expected to continue to pay financially.

I hope you are awarded what you need and deserve and that your recovery continues to go well, it sounds like you've had a terrible time of it thanks

Bingdweller Tue 28-Aug-12 12:14:42

Guys, thank you. I'm in tears with some of your responses. The lawyers I am using specialise in "no win, no fee" personal injury claims. They are a reputable company and I have had some dealings with them previously through my work. They have won awards for their work and have so far, been very good to deal with.

They do not take a fee for medico-legal report, requesting note or scans or any letters. Any compensation I receive will be subject to a payment of 10-12% maximum towards their costs. Most of the other companies I enquired with take between 15-30%. My hope is that my lawyers are motivated to get the best possible payout in order to obtain a more attractive fee for themselves. I'm not in a financial position at present to pay a lawyer.

I understand that 90% of these claims are settled out of court and usually within 3 years but it could be within a year if the other party admit liability.

Fingers crossed, I feel so much better reading your responses and encouraged to take this further.

tb Tue 28-Aug-12 12:28:25

I would claim if I were you. The HSE are likely to prosecute if there has been a breach of safety law, which sounds likely.

FWIW, I made a claim after I was in a car accident which broke one of the dorsal spines on my neck vertebrae, and am still having repercussions 20 years later. The accident was sufficiently severe to damage my thyroid gland which packed up completely about 9 years ago. Had I known about the possible damage to my thyroid, I wouldn't have settled when I did. Also, as a direct result of the accident I failed a set of professional exams, was made redundant due to breach of contract and found it very difficult to get another job. I still have to explain why I was unable to finish my training where it was started.

So, I would if I were you, as you never know what the future will entail, or what unseen consequences there could be in a few years time.

Best wishes for a full recovery thanks

Olympicnmix Tue 28-Aug-12 12:39:03

Give their negligence led to your current predicament, both physical and financial, then yes you should claim. A friend was very badly bitten by a dog off-lead and sued using one of those no fee no win companies against the owner (dog had bitten another member of the public before). It's not as if you'll jolly off on exotic holidays on it, although fine if you do, but to make up for the loss of earnings now and potentially in the future.

My brother otoh fell off his bike in the middle of the road as he hit a pothole and he gashed his chin, requiring stitches. Yes, the road should be better maintained but he acknowledges as a cyclist he really should have been looking where he was going. He was texted and phoned regularly for 8m afterwards from ambulance chaser firms wanting to know if he wanted to sue. He wondered how they got his details.

LisasCat Tue 28-Aug-12 12:47:24

If you were drunk and wandering around there with a blindfold on your eyes, or you had climbed over a six foot fence with barbed wire and huge Keep Out signs to be in that position, then maybe you'd be partly at fault. But assuming you weren't (and if you were, that's a hell of a drip feed!) you are exactly the sort of person these laws were put in place to protect. Why should you and your family suffer, financially and in a host of other ways, because of a company's negligence? You are absolutely the genuine article and worthy of compensation.

maybenow Tue 28-Aug-12 12:51:55

My line on this is that in order to want to claim i would have to have suffered genuine financial cost myself (you have) and i would want to feel that the accident was avoidable and could happen again to somebody else (not just a really freak occurance that couldn't have been forseen) and be sure that by claiming it would mean action would be taken to prevent the accident happening again (it sounds like this is the case for you, but only you really know).

Mrscog Tue 28-Aug-12 12:53:00

The system (including the no win no fee) is there EXACTLY for people in your situation. It's a shame that people fake mild whiplash etc. and exploit the system.

You might be able to get money your DH has 'lost' back I would have thought as well as compensation for the injuries as claims are formed of 2 parts - one actual losses so time off work, money spent on medical care/taxi's if you can't drive etc. etc. and then a part which is the compensation for your injuries.

Good luck, hope everything improves soon smile

glossyflower Tue 28-Aug-12 12:55:47

There are never accidents only incidents...if these people/company were negligent in keeping people safe then I say yes sue them, as it sounds like your life was severely affected by it with the injuries and recovery.
I don't agree in people exploiting the system but you however have a valid reason, and are not exploiting anyone.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Aug-12 13:01:43

You are not faking your injuries, you absolutely need the money and the HSE say that the flooring was defective so it was not your fault.

Do not feel bad about this in the slightest. This is what insurance is for.

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