ANTHONY KING

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Personal Injury Department

 

The personal injury department is supervised by Mrs Jane Cowdrey, a Partner of Anthony King Solicitors. 

 

We provide a FREE first interview for all new personal injury clients and operate a no win, no fee system.

 

The personal injury department of Anthony King Solicitors prides itself on its high success rate, however in the event of the claim not being successful you will not be responsible for any of our legal costs. 

 

For further information, please contact us by telephone - 01268 240400 or e-mail jcowdrey@anthonyking.co.uk

 

 


 We offer a completely personalised legal service and have considerable experience in dealing with all aspects of personal injury claims including injuries arising from:- 

 

 

  • Road traffic accidents

 

  • Accidents at work

 

  • Tripping/ slipping accidents

 

  • Accidents to children

 

  • Injuries from defective goods

 

  • Criminal injuries

 

  • Accidents in a shop/ public place

 

  • Fatal accidents

 

 

What is the service we offer?

 

Have you, a relative or friend been involved in an accident? Have you suffered injury as a result?

 

If so, Anthony King Solicitors can help.  We will assess your case, advise you on all aspects of your accident claim and provide support.

 

 

How does the service work?

 

At an initial FREE interview, we will assess the likelihood of a successful claim and, where appropriate, the amount of possible compensation.  A Personal Injury Solicitor will be assigned to your case and will ensure you are regularly updated.  You can be assured of our full support throughout, as we understand this can be a traumatic time.

 

 

How much will it cost?

 

Your initial interview is completely free.  We will deal with your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement ("No Win, No Fee").  We will advise you about funding options at your first interview.

 

 

What forms a Claim

 

When you have an accident you do not automatically have a claim.

 

You will only have a claim if you can prove that four consistent elements are present.

 

  • Liability

  • Negligence

  • Causation

  • Damage/ Injury

We must be able to show that your accident was caused by the negligence or actions or default of another party.

 For example,

 

  • if your employer failed to provide you with a safe place of work, a safe system of work, or safe work equipment;

  

  • if the Council failed to adequately maintain a pathway or road in a reasonable state of repair;

 

  • if you are involved in a road traffic accident as a passenger, or as a driver which was not your fault.

 

 

If we can prove the negligence of another party, then that party will be liable to compensate you in damages for your injury. But we also have to prove causation, in other words that the injuries you received were caused by the negligent acts of an employer, a manufacturing company, the Council, another driver etc. Therefore it is necessary for us to show, by obtaining medical evidence, that these acts or omissions caused the injuries from which you are now suffering.

 

If you have in any way been responsible yourself for sustaining injuries then your damages will be reduced.

 

If, for example, you did not wear protective clothing provided by your employer or did not wear a seatbelt at the time of the road traffic accident, then your damages will be reduced by the percentage that you are considered to blame. This is what we refer to as Contributory Negligence.

 

In most cases claims have to be issued within 3 years of the date of accident.

 

If the Claimant is under 18 years of age, then the claim has to be issued (i.e. court proceedings commenced) within 3 years of the date of the Claimant's 18th birthday.  For adults, the claim has to be issued within 3 years of the date of the accident or within 3 years from the date of knowledge of significant injury.

 

 

Damages

 

Any claim consists of 2 main heads of damages:-

 

 

Damages for your injuries - General Damages

 

This includes damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (i.e. the effects your injuries have had upon your everyday life).

 

Where compensation is awarded to a child, a court will need to approve the settlement figure.  The settlement sum is then invested for the child until they are 18 years old.

 

Damages for your out-of-pocket expenditure - Special Damages

 

For example loss of earnings, prescription charges, medical/ dental treatment, replacement of clothing, loss of use of vehicle, travel expenses to and from hospital and G.P, cost of provision of care.

 

You will need to keep a list of your losses and expenses with receipts/ proof where possible.

 

It is the legal duty of all Claimants to keep losses and expenses resulting from the accident to a minimum, this is known as "mitigation".

 

Social Security Benefits

 

If you receive social security benefits as a result of your injuries, e.g. income support due to not being able to return to work for a period of time, or disability benefits etc., then any such relevant benefits have to be paid back to the "Compensation Recovery Unit" out of compensation received for loss of earnings, cost of care, or loss of mobility. 

 

 

No Win No Fee (funding options)

 

Where a claim is identified, there are a number of funding options. Since 1st April 2000 Legal Aid Funding has not been available for any personal injury claims (excluding clinical negligence, professional negligence, criminal injuries, and non-negligence based injuries).

 

The funding options that are available are as follows:-

 

Legal Expenses Insurance Cover

 

You, or another member of your household, may have this cover under a buildings, contents, or vehicle insurance policy, or attached to credit cards, or via trade union membership.  It is often referred to as Family Legal Protection for which an additional premium may be payable. You will need to provide us with all such insurance documentation and we shall then be able to advise you whether your existing insurance cover is suitable for your particular claim.

If you are then ultimately successful in your claim, you would recover your damages and our costs and disbursements (i.e. outgoing legal expenses) from the third party's insurers and there would be no claim under the legal expenses insurance policy.

If you are unsuccessful or you are advised to discontinue the claim, then the legal costs and disbursements would be paid by the legal expense insurer at no cost to yourself, subject to a policy excess which may be payable.

 

 

 

Conditional Fees arrangement ("NO WIN, NO FEE") with 'after the event' Insurance

 

 

This funding option is available subject to our Risk Assessment of your case. If we consider that there is a reasonable chance of success in your case then this option will be available.

The basis of the Conditional Fees arrangement is that if we are successful we will recover your damages, our costs and disbursements. If we are unsuccessful or we advise you to discontinue then you do not receive damages and we do not get paid. We operate an 'after the event' insurance cover with deferred premium payment. This insurance covers you in the event that the third party have incurred costs, and for disbursements in the event of an unsuccessful claim. All Conditional Fees arrangements incorporate Law Society Conditions.

 

 

Accidents at Work

 

 

Duty of Care

Accidents in the workplace may take many forms. Employers are under a duty to provide a safe place of work, a safe system of work and safe work equipment. In other words they owe a 'duty of care' to their employees.

Duty of care means, for example:

 

  • Providing adequate and suitable equipment to carry out the job in hand;

  • providing adequate protection to ensure the safety of employees, when they carry out the job;

  • providing adequate training to ensure that employees know how to do their job properly;

 

If any of these criteria are not provided for, then the employer is in breach of the duty of care and would be negligent. Therefore an employee could have a potential claim for personal injury.

 

An employer can also be liable for the acts of other negligent employees. This is known as 'vicarious liability.' Again, these acts could lead to a potential claim by the employee.

 

 

As part of an accident at work claim, we may need to investigate whether the employer has:

 

  • Implemented the Health and Safety recommendations that are made by the Health and Safety Inspectorate. The employer needs to show that he has provided appropriate training - for example manual handling to comply with Manual Handling Regulations when lifting. If they have not, then this could provide reason for a claim.

 

  • Carried out regular risk assessments to ascertain any weaknesses in the system of work and potential risks, which may lead to personal injury claims. If they have not, then this could provide the basis for a claim.

 

 

If you have had an accident at work, what should you do?

 

Employees should ensure that:

 

  • The accident has been recorded in the firm's Accident Report Book and it has been reported to the employer.

  • The matter is reported by the employer to the Health and Safety Executive and to the Local Authority in the RIDDOR report form

  • Details of the complaints about the system of work have been logged and put in writing to the employer

  • Following injury, that the injury has been logged by the G.P. or hospital

  • Details have been obtained, where possible, of:

    • other accidents of a similar nature in the workplace

    • any witness to the accident in question

 

What if you are absent from work as a result of your accident?

Check what your contract of employment, and other employee documents say about:

 

    • sick pay, including statutory sick pay

    • procedures for encouraging and assisting your return to work

    • procedures for obtaining relevant medical information, (if you are likely to be absent for any length of time, your employer should never make final decisions about what to do without obtaining all the relevant facts. Generally the employer is entitled to expect your co-operation in this, normally at your employer's expense)

    • procedures for discussing matters with you in an appropriate manner, so that any decision is taken fairly. This can include, in an extreme case of serious illness or injury, a decision to terminate your employment through ill health or injury. If your employer makes a hasty or ill-informed decision, you may be able to seek compensation from an Employment Tribunal claim

    • If you are left with a disability, as defined by the legislation, reasonable adjustments that can be made by your employer to your workstation or the nature of your work, to make it easier for you to return. The employer should also consider whether there is an alternative job which you could do.

 

Tripping Accidents

 

The Local Authority owes a duty of care to users of the pathway.

 

Duty of care means, for example:

·         carrying out regular inspections of the pathway;

·         undertaking necessary repairs;

·         maintaining the pathway in a reasonable state of repair; 

 

If the defect which caused the trip was "dangerous" and if the Council failed in their system of inspection and repair of the section of the pathway in question, this would lead to a potential claim against the Local Authority.

We sometimes need to instruct an independent engineer to inspect the site of the accident and prepare a report.  That report should then provide an indication of whether liability for the accident rests with the Council.

You should take photographs of the accident site yourself as soon as possible (showing the measurement of the defect in question) before any repairs/ alterations are carried out to the accident site.

 

Road Traffic Accidents

If you are a passenger injured in a vehicle involved in a collision, you will have a claim for compensation against the driver of the vehicle in which you were travelling or a claim against the driver of another vehicle, depending upon who caused the accident.

If you are the driver of a vehicle injured in an accident, you will only have a claim for compensation against the driver of another vehicle if they caused or contributed to the accident.

If you are the vehicle owner, you will also be able to claim for the repair costs or write off value of your vehicle.  If you have fully comprehensive motor insurance your own insurers will usually authorise the vehicle repairs less any policy excess.  Your excess would then form part of your claim to be recovered from the negligent driver’s insurers.

If you have 3rd party, fire and theft motor insurance cover, your insurers will not pay for repair costs to your own vehicle.  Instead, this is claimed from the other driver’s insurers.  You may be able to obtain authorisation from that driver’s insurers for a replacement vehicle whilst your own vehicle is being repaired.

We will also be able to advise you in connection with hire car helpline schemes and vehicle storage charges whilst your car is off the road.

Compensation is also available via the Motor Insurers Bureau even if you are injured by an uninsured driver or an untraced driver (e.g. 'hit and run').

 

Fatal Accidents

In connection with a claim for a fatal accident, you can claim on behalf of the deceased for financial loss incurred by the deceased prior to death, compensation for the pain and suffering arising prior to death, and funeral expenses (if paid by the estate).  This is known as the 'Law Reform claim'.  If the death was instantaneous then there would be no compensation payable under the first two categories, but rather only for the funeral expenses if those were paid out of the estate monies. 

 

The relatives of the deceased can claim separately for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of the death, the funeral expenses (if paid by the dependants), and bereavement for certain dependents.  This is known as the 'Fatal Accidents claim'.  The bereavement value under this head is fixed.  But the bereavement payment can only be claimed by the spouse, or by the parents of an unmarried child under 18.  If the deceased was over 18 and unmarried, then no bereavement payment can be claimed.

Your birth and marriage certificate, together with the birth certificates of any other dependants who wish to claim, and the birth and death certificate of the deceased shall be requested from you at the appropriate time.  We shall also request copies of the coroner's notes following the inquest.

 

Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

 

You may be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if you have been a victim of an injury caused by a crime, e.g. an assault or sexual offence etc.  Your legal costs will be covered for criminal injury compensation claims under the Legal Help scheme if you are in receipt of Income Support or a low income.