Personal Injury Claims Solicitors
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions. To pursue a successful personal injury compensation claim it is necessary to establish that somebody else was at fault.
Specialist advice from expert personal injury lawyers
We all hope we’re fortunate enough not to suffer a serious or traumatic injury. Accidents happen though and when they do, they can have profound, long-term consequences for both the victim and their families.
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re within your rights to make a personal injury compensation claim.
Choosing the right injury lawyer isn’t easy; that’s why it’s important to find an specialist firm which has knowledge and experience in investigating your type of claim.
Why choose Barcan+Kirby?
We act for clients throughout the UK on a wide range of personal injury compensation claims from our six offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Clifton, Kingswood, Queen Square and Thornbury. Our expertise includes car, cycling and accidents at work, as well as more complex cases involving amputations, traumatic brain damage and fatal injuries.
Our personal injury solicitors are Business Members of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and are listed in their guide to choosing a specialist Personal Injury Solicitor. Our team is also included in the Headway Head Injury Solicitors Directory.
Get in touch with our personal injury claims solicitors in Bristol
Our personal injury claims service
Our solicitors can provide advice and support with a range of personal injury issues including:
- Amputation and loss-of-limb
- Brain and head injuries
- Car and road traffic accidents
- Criminal injury claims
- Cycling accidents
- Fatal injuries
- Industrial disease and illness
- Motorcycle accidents
- Psychiatric injuries
- Serious injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Workplace accidents
How personal injury claims work
The majority of personal injury claims can be resolved without the need for you to go to court. This is because many claims are resolved via a pre-trial settlement, which means you can usually secure compensation faster, at lower cost and with significantly less stress.
Our personal injury solicitors can guide you through every step of the claims process. We will ensure that wherever there is an opportunity to successfully conclude your claim at an early stage without compromising your interests, we will do so. However, if your claim does go to court, we have the expertise and experience to ensure you have the very best possible representation to help you achieve a fair outcome.
The personal injury claims process
The following is a brief overview of what to expect during the personal injury claims process:
Your initial contact with our team
When you first speak to our personal injury lawyers, we will talk through the negligence or breach of duty you believe occurred and the impact on you. We will then give an honest appraisal of whether we think your claim merits further investigation. Our solicitors can also discuss the various options for funding your claim.
Notifying the claim
Once you and our team are happy to proceed with the claim we will notify the wrongdoer. Here, we will set out the details of your claim and what we allege they did wrong.
The defendant’s response
The defendant is required to respond to your claim. This can take up to four months but in some cases, may be as quick as 15 working days from the date of notification. Where necessary, our personal injury solicitors will take action to ensure they respond in a timely fashion to keep your claim on track. At this point, the defendant will usually either admit full or partial liability, or deny responsibility for any wrongdoing.
Considering the defendant’s response
Whatever response the defendant gives, our personal injury lawyers will talk you through your options and advise you on how best to proceed.
Building your case
This may involve various steps, such as gathering witness statements. We need to able to prove the facts of the case, including exactly what happened, how this negatively impacted you and the full consequences for your life.
Amount of compensation
The claim is valued on the basis of two elements: General Damages (also known as the injury element of the claim) and Special Damages (also known as the financial loss element). General damages are based upon medical evidence. We would obtain a medical expert’s report to consider and assess the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. The amount of compensation will take into account how the injuries affect you now and in the future. Special damages are designed to put you back in the financial position you would be in if the accident had never occurred. You should keep any receipts and invoices wherever possible to prove these losses.
Issuing court proceedings
If you want to take further action, our personal injury solicitors will start court proceedings by issuing your claim. We will also submit ‘Particulars of Claim’ setting out the details of your case to the court. The defendant will then have 28 days to respond. After that, the court will set the timetable for the litigation, including a trial date for a judge to hear your case. This is typically around 18 months from when the defendant responds to your claim. It is important to note, however, that even claims that reach this stage rarely make it to court as they can usually be resolved earlier through pre-trial negotiations.
Before your hearing date, we will work with you, the defendant and their legal team to try to agree an out-of-court settlement. This may involve direct negotiations, as well as alternate dispute resolution methods, such as mediation. In most cases, this approach is highly successful. Our personal injury team have a very strong track record of achieving positive outcomes during pre-trial negotiations. This saves our clients time, money and the stress of attending a hearing.
Trial by judge
In the unlikely event that we are not able to reach a satisfactory settlement before a case reaches court, we will ensure you have the very best possible representation for your hearing. Our experience and expertise in court hearings means we can ensure your case is effectively built and presented, and that no potential angle is overlooked.
Personal injury claim hearings
Our personal injury lawyers will instruct at least one specialist personal injury barrister to advise on the strategy for the hearing and present your case on the day. For particularly complex cases, we generally recommend a senior barrister (often a QC – a Queen’s Counsel), as well as a leading junior advocate to provide additional support.
Personal injury claim hearings are heard in front of a judge without a jury. They give both sides the opportunity to present their arguments and supporting evidence. The judge will then make a final decision.
Personal injury FAQs
Each case is assessed to see if it qualifies, in which case we may offer a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. This means that if you lose your case, you won’t be liable for our fees. Contact a member of our personal injury team to discuss your options and for advice on how best to fund your claim.
Yes, your claim should usually be issued with three years of the date of the accident, so we recommend speaking to one of our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible about whether your claim can be made within an appropriate time frame.
It depends entirely on the nature and complexity of your personal claim. If you have a suitable basis for a claim, we can normally offer a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. You may even have an existing insurance policy that will cover the cost of your claim. Speak to our personal injury solicitors who will advise you of your options and the best way to fund your claim.
Every claim is different and we won’t be able to provide a realistic timescale until your case is underway. Those involving serious injury or where blame is disputed can take much longer than others, particularly if your ongoing care costs need to be negotiated.
If a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident and does not have the mental capacity to pursue a claim of their own, for example, due to a serious brain injury, you may be able to pursue a claim for them by acting as their ‘litigation friend’.
A litigation friend is empowered to make decisions about the claim on behalf of the injured party and to attend court proceedings for them if required.
You will need to apply to a court to become a litigation friend, although if you are already acting as a Court of Protection deputy for the injured party, this is usually relatively straightforward.
Useful information about personal injury claims
- Funding your claim
- Compensation trusts
- Changing your solicitor
- Case studies of personal injury claims
Start a personal injury claim today
If you’ve suffered from a personal injury that wasn’t your fault, our solicitors are here to help.
We offer a no obligation ‘no win, no fee’ consultation with a member of our specialist personal injury team to talk about your options and how best to fund your claim.