A claims solicitor is someone who represents an individual who has suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, and as a result is pursuing the body responsible for compensation.
The type of work they take on falls under tort law, which basically covers the laws and regulations concerning civil wrongs. It can include legally representing clients who have been injured due to a trip or fall that wasn’t their fault, or those who have been injured from a car accident, an accident at work, or from an accident which has occurred in a public place (such as a road, park, or swimming pool), where the accident was someone else’s fault (either through their own negligence or through a wrongdoing).
The Responsibilities of a Claims Solicitor
Claims solicitors, like other solicitors in general, have a number of responsibilities including ethical and professional rules that outline the framework by which they should guide their clients.
Their main responsibilities include conducting an interview with people who have been injured, evaluating the probability of them being able to make a successful claim against the body whose fault the accident was. Each case needs to be researched extensively in order to build a strong argument for compensation.
Claims solicitors’ main responsibility is to ensure that clients receive the compensation and justice they deserve, having been wronged by another person or body.
Most claims are often settled before they reach the court room. It is the claims solicitor’s job to try and get a settlement the client is happy with without going to court.
The Costs of a Claims Solicitor
In the UK, most claims solicitors now operate on a no win no fee basis. This means that they will not charge clients for cases that they are not able to pursue successfully. Furthermore, most promise that clients will receive 100% of their compensation (instead of the solicitors instantly taking a cut from the compensation), as they can often recover their costs from the other party/their insurance.
Time Restrictions Claims Solicitors have to Work with
Most compensation claims, particularly for personal injury, are limited by statute. This means that they have to be brought within a specific time. The general rule is that claims must be made within 3 years of the date of the accident. There are various exceptions, most notably if the injury the victim has suffered is one which does not manifest itself at the time of the accident or directly after. In these cases, the 3 year time limit begins once the injury has manifested itself and/or been diagnosed.
Another exception is where the person who was injured was under 18 at the time of the accident. If this is the case, they are able to bring a claim at any point up until their 21st birthday.
The court is able to extend a limitation period to grant an individual more time to bring their claim, if they feel that it is equitable to do so. They also have the power to waive the limitation period completely, if it is equitable to do so. Although the courts do have these powers, it is only in rare situations which they will exercise them. Individuals should therefore adhere to the 3 year limitation restrictions for bringing a claim.
What Can be Claimed For?
Claims solicitors will also work out the costs that a client can receive compensation for. This includes any pain and suffering that is experienced as a result of the injury, and also compensation for a loss of amenity. Claims can also range for accidents at work, car accidents, trips or slips, sport injuries or cosmetic negligence which is a specialist and new area. Medical expenses, damage to items in the accident, lost provision of services, and loss of earnings are all likely to be recoverable expenses.