legal aid needed after raod accident

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Carlos Fandango, Dec 5, 2003.

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  1. hi, just had a nasty road accident where i collided with a 4x4 on a single-track road and smashed
    my knee up.

    don't have any personal accident insurance - Any advise on who i could approach - what process to
    use, who you'd recommend to help a cyclist take legal action. ??

    TIA C
     
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  2. Ian

    Ian Guest

    Carlos Fandango scribed with passion and wit:

    > hi, just had a nasty road accident where i collided with a 4x4 on a single-track road and smashed
    > my knee up.
    >
    > don't have any personal accident insurance - Any advise on who i could approach - what process to
    > use, who you'd recommend to help a cyclist take legal action. ??
    >
    > TIA C
    >
    You might want to check your home insurance, it may provide legal help in a case like this, good
    luck with the knee.

    --
    Ian

    http://www.catrike.co.uk
     
  3. "Carlos Fandango" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > hi, just had a nasty road accident where i collided with a 4x4 on a single-track road and smashed
    > my knee up.
    >
    > don't have any personal accident insurance - Any advise on who i could approach - what process to
    > use, who you'd recommend to help a cyclist take legal action. ??
    >

    First things first - the mere fact of having suffered an injury doesn't automatically mean there's
    any compensation to be got out of it. You have to have an argument to say that the other side was
    negligent and it was their fault. It's not enough simply to have been driving a 4x4 to make it
    'their fault' (although some might think so!) unless perhaps it was somewhere it shouldn't have
    been. It helps if there are independant witnesses who can confirm the accident happened in the way
    and for the reasons you say it did.

    If you can think of reasons why they were in the wrong then the best place to start looking for
    legal help is probably through cycling organisation membership, if you belong to a cycling
    organisation. If you don't, the next thing to try is any insurance policies you hold - home
    insurance often provides legal expenses cover as someone else suggested, a motor policy might also.
    If you don't have that, you're probably going to be looking at litigation on a contingency fee
    basis. Mostly that is deprecated on urc since it involves your solicitors taking a cut of your
    winnings as a success fee, _but_ if you have no other legal expenses cover _and_ you smashed your
    knee up so badly that it your claim is likely to exceed the personal injury small claims limit of
    £1,000 then there is probably not going to be any other source of legal help available to you unless
    you want to pay upfront for legal services.

    One organisation that seemed interesting to me - had an exhibit at the Cycleshow - was cycleaid:
    www.cycleaid.co.uk - I don't know anything about them other than the info you can read on the web
    site but they do, as the name suggests, specialise in accidents involving cyclists. Their web site
    also has a useful page on the compensation process to give you more idea of what's involved.

    HTH

    Rich
     
  4. "Carlos Fandango" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > hi, just had a nasty road accident where i collided with a 4x4 on a single-track road and smashed
    > my knee up.
    >
    > don't have any personal accident insurance - Any advise on who i could approach - what process to
    > use, who you'd recommend to help a cyclist take legal action. ??

    The real thing to learn from this is to make sure you're a member of the CTC, their legal department
    is second to none, and I speak from some experience.

    Of course, the really clever people join the day before they have the collision, but for the rest of
    us it's the boring old annual subscription.
    >
    > TIA C
     
  5. Al

    Al Guest

    "Richard Burton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<d%[email protected]>...
    > "Carlos Fandango" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > don't have any personal accident insurance - Any advise on who i could approach - what process
    > > to use, who you'd recommend to help a cyclist take legal action. ??

    I've just been knocked off my bike by a car that ran into the back of me and have contacted a
    solicitor who advised me that legal aid is not available for personal injury claims and hasn't been
    since 1990 something.

    If you don't have insurance your best bet is a conditional fee action (no win no fee) although most
    firms will only take the case on if they think you have a good chance of winning.

    You will probably be asked to pay an insurance premium that covers you for the other side's costs if
    you lose (about £400). You may also have to pay for medical reports and stuff...

    Good luck,

    Al
     
  6. "Al" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > If you don't have insurance your best bet is a conditional fee action (no win no fee) although
    > most firms will only take the case on if they think you have a good chance of winning.
    >
    > You will probably be asked to pay an insurance premium that covers you for the other side's costs
    > if you lose (about £400). You may also have to pay for medical reports and stuff...

    I used no win no fee about 3 years ago and the medical reports were recovered from the drivers
    insurance, as well as *most* of the insurance premium. The thing to watch out for is interest as
    this was about 15%APR (about £200) and got deducted from my compensation award as it's not
    recoverable.
     
  7. Dg

    Dg Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Al" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > If you don't have insurance your best bet is a conditional fee action (no win no fee) although
    > > most firms will only take the case on if they think you have a good chance of winning.
    > >
    > > You will probably be asked to pay an insurance premium that covers you for the other side's
    > > costs if you lose (about £400). You may also have to pay for medical reports and stuff...
    >
    > I used no win no fee about 3 years ago and the medical reports were
    recovered from
    > the drivers insurance, as well as *most* of the insurance premium. The
    thing to
    > watch out for is interest as this was about 15%APR (about £200) and got
    deducted
    > from my compensation award as it's not recoverable.
    >
    >
    More correctly a Conditional Fee Agreement.

    Any solicitor specialising in personal injury claims should be able to provide proper advice
    regarding the so-called 'no win no fee' arrangements. A solicitor is obliged to investigate all
    potential funding that might be available to any client. This includes the existence of any legal
    expenses insurance and also generally discusses the possibility of after the event insurance cover.

    Various companies advertise each week in Cycling Weekly and any one of them purports to be a
    specialist in this type of work.

    Fundamentally, you first of all have to establish that you have reasonable grounds to bring any
    claim in any event. In other words, was the driver negligent? If so, then it might be possible to
    make a claim in respect of damages, both in respect of the damage to bike as well as general damages
    for injuries etc. Most solicitors will only be interested if they can actually make some money under
    such an agreement. I.e. the claim must be worth in excess of £1000 for general damages for your
    injuries or £5,000 overall. If you're claim does not fall within this category most solicitors will
    simply not be interested at all.

    My own advice is being careful. There are a lot of companies out there that have no real concern for
    their clients, placing their own profits has of paramount importance.

    I would not suggest that you speak to your so-called family solicitor that might have dealt with
    your conveyancing as their expertise may not to be appropriate to such a claim. Speak to a firm that
    knows how best to serve a claimant in a claim arising from the negligence of another person.

    Adrian above says that you might get stunned for rather excessive interest charges. That is not
    always this case. Just be careful about the wording of any agreement into which you might enter.

    If you have suffered an injury because of the negligence of somebody else then you may be entitled
    to make a claim in respect of damages for those injuries. How you choose to pursue the claim is
    ultimately up to you. You can only seek advice of those who know better. Do not rely on so-called
    'pub talk', which may be good for getting a beer but not much else!

    Do not worry about the geographic location of any potential firm of solicitors that you choose to
    instruct. In my experience it is very rare that a solicitor actually meet with his client nowadays.
    If it is necessary then the solicitor should be prepared to travel!

    Hope this helps.

    DG
     
  8. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 23:16:16 -0000, "DG" <[email protected]> wrote:

    [SNIPED here and there]

    >My own advice is being careful. There are a lot of companies out there that have no real concern
    >for their clients, placing their own profits has of paramount importance.

    DG

    I'm curious. There are several ambulance chasing firms currently advertizing on television who imply
    that the injured will have to pay in no way, shape, form or other chiché.

    How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's (presumed)
    compensation?

    James

    --
    "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" is not a satisfactory excuse.
     
  9. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 23:16:16 -0000, "DG" <[email protected]> wrote:

    [SNIPED here and there]

    >My own advice is being careful. There are a lot of companies out there that have no real concern
    >for their clients, placing their own profits has of paramount importance.

    DG

    I'm curious. There are several ambulance chasing firms currently advertizing on television who imply
    that the injured will have to pay in no way, shape, form or other chiché.

    How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's (presumed)
    compensation?

    James

    --
    "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" is not a satisfactory excuse.
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

  11. Juliette

    Juliette Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >
    > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > (presumed) compensation?

    Perhaps it is usual to award costs as well as the compensation in these cases?

    Juliette
    --
    nowt
     
  12. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > James Hodson wrote:
    > >
    > > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > > (presumed) compensation?
    > >
    >
    > http://money.guardian.co.uk/howtocomplain/story/0,11609,758339,00.html
    >
    > Salutory information if you are thinking of using one.
    >

    The problem in that story seems to be that Claims Direct was only acting as a middleman in referring
    claimants to personal injury solicitors, making charges for this service which were outside the
    general rules for conditional fee agreements and thus ensuring that claimants got even less of their
    money than they would have by contacting a pi solicitor directly.

    The way conditional fee arrangements used to work was that, in a successful case, the solicitor
    would claim their own costs from the other side, and, _in addition_, they would charge a 'success
    fee' from the claimant's winnings as reward for carrying the risk of losing their costs if the case
    was lost. The claimant carried the burden of the success fee.

    From April 2000, however, the success fee has apparently also been recoverable from the other
    side. So that is why firms are now able to advertise "100% compensation" on 'no win/no fee'
    conditional fee arrangements. They make their money from the other side, and ultimately from you
    and me who are paying the cost of litigation through insurance premiums, taxes, and the price of
    goods and services.

    Rich
     
  13. Dg

    Dg Guest

    The way it works is quite simple.

    If a solicitor does his job properly he will advise you fully about various options that will be
    available to you. He is under a duty to give you a proper funding advice. This may mean a
    Conditional Fee Agreement or it may mean some other method of funding your claim.

    A solicitor quite simply makes his money by assessing the risk and assessing the likelihood of the
    claim being successful. It is not necessary for the solicitor to take a cut of any damages!

    If I believe that a claim will succeed then I will tell a potential client just that. If I believe
    that a claim will not succeed then I will say so.

    Under the current rules a solicitor can potentially recover his fees if the amount of damages
    recovered for personal injuries exceeds £1000. If not, then he will not recover his fees.

    If there is a potential risk to the client then the solicitor should advise the client about a means
    of protecting that financial risk and that might mean taking out some form of After the Event
    insurance. Again, the solicitor should provide full and proper advice in this respect.

    Yes, there are many firms out there that will exploit a potential situation but not all firms should
    be tarred with the same brush. The 'Claims Direct' (now defunct) type of firm are, in my opinion,
    exploitative and one should be wary of them.

    That does not mean that there are not good firms out there who are prepared to help the 'victim'.
    There are a number of firms that advertise in Cycling Weekly who will offer their services in such
    circumstances.

    At the end of the day, a solicitor has to make money to survive. If he does not do his job
    properly then he will not continue to receive new instructions and therefore his source of revenue
    will dry up.

    DG.

    "Juliette" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] says...
    > >
    > > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > > (presumed) compensation?
    >
    > Perhaps it is usual to award costs as well as the compensation in these cases?
    >
    > Juliette
    > --
    > nowt.
     
  14. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

  15. Juliette

    Juliette Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >
    > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > (presumed) compensation?

    Perhaps it is usual to award costs as well as the compensation in these cases?

    Juliette
    --
    nowt
     
  16. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > James Hodson wrote:
    > >
    > > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > > (presumed) compensation?
    > >
    >
    > http://money.guardian.co.uk/howtocomplain/story/0,11609,758339,00.html
    >
    > Salutory information if you are thinking of using one.
    >

    The problem in that story seems to be that Claims Direct was only acting as a middleman in referring
    claimants to personal injury solicitors, making charges for this service which were outside the
    general rules for conditional fee agreements and thus ensuring that claimants got even less of their
    money than they would have by contacting a pi solicitor directly.

    The way conditional fee arrangements used to work was that, in a successful case, the solicitor
    would claim their own costs from the other side, and, _in addition_, they would charge a 'success
    fee' from the claimant's winnings as reward for carrying the risk of losing their costs if the case
    was lost. The claimant carried the burden of the success fee.

    From April 2000, however, the success fee has apparently also been recoverable from the other
    side. So that is why firms are now able to advertise "100% compensation" on 'no win/no fee'
    conditional fee arrangements. They make their money from the other side, and ultimately from you
    and me who are paying the cost of litigation through insurance premiums, taxes, and the price of
    goods and services.

    Rich
     
  17. Dg

    Dg Guest

    The way it works is quite simple.

    If a solicitor does his job properly he will advise you fully about various options that will be
    available to you. He is under a duty to give you a proper funding advice. This may mean a
    Conditional Fee Agreement or it may mean some other method of funding your claim.

    A solicitor quite simply makes his money by assessing the risk and assessing the likelihood of the
    claim being successful. It is not necessary for the solicitor to take a cut of any damages!

    If I believe that a claim will succeed then I will tell a potential client just that. If I believe
    that a claim will not succeed then I will say so.

    Under the current rules a solicitor can potentially recover his fees if the amount of damages
    recovered for personal injuries exceeds £1000. If not, then he will not recover his fees.

    If there is a potential risk to the client then the solicitor should advise the client about a means
    of protecting that financial risk and that might mean taking out some form of After the Event
    insurance. Again, the solicitor should provide full and proper advice in this respect.

    Yes, there are many firms out there that will exploit a potential situation but not all firms should
    be tarred with the same brush. The 'Claims Direct' (now defunct) type of firm are, in my opinion,
    exploitative and one should be wary of them.

    That does not mean that there are not good firms out there who are prepared to help the 'victim'.
    There are a number of firms that advertise in Cycling Weekly who will offer their services in such
    circumstances.

    At the end of the day, a solicitor has to make money to survive. If he does not do his job
    properly then he will not continue to receive new instructions and therefore his source of revenue
    will dry up.

    DG.

    "Juliette" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] says...
    > >
    > > How on Earth do these people make their money if not from taking a cut of their client's
    > > (presumed) compensation?
    >
    > Perhaps it is usual to award costs as well as the compensation in these cases?
    >
    > Juliette
    > --
    > nowt.
     
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