a guide to your personal injury claim

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1 a guide to your personal injury claim

2 Contents 3. Introduction to Compensate 4. Accidents happen 5. The process explained 6. Why should I give up a percentage of my damages? 7. Legal explanation

3 Welcome to Compensate If you are reading this brochure you are likely to have either been in an accident or are a close relative or friend of someone who has. We understand that this can be a very stressful and confusing time and you will have many questions and concerns about the accident. We are here to help. In this brochure we will explain about the Compensate scheme and the process involved in making a compensation claim. We will hopefully answer some of those questions you have and allay some of your fears, however do not hesitate to ask if anything is unclear.

4 Accidents Happen It is a fact that accidents happen and whatever the circumstances involved, an accident is at the very least hugely inconvenient and more likely extremely painful both physically and mentally. It is your right if, because of this accident, you have suffered injury and damage to your person or belongings that the negligent party pays you just compensation - in most cases this will be the other party s insurance company. Receiving compensation for your accident depends on a number of factors but essentially is dependent on whether the other party involved was negligent. In simplest terms just because an accident happens does not automatically mean someone is to blame, they must have contributed to the circumstances of the accident. Digby Brown Solicitors have been helping people involved in accidents in Scotland for over a 100 years - we have dealt with literally hundreds of thousands of accidents involving every possible scenario. Digby Brown owns and operates Compensate, which is the trading name of Compensation Claims Funding Limited. Compensate is an insurance scheme which Digby Brown uses to fund No win No fee personal injury cases. It allows us to use the best expert witnesses, fully investigate your case and where necessary litigate to ensure you receive fair and prompt compensation. In the event of a successful outcome to your case a percentage of the damages won will be deducted from your settlement. If the case does not succeed you do not pay a penny.

5 The Process Explained Wherever possible, we like to follow up our initial discussion by arranging a face to face meeting with prospective clients. At this first meeting we will explain exactly what steps we will be taking to gain you the compensation you deserve. We will also let you know what you can do to help us. We will fully explain how we fund the case when we meet you. Once agreed we will take a full statement from you, contact necessary parties, for example your doctor to obtain relevant medical records or the police who may have had to file an accident report. If necessary, we will instruct experts on your behalf to examine the circumstances of the accident as well as looking at the consequences of any medical conditions you may have now and in the future. We will then submit a claim on your behalf by writing to the person responsible for the accident, in almost all cases we will be dealing with an insurance company. Due to the complexity of each case it is difficult to give a timescale for conclusion; this will depend on many factors including whether the other parties dispute the circumstances. Digby Brown with the benefit of the Compensate scheme prepare each case for court. Although this rarely happens because of the Compensate funding, the case will nevertheless be fully prepared which helps when it comes to robust negotiations between ourselves and the insurance company - we have an enviable reputation when it comes to these matters.

6 Why should I give up a percentage of my damages? In order for Digby Brown to fully explore your case, employ expert witnesses and advocates, the firm pays an insurance premium against the risk of losing the case. This not only pays for these elements but will also pay the costs of the other side s legal team disputing the case - usually a substantial sum, if the case is lost. The success fee as a percentage of your damages is, in our opinion, the fairest way of ensuring people can access justice without any financial risk to themselves and at the same time allows us to offer what we believe, in Scotland, is the best possible service provided by the most experienced firm of personal injury lawyers. This benefits you as well - our research has shown statistically you will gain 3.2 times the pre-litigation offer given by the insurance companies. In short, having the clout to litigate ensures we are taken seriously. With most other firms in Scotland they will do everything they can not to litigate and therefore you will be significantly shortchanged on your rightful damages - even if you are allowed to keep all 100%.

7 The process in legal terms Digby Brown will carry out an initial investigation into the circumstances of your accident. If they consider that your claim has reasonable prospects of success, the papers will be referred to Compensate who will carry out a separate assessment of the case. If they are prepared to accept the case, Compensate will enter into a contract with you. That contract will provide that, in exchange for a percentage of your damages, payable at the end of the case, Compensate will fund your case throughout, paying all outlays for medical records, expert witnesses and other expenses incurred, as well as giving you complete protection in relation to the expenses of the court action. They will take out a legal expenses insurance policy, at their expense, to give you guaranteed peace of mind. Digby Brown will then be instructed to proceed with your claim. Many accident victims are forced to accept inadequate out of court settlements because they cannot afford to take the wrongdoer to court. With the Compensate indemnity and funding package, you can negotiate from a position of strength. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be obtained, your case can be pursued through the courts. If you have any questions about the way the case is funded - do not hesitate to ask

8 Digby Brown Solicitors Telephone: Offices in: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Glenrothes and Inverness

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