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17 Personal Injury

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1. Introduction

2. What is a personal injury?

3. What action can I take?

4. How do I choose a solicitor?

5. What are claims assessors and claims management companies?

6. What if I was injured in a road accident?

7. What if I was injured by a faulty product or service?

8. What if I was injured in an accident abroad?

9. What if I can't afford a solicitor?

Taking legal action can be expensive. You can no longer get public funding (legal aid) for most personal injury cases. The only cases you can get public funding for are injuries caused by:

  • a medical accident;
  • deliberate harm, such as child abuse; or
  • an assault by the police.

However, if you can’t afford to pay legal fees, there is nearly always a way to get help with the costs, as follows.

Trade union help
If you are a member of a trade union or similar type of organisation, it may be able to help you with legal costs and finding a solicitor.

Legal expenses insurance
Check your credit card conditions and house contents and car insurance policies to see if they include legal expenses cover for the type of personal injury claim you want to bring. However, you may need to consult a solicitor to find out whether the cover offered will be enough for your case.

'No-win, no-fee' agreements
These agreements, officially called 'conditional-fee agreements', are now very common. They mean that you do not have to pay your solicitor's fees if you lose your case. You will probably need to take out insurance (called 'after-the-event' insurance) to protect you against the possibility of having to pay the other side's costs or your expenses (such as court fees or medical experts' fees) if you lose. Your solicitor can help you with this. For more information, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet 'No-win, no-fee actions'.

10. What can I claim compensation for?

11. What if I am claiming for someone who has died?

12. What if I am claiming for a child?

13. What if I am one of a group of people injured in the same way?

14. What if I´m a victim of crime?

15. Further Help

16. About this leaflet

This leaflet was written in association with Roger Bolt of Bolt Burdon Kemp

Leaflet version: May 2008

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