Help with making a car accident claim
For most people, having and using a car is vital.
So, if you have been involved in an accident and your car is now off the road or is in need of repairs, the disruption can be significant – you can’t get to work, take the children to school, go to the shops or just be out and about. Practically, public transport might not even be an option for you.
But what about you and your passengers, possibly family members, and the potential injuries you've sustained, both physical and psychological? Cars can be repaired, rented and purchased - you can’t be simply fixed or replaced. You need time to heal, even if the injuries you sustain are minor, the way they affect your daily life can be significant.
Car accidents take many forms: high speed, low speed, rear-end shunts at a junction; loss of control by another vehicle; multi-vehicle accidents; mechanical failures; failure to see - the list goes on and on.
In simple terms, it is Digby Brown’s job to find out what happened, who was at fault, what injuries you have sustained and help you to achieve a rightful and fair financial compensation which is acceptable for your loss.
On average over 30,000 road traffic accidents happen every year in Scotland and Digby Brown help thousands of clients each year after they have been injured when it wasn’t their fault.
Every case is different, every person is an individual and is dealt with on a one to one basis with a legally qualified member of staff. We have over 100 solicitors across our seven office locations in Scotland: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Ayr and Kirkcaldy.
The role of the insurance company
After a car accident, it is your duty to inform your insurer and the police if anyone was injured in the crash.
However, a note of caution: it is likely that both your own insurer or that of the other driver will try and persuade you to use their services to sort out any legal issues regarding car hire or personal injury compensation.
This practice is common and Digby Brown have seen too many examples of such “assistance” resulting in your case being significantly under-settled - not to mention with no real investigation into the long-term after-effects of any injuries you sustained.
The insurer's role is to insure against loss. You pay an annual premium for which, in the event of an accident, the driver-at-fault’s insurer will pay for the vehicle repairs and rightful compensation to anyone injured.
However, insurers will try to control who you use to seek compensation and although they are working on your side, they have no vested interest in making sure you receive the right amount of compensation. They are simply making the process as quick and efficient as possible to maximise profit.
Insurers know that you are likely to leave after a year: their “new business customers” policy is proof. Furthermore, how often will your insurer be disputing loss against themselves in situations where both cars were insured by them? They are not, in Digby Brown’s opinion, independent and therefore working fully on your behalf.
Insurers will often try to say you don’t have any choice but to use their legal provider - this is simply not true. They will infer that this could affect potential use of a courtesy car or your uninsured loss – for example, your no claims bonus or excess.
They certainly won’t offer to put you in touch with Digby Brown. In 2013, insurers were banned from taking a referral fees from solicitors for passing details of accident victims. Instead, they simply bought legal firms and put them in-house.
Digby Brown believe that the only accurate way of gauging what level of damages someone should receive is by using an independent legal firm who will fully investigate all the circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained before assessing the level of fair compensation.
In addition, without a firm of solicitors on your side, it is exceedingly difficult to force an insurance company to fairly compensate you.
But I’ve got legal expenses insurance, why should I use Digby Brown and give up a percentage of my damages?
We have hundreds of examples of why you shouldn’t use your legal expenses cover and the legal company that your insurer will appoint on your behalf.
Why? Simply because they have no interest in ensuring you receive the rightful compensation. They are paid by the insurer to get through the case as quickly as possible.
Yes, that does mean your case might be settled quickly - although we have seen many examples where simply nothing happens for months. But more importantly, they won’t properly value your loss, and therefore under-settle your car crash claim by thousands of pounds.
We know this is hard, you believe you have paid for a service and we are saying, "Don’t use it".
There are always exceptions, but we regularly achieve significantly more than what is offered by the insurer. And we aren’t talking small sums: double, three times more, five, ten - even seventy seven times more, in some cases. These are all examples where the case was totally under-valued and the insurer was bullying the victim to settle for less. Even when we take a 20% deduction from your award, it makes more financial sense for you to work with a specialist solicitor.
Here is a short financial illustration to prove this:
Insurance offer: £2,000
Digby Brown value: £4,000
Deduction of 20%: £800
Your compensation: £3,200 with no risk.
You are better off by the tune of £1,200, in this example. You have the number one personal injury law firm in Scotland working on your behalf, with over 1,500 five-star reviews on Trustpilot (if you don’t believe what we are telling you).
If you go with your insurer’s recommended firm of legal providers, you don’t get Digby Brown - and that does matter.
One previous client learned the difference first-hand. He was sitting at set of traffic lights when he was hit by a distracted driver who failed to stop. Our client suffered serious whiplash which evolved to become more painful and impacted his daily life. His insurer offered him just £2,000 in compensation but after Digby Brown got involved the case settled for more than £26,000 – more than 13 times what the insurer offered.
What our clients say about us
We put our clients at the centre of everything we do and are committed to providing the very best service. The hundreds of five star reviews we have received on Trustpilot is a reflection of this approach.
Laura Wilson was the solicitor for me in regards t...Iain -
I was involved in a near-fatal road traffic accide...Kevan -
Digby Brown were excellent in handling my traffic ...Mr Frew -
After a traumatic accident I was given not only ex...Helen Wrench -
Was the help that we need it at that time. Many th...Mrs. Clonta Maria Loredana -
Professional, direct, great communication, deliver...Brendan Coyle -
Traffic accident in Spain. After our case was u...James, Edinburgh -
2 years ago I was in a car accident and I went to ...Michelle Allan -
My case was handled professionally and competently...Patience -
I cannot thank Craig Brown enough, he went over an...Graeme Cruickshanks -
Lee Cairney was the amazing person that looked aft...Colleen -
Was involved in a bad car accident last May involv...Mr Colin Campbell -
What happens when you get in touch with Digby Brown?
You can either call us or fill in an enquiry form and ask that someone calls you back. (Remember, we never cold call, so if someone pretends to be from Digby Brown when you have never contacted us before - they are lying). We are open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 12pm to 4pm at the weekends.
Your call will be met by someone in our Legal Enquiry Team whose job it is to see if we can help. They will listen to you, and take some initial notes, including your name, contact details and brief details of what happened. Depending on your circumstances, our representative will help determine which solicitor is best qualified to help you.
Digby Brown is a law firm which deals almost exclusively with personal injury compensation and therefore has many specialist departments which are dedicated to specific accident circumstances, types of injury or location.
Simply put, if your accident was in the Highlands and you live in Aviemore, then our Inverness office is probably the best place for you to seek some initial advice. It is ultimately your choice and you can always let us know if you’d rather be helped from another office.
On the other hand, we have specialised departments which help with serious injuries or car accidents abroad. These departments are dedicated units which concentrate our learning and understanding of the vagaries of an accident and injury and are better suited to helping you.
Once we understand what has happened we can then instruct the best person in Digby Brown to deal with your case.
We will explain how we fund the case and why we believe that this is the best way for you to access justice without any financial risk.
We use our funding company “Compensate” on a “no win no fee” model.
What does that mean? A no win no fee car accident claim, is a way of accessing justice where the client is not asked to pay for the costs involved. Because in the case of personal injury compensation claims, the party at fault (the other driver) will pay for everything, including both sides legal fees.
However, the costs incurred before we get to the point of who is at fault are extensive, Digby Brown with Compensate will fund everything.
In short, you will not have to pay anything and only once the case settles we will ask for an agreed percentage to be deducted from your successful damages reward as our success fee.
If, in the event, we aren’t successful. Digby Brown will have to bear all the costs including the other sides legal fees. You will never be asked to pay and it is risk free.
If you are happy to proceed, we will send you some paperwork to sign and then pass you over to a specialist car accident lawyer, who will be your main point of contact for the duration of your case. They will take you through the next steps of the process.
Everyone in Digby Brown understands that dealing with a legal firm can seem daunting. It is our job to make it as straight forward as we can and ensure your needs are central to everything we do.
No win no fee personal injury solicitors
The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases. It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses.
A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful.
In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.
Compensate 'no win no fee' funding
Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.
If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.
On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer
Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.
In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.
Beware of compensation offers which may be too good
We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.
- How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
- If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
- Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
- If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
- It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
- These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.
We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value.
Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.
Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown
Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.
Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.
Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors
For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.
What can I claim for after a car accident?
Car crash compensation is all about putting you back to a position where the impact and injuries of the accident do not affect you financially. Therefore, the amount of damages will include your suffering as a result of the accident and all expenses incurred because of the disruption to your life – for example taxi fares or clothing ruined.
Most importantly, it is about looking at what impact the injury will have on your future, whether that concerns your job or your ability to carry out tasks that you did before you were injured.
Car accident compensation claims can only be made once and therefore it is hugely important that your loss is fully considered before we submit the value of damages you are claiming for.
Digby Brown will use a range of expertise to fully assess this.
Obviously, this will start with your medical treatment immediately after the accident but will then extend to seeking expert medical reports from consultants who are specialists in their field to fully explore the longer-term implications of the injuries, if deemed necessary.
We will seek employment advice to build a complete picture of what you will look like in the future. This is all about understanding the financial implications and the nature of the injuries sustained.
Other concerns or questions
We know that you’ll have many more questions about making a claim. Is it right to seek compensation? What happens if the other driver was uninsured? What if I was a passenger in the car of the driver who caused the accident? Can I recover my uninsured losses? What if my accident happened abroad? What if I was driving a company vehicle when the accident took place?
It is our job to explain all these things to you and assure you that we are experts in this area of law - and that you matter.
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