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Personal injury claims Scotland - a guide

Our specialist personal injury solicitors have been helping people who have been injured in an accident through no fault of their own for many years.  

Digby Brown Solicitors has been in existence in Scotland since 1906 and even then, the solicitors were involved in personal injury cases where people had been injured and deserved compensation. 

Over those years it is no exaggeration that the amount of personal injury compensation recovered will total well over a £1 billion and in the last 5 years alone, we have recovered over £600 million.

The compensation however is only one aspect of how we can help. Our solicitors can access medical expertise leading to immediate treatment including:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Medical investigations 
  • Surgery
  • Aids and equipment.

These all help with your rehabilitation and are designed to help you recover quicker. 

What exactly is a personal injury claim?

“Personal Injury” is simply the legal term used for when you have injured in an accident by the “negligence” of someone else or some organisation. It can take many forms including “illness” which might be where someone has been exposed to dangerous materials or chemicals. Of course, at the time you might not know that they are harmful.

The key word here is “negligence” and in simple terms it means fault. Someone is to blame for what happened. For many cases it is very simple, a car drove into you, it was clearly their fault.  However, for many accidents it is difficult to establish there was fault and where that fault lies.

Establishing negligence is the first part of any personal injury claim. The second and often far more complex is establishing the amount of compensation which is appropriate. 

This is where the help of an expert personal injury lawyer is crucial, no two people and no two injuries are the same, in terms of calculating your loss. It totally depends on who you are, what you do and how long you will take to recover.  

What counts as negligence?

For a personal injury claim to be possible there needs to be evidence that shows the accident happened because someone, or something, failed to do what was expected and therefore caused the problem which led to the injury.

Negligence can therefore be boiled down to a few core principles:

  • Someone should have done something but didn’t
  • Someone should not have done something but did
  • Someone knew a risk or hazard existed but failed to address it
  • A device did not operate as it should have.

If failures like these led to the accident that injured you then we think it is definitely worth considering your options to claim compensation, sometimes referred to as “damages”.

What types of personal injury can you claim for?

There are no hard and fast rules here. Injuries or illness can happen in a huge number of circumstances - too many to describe.  

Listed below are main groupings of where accidents do regularly occur. Each of these areas has its own section on the website dedicated to helping you to understand more.

  • Road traffic accidents affect all road users including drivers, passengers (including public transport), pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and commercial drivers.
  • Workplace accidents happen in all sectors but we most commonly see cases in construction, farming, warehouses, factories, offshore workers and office staff. 
  • Accidents abroad do not just apply to holidaymakers – they apply to anyone travelling outside Scotland (even for work purposes) and also foreign nationals visiting Scotland.
  • Asbestos related diseases including pleural plaques, mesothelioma and asbestosis
  • Industrial diseases, chemical spills, respiratory problems, anything which is due to exposure to harmful risks in the workplace and beyond.
  • Accidents in public places where people are hurt in areas like shops, restaurants, pavements or car parks.
  • Defective products where people are hurt because of faulty or broken items.
  • Historical abuse where people were subjected to all forms of physical and mental abuse while in the care of others.
  • Clinical/Medical Negligence where failings in medical care have led to patients suffering injuries.

Serious injuries and fatal circumstances

Personal injury law in Scotland covers every aspect of injury and in the worst case death which has occurred as a result of an unexpected event.  

Digby Brown has a dedicated department which deals with serious injury relating to brain and spinal injuries including amputation.  

When someone dies as a result of potential negligence then Partners across the firm’s seven office will deal directly with the family with regards to finding answers and helping at the worst possible time. Find out more about Fatal Accident Legal Help.

How long do you have to make a claim?

Many people rightly focus on their physical and emotional recovery after an accident however it’s important to make you aware that in Scotland a person generally has three years from the date of an accident to make a claim. 

It is important to note that three years is a general rule, many cases have shorter time limits, the most important thing you can do is get in touch as quickly as possible and we can advise you on the length of time you have to make an accident claim.

If a claim is not raised within the time limit the case will become ‘time barred’ and you may lose your right to recover damages.  

Can I make a claim if I was at fault?

Sometimes it may not be clear who is at fault but even if you played a part in causing the accident you may still be able to make a claim. 

If the evidence suggests you were partly to blame, then you may still be able to obtain compensation however your damages would be reduced to take into account the extent of your responsibility.

This percentage is known as ‘contributory negligence’ and it reflects how much you were partly to blame. For example, if evidence suggests you were 30% to blame for a car crash then your compensation would be deducted by 30%. 

Funding your personal injury claim

Many people don’t understand the term no win no fee and feel it is a trick. This is simply not true. The case is funded by us and we get paid at the end of the case, if successful.  

It is risk free for you, even if we lose the case or cannot take it forward. There are conditions which are straight forward involving telling the truth and accepting our legal advice.  Find out more about our no win no fee funding.

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.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website, or watch Joanne's story.

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

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

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.

How much compensation will I get?

We understand that you will want to know how much compensation you will get.  We have hundreds of examples of cases on this website where we have achieved fair compensation for the level of injury received, which you may wish to read.  

It is impossible to say exactly what amount of compensation you would receive as your circumstances will be unique. We do not use “personal injury” calculators because they are simply not accurate.

Each claim is unique, as we stated earlier.

Why choose Digby Brown?

There are many reasons why you should choose Digby Brown to help you after being involved in an accident in which you were injured. 

The hundreds and hundreds of five-star reviews from past clients, the many awards for our legal expertise, the many years where we are ranked solely band 1 in personal injury in Scotland or the millions in personal injury compensation we recover for people each and every year.

In simple terms, we are a law firm who listens to you and fights for you. We believe in our motto… because it matters.

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.

Rated Excellent
based on 2,039 reviews
Showing our 4 and 5 star reviews.
  • Rated Excellent
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    Showing our 4 and 5 star reviews.
  • 5 stars
    Kept me informed every step of the way.
    Mary Fulton -
  • 5 stars
    Great help guidance perfect great support through ...
    Chantelle Goodall -
  • 5 stars
    Cant fault the service that was provided by Digby ...
    Brendan Casey -
  • 5 stars
    We used Digby Brown to pursue a redress claim (fr...
    SJL -
  • 5 stars
    Great professional service with a successful outco...
    M McManus -
  • 4 stars
    Very efficient service that resulted in a successf...
    Kevin B. -
  • 5 stars
    Massive kudos to both Hannah Jordan and Neil Pater...
    Richard O'keeffe -
  • 5 stars
    Jennifer Watson helped me greatly with a problem I...
    Cath Pazikas -
  • 5 stars
    Was in fantastic hands with Digby Brown from start...
    Donna Johnston -
  • 5 stars
    Kept me up to date and informed on my claim. Very ...
    Alex -
  • 5 stars
    Just one word brilliant 👏
    Grant Petrie -
  • 5 stars
    Amazing outcome for myself and a separate case for...
    Kirsty -

What do I do next?

To start a claim, simply call us or fill in our enquiry form. We are open seven days a week. Our legal enquiry team will be able to explain the claims process and answer any questions. They are very knowledgeable and will be able to talk to you to understand what happened, who is the best person in Digby Brown to help.

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm 

Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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