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Getting help for your road traffic accident claim

Being involved in a road traffic accident can be hugely traumatic, can cause significant disruption and in some cases devastation. Digby Brown Solicitors understand this and is here to help where we can, to sort out what we know from a legal perspective and to guide you using our extensive experience.

Digby Brown deal with more road traffic crashes than any other form of accident. We have years of experience and the relevant expertise to fully understand your case. We have experts in all road traffic accident types, including cycling, motorcycling, car and accidents involving pedestrians.

Whether the dispute relates to liability, the decision on who is at fault or ensuring the correct level of road traffic accident compensation for your injuries, a car accident can leave people feeling vulnerable and frustrated, which is why we have highly trained and specialist road traffic accident solicitors to give you all the support you need.

We are committed to helping people secure rightful compensation after they’ve been injured in a road traffic accident. Although this legal process can appear complicated, Digby Brown’s job is to make it straightforward. We have done this for tens of thousands of people in the past.

It is important to understand that although you should tell your insurance company that you have been in a crash, you do not have to use their legal provider to help with a claim for a road traffic accident. We fundamentally believe it is in your best interests to use an independent, specialist law firm who will, of course, act on your behalf to establish fault and properly value your loss.

Otherwise, the likelihood is the amount of damages awarded will be significantly less than you could achieve.

Please bear in mind, that in almost every case, you can only claim once.

The circumstances of the accident and how we help

Every incident is different; whether you were the driver of the car, van or lorry, the passenger in the vehicle struck by another or involved in a multiple vehicle collision and unsure of the cause of the crash. In most cases, fault can be established fairly quickly as the highway code gives clear rules on who has right of way.

Very often though, the driver who caused the accident will deny it was their fault. It is Digby Brown’s job to establish the facts, examine police reports (where necessary), take witness statements or utilise crash investigation expertise to prove to the driver’s insurer where liability for the accident lies. Our expertise in this area ensures that insurers take us seriously.

Traffic in town - various vehicles

Understanding your injuries and the long-term effects

At the same time, we need to understand who you are, what your injuries are, how they will heal in the short and long-term and how that affects what you do. This will involve seeking medical evidence from your doctor and potentially further medical examinations using clinical specialists. Only then can a true valuation of what this accident has cost you can be established, and that is when we discuss with the other side’s insurer what your award of damages should be.

As soon as we have agreement from the other side’s insurer that their driver was at fault, we can access rehabilitation. It is no longer a case of whether the insurer will pay compensation: simply how much. It is normally in everyone’s interest to do this as it is proven that the earlier the treatment (for example, physiotherapy) the quicker injuries can start to heal, which mitigates the longer-term effects and overall cost.

What happens if the insurer doesn’t accept fault or value of the claim?

A road traffic compensation claim is a legal matter and as such you need the expertise of specialist road traffic accident solicitors.

An insurance company's job is to make a profit and therefore they are not likely to simply accept everything we say. If they can, they will deny fault. They are more than likely to disagree with the value attributed to the loss.

Digby Brown therefore prepare every case thoroughly and, where agreement cannot be reached, are prepared to take the insurer to court. That is why we use our funding company Compensate, and charge a percentage of your damages (20% inclusive of VAT) as we are taking that risk that if we lose – you don’t pay anything.

Compensate funds your case, allows us to seek medical and forensic reports, pay the legal expenses, the court costs and insures the risk. We believe this is fair as we have a vested interest in your case to ensure you receive the maximum damages – and in turn we are paid for our hard work.

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.

Common concerns and points to raise

It is of course common for all passengers in the vehicle who are injured to make a road traffic accident compensation claim; however it is also common for passengers in the vehicle at fault to make a claim, even if they are family members of the driver. This can often be the case where a single vehicle has lost control due to the driver failing to pay due care and attention.

It is also common that both vehicles involved in the accident can be partly to be blame. This is called “contributory negligence”.

Speeding could be one example where, although the vehicle struck was over the speed limit, the other vehicle was still to blame for causing the crash. In this circumstance, an appropriate percentage of the damages will be deducted from the sum awarded to demonstrate the speeding driver's contribution to the accident.

What if you are struck by an uninsured driver? It is believed that 1 in 20 drivers have no insurance however this is not something to be concerned about as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) will take the place of the uninsured driver.

Not all crashes happen in Scotland. For anyone travelling abroad, it can seem daunting if they are involved in a crash - where do you start? Our dedicated Foreign & Travel department is here for this purpose. Whether Europe, America or beyond, they have both the relevant experience of the international law as well as a significant number of multilingual legal staff.

Some clients who come to us initially felt worried that there were too many complications with their case:

  • If there’s a dispute over who is at fault
  • If the driver was uninsured
  • If the driver cannot be traced
  • If there was a lack of witnesses
  • If the other driver was not charged by police
  • If there is not yet a diagnosis or prognosis for your injury

It is totally understandable to have questions and concerns. You’ve been involved in a traumatic experience and you have no experience of what happens next.

Be assured that we will talk to you in plain English, explain everything and take the worry out of this process. This is our job and we do it every year for thousands of people, in a similar situation to you. 

Traffic in the town

Understanding the claim process

Statements – the first thing we will do is take a statement from you, to find out exactly, in your words, what happened. This will allow us to understand the circumstances of the accident and assess whether we can help.

Compensate – we will explain how we fund the case on a no win no fee basis as well as what percentage (no more than 20%) of your damages will be deducted once the case settles. We will ask you to sign an agreement to say you wish to proceed. Remember, we will not ask you to pay for anything during the case. We receive an expenses payment from the other side’s insurer when we win the case on your behalf as well as the agreed percentage of damages from you. This is how we can fully prepare each and every case and accept all the risk, even if we lose.

Intimating the claim – this is simply telling the driver at fault’s insurer that we are making a claim against the driver. This starts the process of dialogue between us and the insurer’s legal representative.

The crash – we will obtain crash reports from police or other relevant bodies, gather witness statements and other key reports to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

Your injuries – if you sought medical treatment then we will collect all the medical evidence and, where appropriate, ask you to have additional medical experts assess your injuries to accurately calculate what future impact those injuries may have.

Your financial losses – we will gather the evidence of your present earnings but also work with employment experts to assess if your injuries could prevent you from working in your present job or have limited your career progression.

One of our clients experienced the difference a solicitor can make when trying to deal with insurers. His insurer offered only £2,000 for a back injury but after coming to Digby Brown his road accident claim settled for more than £26,000.

Agreement on liability – We discuss whether the insurer accepts that the other driver was to blame.

Agreement on quantum (the amount of damages sought) – We discuss whether the insurer accepts our valuation of the damages.

Settlement – If all is agreed the case is settled. If agreement cannot be reached and Digby Brown believe that the amount of compensation or that who was at fault is disputed, then we might eventually have to take the case to court. Please note, this is rare - most cases will settle even once court proceedings have been initiated.

Why a proven track record is a trusted track record...

Digby Brown’s expertise and reputation comes from focusing on one area of law – personal injury – as we believe this is the only way to truly provide a trusted expert service and this approach has resulted in a renowned reputation across the legal sector.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is the UK’s leading body of personal injury solicitors, that gives people access to information on which lawyer or firm will offer the best service – especially if it relates to a specialist issue such acquired brain injuries (ABI) or spinal cord injuries. APIL accredits nearly 50 personal injury lawyers in Scotland and around half of all of these work at Digby Brown.

For nearly 15 years we have been top ranked for personal injury work by the two biggest legal directories in the world – Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. They deliver independent guidance and reviews to the public on who provides the best legal service.

Digby Brown has also been awarded Law Firm of the Year in Scotland for four out of the last five years (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019), based on our results, client appraisals and even appraisals from other firms. We have also received five top Community Contribution awards in the last six years.

All this on top of Digby Brown being one of the most reviewed and highest-rated legal firms in Scotland on Trustpilot.

This proven track record is why charities like Headway, Child Brain Injury Trust, Spinal Injuries Scotland or the road safety charity Brake work with Digby Brown – because we have the expertise, resources and reputation to give people the best possible chance to get fair compensation and get control of their own after an accident.

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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.

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