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Common Misconceptions About Compensation Claims



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If you’re considering making a claim for compensation after an accident, you might have some uncertainties that need addressing first. Here, we examine some of the common compensation claims myths and highlight the importance of gathering accurate information so that you fully understand your rights when making a claim. 

Claiming compensation will be expensive 

One compensation claims myth is that it is sometimes thought that pursuing a claim for compensation is a costly process. However, many personal injury solicitors now handle claims on what is known as No Win No Fee* basis, meaning there are no upfront legal costs to pay. This means that making a compensation claim is much more accessible and allows everyone to have access to good quality legal support.  

Understanding No Win, No Fee 

Otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, a No Win No Fee claim, effectively means that you only pay for the legal services provided if your claim is successful, and if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay a penny in legal fees.  

The Conditional Fee Agreement is your contract with your solicitor and will set out what deductions they may take from your compensation award if you win your case. These deductions will typically include: 

  • An insurance premium for any legal protection required to handle your claim on a no-win fee basis. 
  • A ‘success fee’ for winning the claim. 
  • Any shortfall in legal costs after the other side have contributed 

These fees will be discussed with you and agreed at the beginning of the claims process. If your claim doesn’t succeed, as long as you are honest with the information you disclose and keep to the conditions of your agreement, you won’t have to pay either your lawyer’s fees or those of the other party. 

“I can make a compensation claim anytime” 

It is a misconception that there is flexibility around when you can file a claim for compensation. In most cases, there are strict time limits around making a personal injury compensation claim, and in most cases, you have three years from the date of the accident to bring your claim. There are some exceptions to this three-year time limit. For example: 

  • If you were under 18 at the time of your injury, you have until your 21st birthday to raise a claim.  
  • If your injury or illness is only related to your accident after it occurs. In this instance, you have three years from the date your injury was formally linked to your accident by a qualified medical professional. 
  • If the person bringing a claim does not have mental capacity, there is no time limit to starting a personal injury claim.  

In cases involving criminal injury compensation or compensation for an aeroplane accident, the statutory time limit is two years.  

What if the claimant dies before the claim is resolved? 

In cases where the person making the claim passes away before the claim is resolved, the claim can continue and the deceased’s estate or the next of kin will receive the compensation. If a person dies within three years of an accident, even if they have not started their claim, the executor has three years from the date of death to make claim.  

The importance of the three-year limit 

While a judge can extend the statutory period in some circumstances, there is no guarantee that they will, and in most cases, there will be a limitation period of three years from the date of the accident to start your claim for compensation. It’s important that you start the legal process as early as possible after an accident, to ensure that you don’t become ineligible and to maximise your chances of a successful claim.  

“Will I have to go to court?” 

Another workers compensation myth is that you’ll have to attend court if making a claim. While we can’t guarantee that you won’t need to attend court, most personal injury claims settle without the need to ever go to court. In fact, only 5% of personal injury claims go to court and these tend to be very complex cases or those where liability is heavily disputed.  

That said, when making a claim, you should still be prepared for the possibility that your case might go to court. If this is the case, your personal injury solicitor will be with you every step of the way.  

What happens if your case goes to court 

Knowing what to expect when attending court can make the whole process much less intimidating. Your solicitor will also talk through what to expect and answer any questions you might have about the process.  

Personal injury claim hearings often take place in a civil court, so you’ll be in a normal room, rather than the courtrooms you might be familiar with from TV. There will be no jury, but there will be a judge in regular clothing and legal representatives for both sides.  

The judge will listen to you present your version of events and they will talk to any witnesses to the accident. They’ll also speak to any medical experts who did a medical assessment of your injuries.  

They will take the defendant’s side into account, but because everything will have already been discussed between your legal teams by this point, there should be no surprises. Once all evidence has been presented, the judge will decide on liability and the amount of compensation to be awarded.  

The process of making a compensation claim is complex 

Making a claim might sound intimidating, but having the right legal support on your side can make the process as stress free as possible.  

Step-by-step guide to making a claim 

At The Compensation Experts, we break down the claims process into three easy steps:  

Step 1: If you think you might have a claim, contact our friendly agents by calling our freephone number, request a call back via a contact form, or use our live chat function. 

Step 2: One of our agents will assess the details of your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. If you wish, they will then connect you with a suitable solicitor who will discuss the facts of your case and how it has affected you. 

Step 3: Your solicitor will gather all evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will either win the compensation you deserve, or lose and pay nothing as per our No Win No Fee guarantee

“Could claiming compensation mean I lose my job?” 

One compensation claims myth is that you could lose your job by making a personal injury claim. However, you can’t be fired from your job simply for making a claim for compensation. If you’ve been involved in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to claim compensation and there are protections in place to prevent unfair treatment and discrimination.  

Your rights and protections 

There are legal safeguards in place to protect employees from being dismissed from employment without good reason. Citizens Advice outline the five legal reasons for dismissal, which include not being capable of doing your job, if you’ve behaved badly (misconduct), your employer can’t legally keep you on (e.g. you don’t have the right to work in the UK), your role is redundant, or ‘some other substantial reason.’ 

If you feel that you have been sacked or forced out of your role because you pursued a claim, you could have grounds to claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.  

Help with making compensation claims with The Compensation Experts 

In this article, we’ve explored some compensation claims myths. We’ve clarified that making a personal injury claim doesn’t have to be expensive and that in many cases, you won’t have to pay any legal fees upfront. We’ve also examined the statutory limitations involved in making a claim and discussed the likelihood of attending court. We’ve shed light on the claims process itself and explained the steps involved in seeking justice. Finally, we’ve shared the legal protections in place if you choose to make a claim.  

Having up to date and accurate information is crucial when taking those first steps in making a claim. If you have any further questions, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to help you, whatever your query may be. For no obligation advice, speak to The Compensation Experts on 0800 182 2188, or contact us online.  

 

*Conditions apply