We are registered to provide civil and criminal legal aid.

Thorley Stephenson regularly pursue Personal Injury (PI) claims for clients and understand it can be a fast paced and rigid process. Here are some of the common questions which clients ask when considering raising a PI action.

Is there a time limit within which I need to raise a PI claim?

Generally speaking the rules around PI actions are designed to prevent claims from being raised after an extended period of time has passed. There are different reasons for this, but generally it is do give due fairness to everyone concerned: the person raising a claim should be given sufficient time to raise a claim, but not to such an extent that another party will be vulnerable to a claim regardless of the passage of time.

In Scotland there is a three year window within which a PI claim can be raised. This is sometimes described as a “limitation period”, and will – in most cases - start to run from the date that you are injured. The start date can change if your PI claim concerns symptoms that manifested following an accident or injury.

It is also important to point out that, in rare circumstances, when raising a PI claim in court that the court could overlook the fact that the timeframe has expired. However this will only be permitted in special circumstances, where there is just cause to allow the claim to be heard. The courts are reluctant to allow claims to be heard beyond the limitation period. If you think your claim may fall out-with the time limit, you should take legal advice on whether there is still scope to raise your claim.

How long does it take for my claim to be heard in court?

If you decide to raise a PI claim in the courts then you will be bound to follow the court timetable. Though the courts tend to be very inflexible – to prevent claims running on in protracted negotiations between parties – it’s difficult to work out how long a PI claim can take. It will depend on the complexity of your claim, whether fault has been admitted or not, and the availability of supporting evidence. At Thorley Stephenson we have experience of advising on claims of varied timescales and always advise clients to be prepared to be patient.

How much compensation can I expect if my claim is successful?

That’s hard to determine as, legally, there are different monetary values attached to particular parts of the human body. In Scotland, the courts refer to guidelines when working out the correct sum to be awarded should a PI claim be successful.

Generally speaking, the more severe the injury the higher the level of compensation. This is particularly so in respect of significant or catastrophic injuries which involve some level of paralysis and loss of or diminished use of a limb. Also, the value that your claim will attract will reflect the cost of any specialist attention that you have had to seek to address your injuries e.g. hospital care, additional support at home, and any loss of income.

Do I have to go to court?

If you intend to raise a PI claim then the court will normally have to be notified of your intention to argue that you have been injured by someone and that you are entitled to compensation. That said, starting court proceedings is not the same as attending a Hearing – that tends to come after negotiations between the parties have stalled in terms of reaching agreement on fault and any compensation that may be due. In reality, very few PI claims will ever reach the stage of a Hearing where evidence will need to be heard. The courts encourage parties to engage with each other through the legal process and, where possible, to come to an agreement.

You don’t have to raise a PI claim in the courts. There are other mechanisms that you can use but this will depend on the result you want. You could, in theory, just approach the party via a complaints procedure (if relevant) and while this may result in an apology there’s no guarantee that any compensation will be acceptable (or even offered). If you’re worried whether or not you should raise a PI claim in the courts, speak with our team and we’ll assess if it’s the most appropriate forum.

Can I make a claim against my employer, and what are the consequences if I do?

The law on PI claims is quite clear: if you have suffered an injury that was caused by the actions of someone else, then you are entitled to pursue that party for compensation. The situation does not change if you are injured while at work. In the UK your employer is legally responsible for your wellbeing in the workplace, and is obliged to comply with strict health and safety requirements. Your employer is not entitled to remove you from employment as a consequence of you raising a PI claim against them – they may be vulnerable to a claim for unfair dismissal if they do so. The situation may be different if you in some way contributed to the incident that caused your injuries, but that will depend on the circumstances surrounding your situation.

I've been involved in a road traffic accident and my car was damaged. What will happen to it?

In the ordinary course of having been involved in a road traffic accident, if your car is damaged then you should notify your insurer immediately. It will normally be for your insurer to decide what is to happen to it: whether repairs are to be organised or whether the car is a write-off. Alternatively, if the accident was not your fault, you could approach a credit hire company. It will arrange for a replacement car on your behalf, cover repair costs to your car and recover these from the insurance company of the person at fault.

Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers Edinburgh, Scotland

At Thorley Stephenson we understand that you will have many questions on how to make your PI claim. Our team will be able to review your situation and provide a through analysis on whether or not you should consider raising a PI claim. Contact us today to learn more.

That’s hard to determine as, legally, there are different monetary values attached to particular parts of the human body. In Scotland, the courts refer to guidelines when working out the correct sum to be awarded should a PI claim be successful.

Generally speaking, the more severe the injury the higher the level of compensation. This is particularly so in respect of significant or catastrophic injuries which involve some level of paralysis and loss of or diminished use of a limb. Also, the value that your claim will attract will reflect the cost of any specialist attention that you have had to seek to address your injuries e.g. hospital care, additional support at home, and any loss of income.

Get advice now

fill in our enquiry form

Name(*)
Please let us know your name.

Phone(*)
Please write a subject for your message.

Email(*)
Please let us know your email address.

Message(*)
Please let us know your message.

Please tick the box below.(*)
Invalid Input

Contact us today on
01315569599
to speak to our solicitors.

Contact Us

THORLEY STEPHENSON SSC
51 SOUTH BRIDGE
OLD TOWN
EDINBURGH
EH1 1LL

T: 01315569599
F: 0131 556 1321
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.