UK PL

Call me back

Questions & answers

  • Medical Negligence
  • Accidents at Work
  • Occupational Illnesses

1.   Earlier this year I was diagnosed with cancer. I went to the GP feeling unwell many times over the past couple of years but nothing was ever picked up. In the end I changed GP surgery and they sent me to see a specialist straight away. I don’t understand why the cancer was not found sooner. A friend told me I should take legal advice, what should I do?

We are sorry to hear about your diagnosis and we hope that you are now receiving the medical treatment you need and deserve. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is life changing and devastating, even more so if you feel your treatment could have started sooner. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to give you the best chances of success.  Sadly we have clients suffering from cancer in a similar position. We are helping them make a claim for compensation because it is possible that their illness could have been diagnosed earlier and their outcome could have been better. At this stage we recommend that you take legal advice from a specialist clinical negligence solicitor. At Your Legal Friend we have a team of sensitive and experienced solicitors who will listen to your story and advise you on what to do next.

2.   I first went to see my GP about my illness over 2 years ago. Can I still claim compensation?

Yes, you have 3 years to make a clinical negligence claim beginning from the date of the negligence itself or from the date when you realised or should have realised that you had suffered as a result of the negligence.

3.   I go to a new GP now. Will they know that I am making a claim for compensation against my previous GP?

Yes, when we request medical records from your new GP, we advise that it is in connection with a medical negligence claim. However it should not affect the care that you receive.

4.   Will you be able to get the medical records from my previous surgery?

Yes, they are forwarded to your new GP surgery automatically. The records follow the patient.

5.   Will I need to come to your office or will you need to visit me at home?

Usually it is not necessary to do this at the outset. We can arrange to see our clients at home as the case progresses if it is required due to age, problems with mobility or for any other reason particular to the case.

6.   What kind of information will you need from me? 

We will need as much detail as possible about your past and present symptoms and the treatment you underwent or are planning to undergo. We will also need to know which doctors, hospitals, or clinics you attended so we can request all your relevant medical records. Finally, we will need information regarding your financial losses.

7.   Does it cost me anything to make a claim?

We offer a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement so you only pay a fee if you win and this is taken from your compensation. If the case is unsuccessful, we will not charge you anything as an insurance policy we take out on behalf of our clients will protect you from paying any expenses or legal costs for the Defendant or medical experts.

8.   How long does the claim take?

It depends on how many medical experts are required to prove your case.  If it’s one expert, we aim for 12 months. If it’s two experts, then the case is more complicated so we aim for 18 months. However every case is different and if we are unable to reach a reasonable agreement with the Defendant, we may need to issue Court proceedings which can take a further 12 months depending upon the Court.

Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give you a definitive answer on how long a claim takes. Often if depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get medical records and assessments, and whether the Defendant is willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claim. 

Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we have fully assessed your needs. . This often means we need to wait until we know that you have recovered or, until we know what the future holds for you, so that we can secure the maximum compensation.

Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.  

9.   How much can a successful claim pay out?

The size of the compensation really depends on what type of injury you have suffered and how you have been affected in the longer term. Certain things will need to be taken into account, such as what help and care you have needed and for how long whether you have suffered any loss of earnings, and how your lifestyle and family life has changed. All of these factors can take a toll on your general well-being and outlook for the future, so they are all taken into consideration. Last but not least, the size of a successful claim depends on the skill, expertise and commitment of your solicitor in ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.

10.   What happens if I lose my compensation claim?

Don’t worry – we’ve thought of everything. 

Our no win, no fee guarantee means that if your claim isn’t successful, we don’t charge you a penny for all the work we have done on your behalf.

When we take on your case, we also advise you to take out an insurance policy which covers the defendant’s legal costs. So even if your claim isn’t successful, you still don’t pay any fees – either to us or to the defendant’s solicitors.

11.   Can I call you for free advice?

Our Contact Centre team has been trained to deal with calls from patients who have suffered an injury due to medical negligence.

When you first contact us, we’ll ask you about your treatment and how you are now. If we think that you have a valid claim you will be allocated a specialist clinical negligence solicitor who will review your case with you and assess your chances of success.

Even if your enquiry is outside medical negligence, we’ll let you know where you can get the expert advice you need.

12.   Why should I call Your Legal Friend rather than any other law firm?

Our dedicated team of specialist medical negligence solicitors has extensive experience in securing compensation for a wide variety of medical negligence claims. We have fought for patients who have had cancer, incorrect surgery, suffered birth injuries, been prescribed the wrong medication or suffered complications under anesthetic. We are highly trained and experienced in this particular area of law.

All our solicitors are caring, sympathetic, and really understand the impact that medical negligence can have on both you and your family.

1.   I was injured in an accident at work. Can I claim compensation?

Yes you can, if it can be established that the accident was not your fault but was caused by something in your employer’s control.

We are currently pursuing claims for accidents involving faulty work equipment/machinery, lifting of heavy items, falls from height, incorrect Personal Protective Equipment and unsuitable working conditions.

Your employers may also be at fault if the cause of your accident was the negligent actions of one of your work colleagues.

2.   Can I make a personal injury claim against my employer?

Yes, you can make a personal injury claim if you were injured at work. If you have a serious accident while you are working, you may lose earnings through time off work and face extra medical bills, so you have every right to claim for an injury resulting from an accident that was not your fault.

3.   Can my employer dismiss me for making a claim if I was injured at work?

Your employer should not dismiss you if you have been involved in an accident at work and you decide to make a claim. You have the right to see the claim through the whole process without fear of losing your job because of the claim.

In fact, a claim for a workplace injury is made against your employer’s insurance company, not against your employer. Every employer is required by law to have insurance to cover their employees against the effects of an accident at work, so your personal injury claim will be made against this insurance policy and paid out by the insurance company, if successful.

4.   If I claim for a slip or trip injury, who do I claim against?

That depends on where your injury occurred. You may have suffered an injury in a park, on the pavement or some other public space, in which case we claim for public liability against whoever has responsibility for that public space. If your injury occurred on at the supermarket, the pub, the cinema or a school, then we claim against whoever owns or occupies that building.

5.   My accident was 2 years ago. Can I still claim compensation?

Yes, the law allows 3 years for you to make a Personal Injury claim from the date of the accident.

6.   I no longer work at the same place. Does this matter?

It does not matter, as long as your accident was no more than 3 years ago.

7.   Will I need to come to your office or will you need to visit me at home?

We will arrange for all documents to be completed in your own home. These will be sent to you so that you can keep a copy of everything you receive from us.

8.   What kind of information will you need from me?

We will need your personal details, including your address, date of birth and National Insurance Number. We will also need details of the accident and your employer (who we will then claim compensation from).

We will ask for details of your GP or the hospital you attended after your accident so that we can compile the medical evidence in support of the injuries you suffered. We will need you to stay in touch with us at all times and let us know if you move address.

9.   Does it cost me anything to make a claim for compensation?

No it doesn’t cost you anything to make a claim for compensation. We work on a strict ‘no win, no fee’ basis and we win around 95% of our cases.  

10.   How long does the claim take?

On average, a claim for injuries at work can take 12-24 months.  This is because these claims often involve complex injuries and investigation and we have to ensure that we gather all of the evidence possible to give your claim the best chance of success.

Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give you a definitive answer on how long a claim takes.  Often it depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get medical records and assessments, and whether the insurance companies are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claim. 

Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we secure the maximum compensation for you.  This often means we need to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time.

Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.  

11.   How much can a successful claim pay out?

The size of the compensation really depends on what type of claim you have made and the circumstances surrounding your accident. Certain things will need to be taken into account, such as the extent of your injuries, how long the effect of these has lasted, any loss of earnings you have suffered, and how much your lifestyle has changed. All of these factors can take a toll on your general well-being and outlook for the future, so they are all taken into consideration. Last but not least, the size of a successful claim depends on the skill, expertise and commitment of your solicitor in ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.

12.   What happens if I lose my compensation claim?

Don’t worry – we’ve thought of everything. 

Our no win, no fee guarantee means that if your claim isn’t successful, we don’t charge you a penny for all the work we have done on your behalf.

When we take on your case, we also advise you to take out a low cost insurance policy which covers the defendant’s legal costs. So even if your claim isn’t successful, you still don’t pay any fees – either to us or to the defendant’s solicitors.

13.   Can I call you for free advice?

When you first contact us, we’ll ask you a few simple questions to find out whether you are likely to have a valid claim. If you have, then we’ll take full details from you so that our legal teams can review your case and your chances of success.

Our Contact Centre team is very experienced in handling personal injury claims and will be able to answer your questions. Even if your enquiry is outside personal injury or negligence, we’ll let you know where you can get the expert advice you need.

1.   I have been advised that my illness may be related to my work and that I should take legal advice.  I am not sure if I want to make a claim.  When should I speak to a solicitor?

It is always useful to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible after being diagnosed with a condition that may be linked to your work.  We can advise you on whether or not you might have a claim, and talk to you about the further investigations we need to make on your behalf so that you understand how a claim can be made.  The information you gain from a first discussion can often be helpful in making a decision to start a claim straight away. The illnesses and conditions  you can make a claim for include:

  • Asbestos-related illness
  • Occupational asthma
  • Dermatitis
  • Vibration White Finger
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Stress (subject to strict criteria)

For more information, please see our website.

2.   What if the companies who caused my condition no longer exist?

Sometimes exposure to workplace hazards occurred many years ago and companies have ceased trading.

Don’t worry if the companies you worked for no longer exist.  Most employers will have had employers’ liability insurance at the time they traded.  We are able to trace these insurers and they will pay compensation to you if your claim is successful.

Where we need to issue and serve court proceedings we can restore former companies to the Companies House Register so as to provide a legal entity to sue.  However, it will be the employer’s liability insurers who will usually make the compensation payment to you.

3.   What happens if I worked for more than one employer who exposed me to workplace hazards?

Where you have been diagnosed with an occupational illness, you should be advised to claim against all your previous employers who exposed you to asbestos.  If negligence is proven against each of them, they will each pay a contribution of your compensation based on the time you were employed by them where they exposed you to harm.

However if you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, the most serious asbestos-related condition, then it is possible to claim against only one employer in order to receive the whole of the compensation that falls due to you.

4.   What do I need to prove in order to win my case?

We will work with you to prove that your exposure to workplace hazards was in negligent circumstances, so - without any form of safety protection, or without any warnings, or training about the dangers of working with hazardous substances.

We already know that it employers could foresee that working with harmful hazards was harmful to health.  Where they knew that, but failed to protect you, we will prove negligence and breach of duty.

Once we prove negligence and foreseeability, we will obtain medical evidence to help prove that your illness or condition was caused by that negligent exposure.

5.   I no longer keep in touch with former work colleagues.  Will that be a problem for my claim?

Usually exposure to workplace hazards occurred many years ago, and so colleagues who worked with you are no longer in touch.  Former colleagues are often helpful witnesses to the extent of exposure to hazards, so we can make an appeal for witnesses in local newspapers to see if anyone comes forward who may be willing to help. 

In addition, it is often helpful if you can remember the names of any colleagues you worked with, so that your former employer can be told of the names of others who might also have been exposed.  This information is also helpful in investigating where you worked and with whom.

6.   How much compensation might I receive?

We realise that no amount of compensation will bring back good health but it may be possible to claim compensation that assists you or your family financially.

Compensation amounts will vary depending on your age, the type of condition you are suffering from, and your position with regard to earnings/pension and other losses & expenses. You will receive a lump sum for your illness to reflect your pain and suffering.  In addition to this, you can claim for the following:

  •  Expenses incurred as a result of you suffering from your condition, such as travel and medical expenses
  •  Loss of your ability to do services such as decorating, DIY and gardening, if applicable 
  •  Loss of income and pension
  •  Nursing costs, if applicable
  •  Funeral expenditure (where death from your illness has occurred)
  •  Future expenses you might incur if your illness continues

Where your condition is particularly serious or life threatening, it may be possible to obtain an interim payment of some of your compensation quickly, once liability is admitted, so that you can obtain some benefit from it at an early stage.  The balance of compensation will then follow once the claim is concluded.

Your solicitor’s legal costs are also paid.

7.   Is there anything else I may be entitled to?

You may be entitled to a number of benefits from the Department of Work & Pensions.  Your solicitor should have the relevant application forms available and should be able to complete them on your behalf.

DWP benefits may include Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or any other benefit associated with your illness and your needs. 

Your solicitor will be able to advice you on your entitlements.

8.   Are there any time limits that apply?

A claimant has 3 years to bring a claim, from their date of knowledge that they have a condition that might be related to work. The date of knowledge does not always run from the date of diagnosis.  Your solicitor will advise you of when your date of knowledge is likely to be.  Sometimes we need to review medical records in order to take a view about that.  For this reason, it is important to seek the advice of a solicitor as soon as you first suspect that your condition might be linked to your job.

There are other time limits that apply to claiming DWP benefits and we can advise you about that.

9.   Will I need to come to your office or will you need to visit me at home?

We will arrange for all initial documents to be completed in your own home where possible. We often prefer to meet you as this is helpful in forming a good working relationship and reassuring you further about the claims process.

In other cases, and once initial paperwork is signed, we can often speak to you by telephone to take further information and advise you.

10.   What kind of information will you need from me?

We will need your personal details, including your address, date of birth and National Insurance Number. We will also need to speak to you in some detail so that we can prepare a statement that will become your evidence in relation to your claim.  The statement will deal with your work history, your exposure to your workplace hazard, your medical diagnosis and treatment, the effect that your symptoms have had on your work and/or home life, and we will also take details of your losses and expenses.

We will ask for details of your GP and the hospital you attended, and seek your permission to apply for your medical records so that we can provide these to the medical expert who will be asked to see you and prepare a medical report in support of your claim.

11.   Does it cost me anything to make a claim for compensation?

We work on a strict ‘no win, no fee’ basis and we win around 95% of our cases.  We always explain our funding terms and conditions to you at the outset in any event and our first consultation is always free of charge. We want to be sure that there are no surprises in terms of funding and that you fully understand how we’ll be able to deal with your claim.

12.   How long does the claim take?

On average, a claim for occupational illness can take 12-24 months.  This is often dependent upon the number of employers we need to claim against and any complexities in relation to your case.

Where there is an urgent need to conclude a claim quickly, for example, if life expectancy is an issue, we can start court proceedings and ‘fast track’ them in the Supreme Court to ensure a more speedy conclusion.  We can also progress the case according to your needs and wishes.

Our aim is to balance progressing your claim as quickly as possible with getting you the maximum settlement amount.

13.   What happens if I lose my compensation claim?

Don’t worry – we have thought of everything.

Our no win, no fee guarantee means that if your claim isn’t successful, we don’t charge you a penny for all the work we have done on your behalf.

When we take on your case, we also advise you to take out an insurance policy which covers the defendant’s legal costs.  So even if your claim isn’t successful, you still don’t pay any fees – either to us or to the defendant’s solicitors.

14.   Can I call you for free advice?

When you first contact us, we’ll ask you a few simple questions to find out whether you are likely to have a valid claim.  If you have, then we’ll take full details from you so that our legal teams can review your case and your chances of success.

Our Contact Centre team is very experienced in handling occupational illness claims and will be able to answer your questions.

15.   Why should I call Your Legal Friend rather than any other law firm?

We have a dedicated team of specialist solicitors who have extensive experience in securing compensation for all occupational illnesses.

We are highly trained and experienced in this particular area of law. All our solicitors are caring, sympathetic, and really understand the impact that work place illness can have on you and your family. We are confident that you will feel in safe hands.