Claims and Compensation

How Do I Get Compensation?

Generally, if you have been injured and it was someone else’s fault then you will be entitled to compensation. Donaldson McConnell aim to resolve your case as quickly as possible but also to maximise the level of compensation you recover. Our experience and skill in this area means that the majority of our cases settle without the stress or potential expense of court proceedings. We have the expertise to litigate cases in both the County Court and the High Court if the other side will not admit liability or their offer does not meet your expectations.

As there are strict time limits within which to bring a claim you should contact Donaldson McConnell, Lisburn today to discuss.

Click on the links below for more information on all types of claims including-

'Claims and Compensation' Specialist

Contact Adam on
02892 601421

How Much Will It Cost?

In the vast majority of our cases the answer will be “Nothing” as the other side will be responsible for paying your costs once we have secured an admission of fault. Unlike other practices we DO NOT deduct additional costs from our clients’ damages so you will always recover 100% of the compensation paid to you.

If liability is not admitted we will work to persuade the insurer to review their decision and will give you a clear, all-inclusive estimate of costs to do so. If the insurer refuses to admit liability we will issue proceedings to obtain compensation for you through the courts.

If liability is not admitted we will:-

  1. ascertain if you qualify for legal aid;
  2. assist you in checking if your claim is covered by Legal Costs cover included in your home insurance;
  3. apply for After the Event insurance on your behalf to provide you will financial cover and peace of mind in relation to the other side’s potential costs.

The Law Society of Northern Ireland does not permit any solicitor to in Northern Ireland act on a “no-win no-fee” basis.

Experience has taught us that our clients benefit from being told if their claim is not viable from the outset, rather than incurring costs to be informed at a later stage. We offer an initial free consultation to discuss and assess your case and will give you realistic advice on your prospects of success from the outset so as to minimise costs and stress.

How Long Will It Take?

Under the Pre-Action Protocol a potential defendant has 3 months to admit or deny liability. They are also required to disclose any information or documents they intend to rely upon as part of their defence. However, each claim is unique and resolution will depend upon:-

  1. the extent of your injuries; the medical picture can often be complex with several different types of injury involved. There can surgery required, physiotherapy to complete or course of medication or counselling to complete;
  2. the time it takes you to make a full or substantial recovery;
  3. whether we require several medical reports to quantify your injury and/or follow up opinions;
  4. the speed with which the other side responds to enquires or proceedings.

Whilst we will progress your claim as quickly as possible we will not settle your claim until we have a full picture of your recovery or can ascertain your ongoing difficulties. You should be wary being advised to settle your claim quickly and you should also be certain that you are clearly aware of the extent of your recovery as a settlement cannot be revisited if it later transpires that your injuries have failed to resolve completely.

01.

Road Traffic Accidents

We know that it a car accidents is a frightening, painful and traumatic event. Experience tells us that it our clients need to be properly advised to not only recover damages for their physical injuries but also in relation to:-

  • Upset, distress, sleep disturbance low mood and depression;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Reimbursement of insurance excess;
  • Loss of amenity and interference with day to day enjoyment of activities;
  • Interference with hobbies and social life;
  • Medical expenses including physio;
  • Vehicle value depreciation;
  • Travel expenses
  • Care costs

It is important to gather as much detail as possible at the scene to include the name and address of the other driver; their insurance details and witness details.

ALWAYS take a note of the other party’s car registration and car make and model to safeguard against them giving false details at the scene of the accident. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and the position of both cars, together with damage to both vehicles. We can still help if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident where the other party leaves the scene or has no insurance. We can make a claim on your behalf to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

You should seek medical attention promptly at A&E or your GP and attend any physio or other rehabilitation programmes as advised by your doctor. You should go back to your GP and seek further assistance should your injuries not resolve. Be sure to tell your GP of all injuries and any associated sleep disturbance, anxiety or depression.

02.

Accidents at Work

All employers have a duty imposed on them by legislation to ensure that they take proper care to prevent injury to their employees or visitors. Employers must:-

  • Provide and update training suitable to your job;
  • Eensure that you are not required to lift or manoeuvre heavy, dangerous or awkward load or objects;
  • Provide and maintain a safe working area and system of working;
  • Ensure that you are not asked to operate machinery or plant without proper training;
  • Provide appropriate tools and equipment, clothing and personal protection equipment;
  • Carry out risk assessments to identify and deal with potential risks;
  • Keep your work place clean, safe and ensure that there are no hazards or obstructions present;
  • Clean up spillages and leaks;
  • Provide, maintain and regularly test plant and machinery;
  • Ensure that all safety guards are fitted and working on machinery;
  • Identify and remove any tripping or slipping hazards.

If you can prove that your employer has breached their duty to you and you have been injured then you will be entitled to claim compensation. We understand that the inability to work can have serious financial repercussions on you and your family and are aware that employers will often put pressure on employees to abandon their claim or to return to work early. We have the experience and expertise to advise you on how best to proceed and to protect your interest throughout.

If you are injured at work you should:-

  • inform your employer or manager of the accident
  • fill out the accident book or ensure that it is completed on your return to work
  • gather details of anyone who witnessed the accident
  • gather details of any other employee who caused the accident;
  • ascertain whether there is CCTV coverage of the accident location

03.

Trips, Falls and Slips

Public bodies and private property owners are under a duty to take reasonable care to look prevent visitors and members of the public from tripping or slipping on their property. Accidents can occur as a result of:

  • Damaged roads or footpaths;
  • Defective or damaged steps or stairs;
  • Obstructions left in walkways or pedestrian routes;
  • Loose or damaged carpets and rugs;
  • Poor or non-existent lighting;
  • Steps or changes in level not being properly designated, coloured or warning signs not in place;
  • Spillages or breakages not being attended to;
  • Floors being cleaned during business hours and being left wet without appropriate “Wet Floor” warning signs

Claims like these can be difficult to prove as the proposed defendant may have a defence if they can demonstrate that they had taken reasonable care. A court does not require a perfect system and a defendant can defend a claim if they demonstrate that:

  • They have a regular and adequate system of inspection;
  • Reasonable steps were in hand to repair with the defect;
  • The defect was of minor dimensions and did not represent a hazard;
  • They have an adequate system of inspection and cleaning.

We have the ability to make the proposed defendant produce any documentation they intend to rely on to prove their system of inspection or maintenance. We will be able to guide your through the strengths and weaknesses of their defence and advise your of the best route forward. We will provide you with a clear fee estimate for this investigation and will not incur significant costs on your behalf only to inform you later that your case is not viable.

If you are injured at you should:-

  • report the accident as soon as possible
  • fill out the accident book if available
  • gather details of anyone who witnessed the accident
  • take photographs of the cause of the accident
  • ascertain whether there is CCTV coverage of the accident location

04.

Accidents in Public Places

The Occupier’s Liability Act (NI) 1957 states that an occupier of premises must “take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.”

You will have a claim for compensation if you have sustained an injury in a public place such as a hotel, restaurant, bar, school, shop, leisure centre or when visiting office or factory premises which has occurred as a result of the act or omission of the owner or occupier of those premises. Injuries can be caused by faulty fixtures or fittings, defective doors, faulty electrical appliances, sharp or protruding items or edges or from slips or trips in public places.

If you are injured at you should:-

  • report the accident as soon as possible and if possible have the owner of the premises agree the cause of the accident (i.e. spillage, loose flooring, defective fixtures etc)
  • fill out the accident book if available
  • gather details of anyone who witnessed the accident
  • take photographs of the cause of the accident
  • ascertain whether there is CCTV coverage of the accident location

05.

Medical Negligence

If you have concerns about the outcome of medical treatment or advice from a doctor, dentist or other medical professional under whose care you or a family member have been placed, then you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Medical negligence is an emotive subject, our aim is to put clients at ease and provide them with the right legal advice to create a suitable outcome. Typical claims include: surgery, post-operative care, misdiagnosis and lack of informed consent.

If you are dissatisfied with the level of care you have received during medical treatment or the outcome of a medical procedure then you may have a claim for professional negligence against the care provider such as a consultant, doctor or dentist.

These cases are often complex as they involve the careful study of your notes and records and require the involvement of an independent consultant to assess the standard of your treatment.

We will retain an appropriate consultant to address whether the treatment you received was adequate or whether it feel below the expected standard. We will also instruct a medical expert to prove that this failure to provide proper care has resulted in you suffering loss and damage and will have them prepare a report on your symptoms and prognosis for recovery.

We work closely with a carefully selected panel of consultants who provide quality reports and who are able to confidently articulate your position should the case proceed to trial.

06.

Cyclists and Pedestrians

Classified as ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ by the Department of Transport recent studies show the increase of traffic on our roads coupled with increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists has led to more people and riders being struck by cars. We will assist you in demonstrating if a driver has been driving in a careless or negligent way so as to help you obtain compensation. If you are involved in an accident with a car you should:

  • Take details of any witnesses;
  • Take photos of the accident scene and the location of the car involved;
  • Obtain details of the driver, especially their registration number;

Retain any route data or video footage recorded during your ride.