Road Traffic Accident Claims - Glossary
We often find that people can become confused by a lot of the legal terms that are used every day in respect of road traffic accident claims and accept that lawyers can be regarded as talking in another language. The following explanations will hopefully assist you in deciphering any legalese you come across.
Appearing for you at Court hearings, whether in person or by telephone.
The person dealing with the claim at the third party insurer or solicitors.
Your claim for damages for personal injury and other losses.
The person bringing the claim before the Court. Should the other side issue proceedings first then it would be the other party who is referred to as the Claimant, even though you may be pursuing your own claim.
Conditional Fee Agreement ("CFA") (sometimes also referred to as a "no win, no fee" agreement)
An agreement whereby the client only pays his/her Solicitors costs if the client wins the case. It should be noted that despite being called "no win, no fee" the client may still be liable for the cost of e.g. experts, police reports, medical records etc....
Where neither side is totally to blame the damages are reduced to take account of any apportionment of liability. For example, if liability is resolved on a 50:50 basis you would only receive 50% of the value of your damages claim.
A barrister practising at the independent bar. They are usually used either to advise on a case or conduct advocacy.
A cross - claim which is sometimes brought by a Defendant against a Claimant.
The DSS/DWP keep a record of any and all benefits paid to an injured party and are entitled to recover these through the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) where damages are paid to that person - the paying party applies for a certificate of benefits paid and deducts this directly from the damages.
Money that a Court says that you or your opponent must pay (or money that you or your opponent agree to pay) in settlement of the case.
Judgment which may be entered against the Defendant when no Defence is lodged within set timescales.
The person against whom the claim is brought (also known as opponent).
Costs for legal work which is not done by us, such as payment for medical reports, police reports, accident reports, court issue fee etc...
Where you are bringing a claim through the courts you can usually discontinue this at any time, although there are exceptions. If you do discontinue your claim you are automatically liable to the other side for their costs.
Losses you have suffered which are not fixed e.g. your injury, future losses, loss of use of your vehicle etc...
Full & final settlement
This is the last payment that you will receive for your claim (save for reimbursement of any disbursements you may have paid). This covers both general and special damages and an acceptance of such a payment means that you can not ask for more, even if you later find your injuries to be more serious than originally thought.
Money that a Court says your opponent must pay or your opponent agrees to pay while waiting for a settlement or the Court's final decision.
A court hearing that does not finally dispose of the case.
Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI)
An insurance policy to cover your opponent's costs. Policies are also available to cover our costs.
Put simply, who was at fault. An accident can be caused entirely by one party or another or responsibility can be split between those involved (see contributory negligence above).
Claims are supposed to be brought within the "primary limitation period". It is sometimes possible to bring a claim after this. Primary limitation period for a claim for personal injury in a traffic accident is 3 years and for property damage 6 years from your knowledge of the latest of:
The Court has dismissed your proceedings or you have stopped it on our advice.
Particulars Of Claim
A statement of the case which is sent to the Court with the Summons when proceedings are being issued.
Personal Injury Panel
A specialist panel, accredited by The Law Society on having satisfied rigorous tests as to experience and expertise in personal injury law and practice.
Out of pocket expenses arising from the accident e.g. loss of earnings, damaged clothing, additional travel etc.... - you should try and keep all receipts in this respect.
Struck out/strike out
The Court can strike out a case or any part of it either of it's own motion or on the application of either party. If the whole of a party's case is struck out the other side are entitled to enter judgment against them, meaning they lose, and seek all of their costs.
Where there is no real defence to the claim then judgment can be asked for by the Claimant and puts an end to issues on liability.
The claim which is being brought before the Court.
Third Party Insurer
The insurance company for the other party involved in the accident.
- The case is finally decided in your favour, whether by a Court decision or an agreement to pay your damages, or
- We successfully bring or defend an application before the Court upon your behalf resulting in a Costs Order against the other side.
If you need our help, either e-mail us anytime, or call 01404 861868.