What is family law?

Navigating family politics can be challenging at the best of times. When familial relationships break down, resolving disputes can become increasingly complex—particularly when money or children are involved. At this point, many families seek help from a legal professional who specialises in family law. A family law solicitor helps families negotiate and resolve issues or disputes fairly and as amicably as possible.

In this article, we will explore the different areas of family law to answer the question, “What is family law?”

What exactly is family law?

Family law is a very broad area of law that focuses on family relationships. The three main areas of family law are matrimonial, finance, and child. Some family law solicitors specialise in just one of these areas, whilst others cover all family law matters.

Dealing with a family law issue can be extremely upsetting and disruptive for the family involved. That is why, in family law, there is an emphasis on resolving disputes through negotiation and mediation, with court proceedings only considered a last resort.

Several important pieces of legislation govern family law UK; these include:

  • Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
  • Children Act 1989
  • Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • Family Law Act 1996
  • Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008

Some key areas of family law include marriage and civil partnerships, divorce and separation, child law, domestic violence and abuse, property and financial matters, cohabitation, and grandparents’ rights. We’ll explore some of these areas in more detail later in this article.

How is family law different from other areas of law?

Because family law deals specifically with familial relationships, it requires a more personal and sensitive approach than other areas of law like corporate law or criminal law.

Family law solicitors help families resolve highly emotional and personal issues, which requires a high level of empathy and sensitivity. Family law cases can have a huge impact on the people involved on a personal level, particularly when children are involved, so they must be handled with the utmost care. There are unique legal standards that govern family law, including the “best interests of the child” principle. This standard requires the best interests of any children involved in a case always to take precedence in decision-making.

When it comes to family law, there is also an emphasis on resolving issues as amicably as possible without going to court. The stress and expense of going to court can put considerable strain on families, so family law concentrates on trying to resolve issues through negotiation and mediation services.

What does family law cover in the UK?

In the UK, law firms that practice family law usually offer a wide range of services to provide legal advice and support for various family matters. They can assist with a wide variety of issues from divorce to child arrangements and everything in between.

So, to answer the question, “What is family law UK?” Let’s examine some of the different areas that family law covers.

Divorce and separation

Family law solicitors can help married couples whose relationships have irretrievably broken down to navigate divorce or judicial separation. In 2020, the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act introduced “no-fault divorces”, which eliminates the need to attribute blame. Instead, either party can file for a divorce, or both parties can apply jointly.

A family law solicitor can help married couples file for a divorce, resolve disputes, divide assets fairly, and negotiate financial and child arrangements.

Alternatively, family law solicitors can help couples apply for a judicial separation if they do not wish to get a divorce for personal or religious reasons. A judicial separation allows the parties to live separately and the Family Court to make financial orders between them. However, it means the marriage has not legally ended, and neither party can marry again until they’ve obtained a divorce.

Marriage and civil partnerships

Marriage and civil partnerships are legal contracts between two individuals. Before entering into a marriage or civil partnership, it’s sensible to discuss what would happen if your relationship were to break down in the future. Planning ahead can provide both parties with peace of mind and financial security.

A family law solicitor can help couples draw up a prenuptial or pre-cohabitation agreement to protect each party’s assets and agree on how assets will be split if their relationship breaks down. These agreements can be used to protect all sorts of assets, including property, savings, inheritance, trust funds, premium bonds, stocks and shares, pension pots, and more.

Family law solicitors can also help dissolve civil partnerships. The process for dissolving a civil partnership is very similar to that of divorce.

Domestic violence and abuse

Family law firms provide invaluable, and sometimes life-saving, support to victims of domestic violence and abuse. Domestic abuse can cover everything from physical violence and emotional abuse to controlling or coercive behaviour, financial control, and gaslighting. Family law solicitors help individuals take legal action against their abuser and obtain injunctions to protect them against further abuse.

Child law

Family law also covers many different aspects of child law, including child arrangements, parental responsibility, child maintenance, adoption and surrogacy, child protection and safeguarding, and more. Family law uses “the best interests of the child” principle to ensure that all decisions regarding children put the child’s welfare first.

When a couple separates, disagreements sometimes occur over where children will live and how they will spend time with each parent. Family law can help resolve child arrangement disputes using negotiation or a Child Arrangement Order.

A family law solicitor can also help parents apply for parental responsibility if they don’t already have it. Parental responsibility gives a person the legal right to make major decisions regarding the child’s education, health, religion, or name change.

Change of name

Today, more people than ever change their names or their children’s names due to life events like divorce, adoption, marriage, or civil partnership.

A family law solicitor can advise you on the process for changing your or your child’s name according to your circumstances. They can also help you complete the required documents and draft the change of name deed.


Marriage is less important than it once was, and more people than ever now choose to cohabit without getting married or entering a civil partnership. Unfortunately, common law marriage is a myth, and cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights as married couples. In fact, they have very few legal rights, which can make the division of assets extremely complicated when cohabiting couples separate.

Drawing up a cohabitation agreement can help protect both parties if their relationship breaks down in the future. Cohabitation agreements are legally binding agreements that can be used to gain clarity over various issues relating to both the couple’s lives together and what would happen if their relationship ended. Common areas covered in a cohabitation agreement include how bills and debts will be covered, each party’s stake in any shared property, child arrangements if their relationship ends, and the division of assets if their relationship ends. A family law solicitor can also help with resolving cohabitation disputes when there is no cohabitation agreement.

Grandparents’ rights

Grandparents often play an important role in a child’s life. Sometimes, after a divorce, separation, or family conflict, grandparents can find themselves cut out of a child’s life. Losing contact can be upsetting and detrimental to both the grandparent and the child. Although grandparents do not have automatic rights to child access, the Family Court recognises the invaluable role they can play in a child’s life and will try to reunite them if they believe it is in the child’s best interests to maintain contact.

A family law solicitor can help grandparents and other relatives ask permission to apply for a court order and, if granted, a child arrangement order. A child arrangement order then sets out how frequently the grandparent can see the child and under what circumstances.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors Family Law

If you need help resolving a family law matter, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors’ team of specialist family law solicitors.

We are one of the leading law firms in the North West, providing family law services to clients throughout Liverpool, Warrington, Leigh, Runcorn, Manchester, and the surrounding areas.

We offer cost-effective legal advice and services on a no-win, no-fee basis. Contact us today on 0800 002 9577 or fill out the contact form on the right to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Martha’s Rule: Peace of Mind made Legally Available.

What is Martha’s Rule?

From April 2024, the NHS implemented the first phase of Martha’s Rule. This rule will allow patients, families, carers, and staff round the clock access to a rapid review from a second, separate care team if they are worried about an individual’s condition once fully implemented. It is essentially a legal requirement to provide a second opinion when it is requested.

Martha’s Story:

Martha Mills was a 13 year old who died due to a delay in moving her to an intensive care ward after concerns were raised by her parents that she may be suffering with sepsis.

Martha was admitted to hospital in May 2021 after sustaining a pancreatic injury from falling off her bike. During her admission, she contracted an infection and her condition deteriorated over the course of 10 days. Between the 21st and the 29th August 2021, her parents raised concerns about her deterioration several times, once explicitly stating that they believed that she had sepsis and would develop septic shock. They were told daily that her recovery was not in doubt at that it was just a matter of time. On the 29th August 2021, she began bleeding heavily through a tube inserted into her arm. Unfortunately, Martha passed away on the 31st August 2021. Her cause of death was sepsis and refractory shock.

The inquest following Martha’s death determined that there were several opportunities to refer Martha to intensive care, all of which were missed. The coroner determined that Martha’s life could have been saved if she was transferred to intense care earlier.

What does the Rule involve?

There are three components of Martha’s Rule that have been proposed which can be found detailed at:


These are also provided below:

  1. All staff in NHS trusts must have 24/7 access to a rapid review from a critical care outreach team, who they can contact should they have concerns about a patient.
  2. All patients, their families, carers, and advocates must also have access to the same 24/7 rapid review from a critical care outreach team, which they can contact via mechanisms advertised around the hospital, and more widely if they are worried about the patient’s condition.
  3. The NHS must implement a structured approach to obtain information relating to a patient’s condition directly from patients and their families at least daily. In the first instance, this will cover all inpatients in acute and specialist trusts.

The Change in Effect:

The welcome change enables a path to which concerned family members can ensure that their concerns are addressed not only by the primary team, but also by a secondary team. This way, any errors in treatment can be caught, or any reassurances can be provided.

It is the latest change introduced by the NHS in a series of measures to improve the way that the service can identify any decline in a patient’s condition that may not have been identified by the primary care provider.

The obligation imposed upon the NHS will be highly advertised via posters on wards to ensure that those unaware of Martha’s Rule will be knowledgeable on its implementation, and can use it at their discretion.

Whilst the implementation comes at a time of an NHS crisis, the process will work to ensure that critical treatments are provided where they could potentially be missed, ensuring that lives are made better, and in some cases, that lives are saved. 

Rabot v Hassam – The Impact of Mixed Injuries in Personal Injury Claims following Road Traffic Accidents


The Civil Liability Act 2018 and the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 brought into effect the Whiplash Reforms. These reforms introduced a tariff award for whiplash injuries following road traffic accidents on or after the 31st of May 2021; this being soft tissue injuries to an individual’s neck, back, and/or shoulders. A slightly increased tariff applies for injuries that are accompanied by psychological injuries. The tariff can be found at Paragraph 2(1)(b) at the following link:


What the legislation omits to address is the overlap between whiplash (tariff) injuries, and other injuries (non-tariff). These are soft tissues injuries to areas that are not the neck, back, and shoulders, such as knees and wrists.

This forms the basis of the two cases brought before the Courts, Rabot v Hassam, and Briggs v Laditan.


Rabot v Hassam and Briggs v Laditan were heard by District Judge Hennessy, claims to which there were tariff and non-tariff injuries following a road traffic accident. In assessing the injuries, the judge referred to an existing judgement, Sadler v Filipiak, which enabled the judge to assess the injuries together to create a total sum, and then stepping back and reducing the figure to account for any overlap of pain, suffering, and loss of amenity.

Mr Rabot’s whiplash injuries, together with injuries to the left elbow, knee, and hips, totalled an award of £3,890.00. The judge then reduced the figure to £3,100.00 to account for any overlap. Mr Briggs’ injuries totalled £3,840.00, and the figure awarded was £2,800.00.

The judgement was appealed and heard in the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal:

In bringing the claims to the Court of Appeal, the Claimant’s submitted that the approach that DJ Hennessy adopted should be followed; in that, the sums should be combined and then reduced accordingly. The Defendant submitted that the tariff award should be the starting point, upon which, additional small sums should be added when non-tariff injuries are established that are independent of the tariff injuries.

The judgement was decided by two to one, whereby the decision favoured the initial judgement given by District Judge Hennessy. This was given under the proviso that the total sum awarded could not be less than the award for the value of the non-tariff injury alone. For example, in Mr Brigg’s case, the sum awarded for his non-tariff injuries was £3,000.00. As such, the final award that was decided could not be £2,800.00 as District Judge Hennessy awarded in the first court.

The Court of Appeal judgement was subsequently appealed on the same grounds.

The Supreme Court:

The five judges of the Supreme Court supported the decision of the Court of Appeal and is summarised in the following.

The unanimous judgement addressed how the wording of the Act does not detract from how injuries are assessed at common law. As such, the court is able to make an award with reference to and to reflect combined injuries, as opposed to solely tariff which is confined to solely whiplash injuries. The judgement addresses how the Sadler approach was correct, and that a reduction should be made to account for any overlap in pain, suffering, and loss of amenity. It states how this adopted approach does not undermine the purpose of the legislation, as Claimants still receive a lower award if they present with mixed injuries.

Correct approach:

  1. Assess the tariff amount by applying the table in the 2021 Regulations.
  2. Assess the common law damages for PSLA for the non-whiplash injuries.
  3. Add those two amounts together.
  4. Step back and consider whether one should make an adjustment applying Sadler. The adjustment (which in this context will almost always be a deduction rather than an addition) must reflect, albeit in a rough and ready way, the need to avoid double recovery for the same PSLA.
  5. If it is decided that a deduction is needed, that must be made from the common law damages.
  6. However, the final award cannot be lower than would have been awarded as common law damages for PSLA for the non-whiplash injuries had the claim been only for those injuries.”


The judgement in the UK Supreme Court has been one that is positive for personal injury practitioners and claimants alike. It recognises the need for thorough and appropriate compensation following road traffic accident claims, for claimants that have suffered with multiple injuries. Prior to this clarification from the courts, the initial Sadler approach would result in awards that would step back too far, and award sums that were below what individuals would now be able to receive in light of the present case law.

The practical impact of this judgement should be reflected in judgements to come, wherein claimants will not be financially hindered for bringing claims where there are whiplash and non-whiplash injuries, but instead, be compensated appropriately in line with common law and legislative damages.

Representatives from insurance companies have commented on the practical implications of this judgement; in that they believe it will only work to increase insurance premiums and disadvantage the many to advantage the few. However, the 2018 legislation and tariff system were introduced to reduce insurance premiums. It is a balancing act to which the public are yet to see any results in the payments that are made.

Nevertheless, the judgement has been welcomed by many. It provides clarity in an area of law that has arguably presented more uncertainty than stability since its introduction in 2018. Claimants and Defendants can now be confident in receiving and deciding upon awards for mixed injuries with this clarity from the courts. The law is wanting, for example, on the issues of minor psychological injuries, and what qualifies an uplift to the tariff amount; however, judgements such as this will work to develop and shape the law in the coming years.

What is Sepsis and How Can it be Treated?

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is your body’s response at fighting an untreated infection. Should an infection be present for too long, your immune system will produce an extreme response which will begin causing damage to its own tissues and organs.

This condition is indiscriminate of any biological factors and can happen to anyone harbouring an infection; however, it is found in higher frequencies in the elderly; the very young; pregnant individuals; or those with other health problems.

Sepsis can present in many ways and as such, it can be difficult to identify, but the most common symptoms present as:

  • Extreme body temperature such as fever or low temperature
  • High heart rate
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Discoloured or mottled skin
  • Failure to pass urine over a 24-hour period.

Sepsis takes a life every 3 seconds worldwide. This is 11 million lives a year; more lives than breast, bowel, and prostate cancer combined.


Sepsis can be treated effectively if treatment begins early. This is why it is of the utmost importance for healthcare professionals to be alert to the symptoms and perform the necessary tests to diagnose it promptly.

A singular diagnostic test does not yet exist for sepsis, so healthcare professionals are required to use a combination of tests to diagnose sepsis as soon as possible.

If left undiagnosed, sepsis can have devastating consequences leading to septic shock and organ failure. As it can potentially be treated with antibiotics, it is worthy to present at any medical institution as soon as you present with any symptoms.

Long Term Impacts

As above, should sepsis be identified early, it can be treated effectively, and it will be unlikely that there are any lasting consequences.

However, failure to diagnose can lead to severe sepsis, which ultimately reduces the blood supply to your tissues and affects your internal organs. Septic shock is when there is a dramatic drop in an individual’s blood pressure, leading to the organs being starved of oxygen. The survival rate for septic shock is low but people can and do survive. 

In up to 50% of cases, people can experience post-sepsis syndrome. This is a long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological syndrome. It can cause lethargy, fatigue, insomnia, muscle and joint pain, swelling in the limbs, and reduced organ function. It can have a psychological impact with hallucinations and panic attacks, flashbacks, memory loss, depression, and decreased cognitive functioning.

Medical Malpractice

It is possible that an individual could be eligible to bring a claim due litany of factors. The typical circumstances whereby a claim arises are as such:

  •  If a medical institution fails to diagnose the condition when an individual presents with typical symptoms, and there is avoidable loss as a result.
  • If sepsis is misdiagnosed as another condition and is therefore incorrectly treated.
  • If sepsis is diagnosed but incorrectly treated and there is harm as a result.
  • If a medical institution causes sepsis by late or delayed treatment.
  • If a medial institution causes sepsis by poor hygiene standards or poor care.

If you believe you are a victim of someone else’s negligence regarding sepsis, then we may be able to assist in making a no win, no fee claim for clinical negligence

Understanding fundamental dishonesty in personal injury claims

If you are making a personal injury claim, it is important you are honest about your symptoms and losses.

Don’t exaggerate them or make false statements.

Claimants found guilty of being fundamentally dishonest with their personal injury claim can face severe consequences.

This article will explain the concept fundamental dishonesty and how it could affect your personal injury claim if you are found guilty.

What is fundamental dishonesty in personal injury?

Fundamental dishonesty is a concept that was introduced in the UK under Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 in a bid to deter fraudulent or exaggerated personal injury claims.

The defendant must prove the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest. Usually, fundamental dishonesty will either be discovered before the trial or arise from evidence during it.

Examples of fundamental dishonesty include an individual claiming that since the accident, they can no longer carry out a particular task when this is untrue. The dishonesty must be related to something fundamental in the case rather than a minor part of the claim.

In some cases, defendants may undertake surveillance of the claimant to gather evidence of their dishonesty. Evidence may also be gathered from the claimant’s social media posts or eyewitness accounts.

Consequences of fundamental dishonesty

Claimants that are found to have been fundamentally dishonest could find themselves facing the following consequences:

  • They become liable to pay legal costs for both sides – Usually, under the Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS) principle, claimants do not bear liability of cost in personal injury claims. However, if a claimant is found to be fundamentally dishonest, then QOCS protection is lost. If a claim is fundamentally dishonest, the claimant loses protection under QOCS and is required to pay the legal costs on both sides.
  • The case is dismissed – If a claimant is found to have been fundamentally dishonest, the judge may dismiss their personal injury case altogether. This can even happen in cases where the claim is otherwise genuine but contains elements of dishonesty. This could also mean the claimant loses the right to raise the same kind of claim in a court of law in the future.
  • Prosecution – In extreme cases, the claimant could even be prosecuted for perjury/contempt of court.

Does fundamental dishonesty only apply to personal injury?

Whilst dishonesty can lead to serious consequences in many areas of the law, the concept of fundamental dishonesty is specific to personal injury claims. It can also only be applied to the claimant.

If you have sustained injuries after an accident that wasn’t your fault and require help with a personal injury claim or fundamental dishonesty personal injury, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors.

Call us today on 0800 002 9577 to arrange a free consultation with one of our solicitors.

Judicial College guidelines on personal injury

Determining the value of a personal injury claim can be a complicated process.

Every case is different, and its unique circumstances must be taken into account.

Legal practitioners use professional documentation and expert guidance to help them to navigate the process and ensure a just and fair result.

One important resource is the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Judicial College Guidelines, this article aims to explain what they are and the role they play in determining the value of personal injury claims.

What are the Judicial College Guidelines for Personal Injury?

The Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases is an important resource that legal professionals use to help determine the value of personal injury claims.

The guidelines comprise 14 chapters, each relating to a different group of related injuries. Each chapter provides guideline compensation figures for each type of injury based on severity. They also explain how to define each grade of severity.

The guidelines were created to help standardise the process of calculating compensation to create fair and consistent outcomes.

How are the Judicial College Guidelines used to determine the value of personal injury claims?

The Judicial College Guidelines set out a range of possible compensation amounts for different types of injuries based on the body part affected and the severity of the injury.

For example, one of the 14 chapters within the guidelines relates to ‘orthopaedic injuries’; this section lists many different types of orthopaedic injuries, including wrist injuries, toe injuries, and back injuries.

For each injury, it then sets out a guideline figure for general damages based on the severity of the injuries.

The guidelines are there to provide legal practitioners with a valuable starting point for calculating the value of personal injury claims. Each personal injury case must be assessed based on its unique merits.

Some of the factors that can affect the valuation of a personal injury claim include the claimant’s age, length of recovery time, long-term health implications, and the impact of the injury on their quality of life.

The guidelines also only cover compensation for ‘general damages’. General damages include the injury itself and its direct impact. They do not cover ‘special damages’, which are additional costs incurred due to the injury, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, and other financial losses. These additional losses must be calculated separately and added to the general damages.

Claim compensation for a personal injury with Mark Reynolds Solicitors

Need help with a personal injury claim?

Here at Mark Reynolds Solicitors, our team of personal injury solicitors have the experience and knowledge required to navigate the complexities of personal injury law and help you get the compensation you deserve.

For more information or to receive a free consultation with our team, call us today on 0800 002 9577.

What happens if I lose my personal injury claim?

Making a personal injury claim can be a highly stressful time for claimants. Chief among their worries is often the fear that their claim will fail, and this is often what can hold individuals back from seeking to make a claim in the first place.

If you’re thinking of seeking legal help but wondering, ‘what happens if I lose my personal injury claim?’, then read on.

Can I lose a personal injury claim?

Yes. Just like generally any court case, you can win your case, or you can lose it.

Even if you feel like there is a clear-cut incidence of personal injury happening to you due to the actions (or negligence) of somebody else, this cannot simply be taken as true.

Due process still needs to take place, and this can mean the loss of your side if a court finds that the defending party are not as at-fault as you believe.

This is somewhat mitigated by most personal injury claims being represented on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. Since solicitors working on this basis won’t earn anything for their time if you lose, their representation is usually a sign that your case has a good chance of winning.

Do I need to pay costs if I lose my personal injury claim?

There are several ways in which a claimant needs not worry about paying costs if they lose their claim.

Commonly, a type of insurance policy known as ‘after the event’ (ATE) insurance is required as part of a claim. This covers the costs of the defendant’s side in the event that the claimant loses their case. If this happens, the claimant won’t have to pay the cost of the policy.

From April 2013, a regulation known as qualified one-way costs shifting came into use. This applies only to personal injury claims, and stipulates that claimants will not be made financially worse off for making a claim, even if they lose it.

There are now several defences for personal injury claims that ensure claimants don’t lose money by pursuing claims. This also means that claims will (hopefully) not simply be left by the wayside for fear of losing money.

This is especially important for individuals who fear the legal resources of people or companies much wealthier than themselves.

How to make a personal injury claim

To start your claim, you need to contact a qualified personal injury solicitor.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors can take the details of your personal injury and start a friendly, open dialogue with you. Our no-obligation consultation will allow us to give you an objective opinion of your case and whether we can help you pursue compensation.

To find out more about our services for personal injury claims, contact us today.

Settlement process for personal injury claims

Making a personal injury claim is something that many of us need never think about. Like many things, you only need to learn about the process when it suddenly becomes apparent you may need to make your own claim.

The personal injury claim settlement process in the UK is generally straightforward but can be lengthy.

The personal injury claim settlement process

Contacting a solicitor

Before any claim can get underway, the claimant should seek impartial advice from a qualified personal injury solicitor.

This is an important first step as it means you can gain an objective opinion on whether you have a viable case that can be won. If your solicitor thinks the case is feasible, they will likely offer to represent you and take it on.


Once you’ve appointed a solicitor and are happy to proceed, your practitioner will begin gathering more information and looking into your case on a deeper level.

This investigation allows them to understand the case fully, including the details of what happened to you, how it occurred, and what changes it has made to your health and wellbeing.

They will also take the details of any evidence that supports the claim, such as evidence of the defending party’s negligence or medical evidence of your injuries.

Pre-action protocol

Once your solicitor is satisfied they have the all the necessary context and information to get started, the pre-action protocol stage can begin.

This is where the case ‘officially’ starts, wherein your solicitor fills out a Claim Notification Form (CNF) and sends it to the defending party or their insurance company. This formally signals intent to sue for damages, and outlines what happened to the claimant and why they feel they’re entitled to compensation.

The solicitor must allow around 21 days for the defendant to respond and acknowledge receipt of the CNF. They then have three months in which they can investigate the claim and prepare a response as to whether they accept or reject liability for the claim.

What happens then?

If liability is accepted, then this is the easiest course of action for everybody involved. Your solicitor can set about negotiating your settlement, and court action can be avoided if both sides can come to an agreement over the amount of compensation paid. If not, the solicitor may need to apply to a court for a judge’s impartial decision.

If liability is rejected, then the solicitor has the much larger task of preparing to fight the case in court and again take the matter before a judge. This is will involve careful gathering of any evidence that backs up or strengthens the claim, including medical reports, CCTV footage, eyewitness statements, and more.

How to get a personal injury settlement

Of course, the personal injury claim settlement process in the UK is much easier than having to fight in court, but a good solicitor will help your case through to the end regardless of either route.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors are qualified personal injury solicitors who can help you with a claim and see your case through to completion.

For help with a personal injury claim, contact us today.

How do you negotiate a higher personal injury settlement?

If you suffer an injury that is someone else’s fault, you are entitled to fair compensation.

Financial compensation gained because of a personal injury claim can help you cover medical bills, loss of earnings, and emotional harm. However, reaching a satisfactory settlement isn’t always straightforward.

This article will explain how the personal injury claims process works, discuss when it is appropriate to accept the first offer, and provide insight into personal injury negotiation tactics.

How does the personal injury claims process work?

The personal injury claims process can be roughly split into five stages. Here’s a step-by-step outline of how the process typically works:

  • Case preparation and evidence collection – If the other party accepts responsibility for your injury, your solicitor will compile all the necessary evidence to support your claim and forward these materials to the defendant’s solicitors.
  • Valuation of the claim – Your solicitor will then carefully assess the value of your claim. To do this, they utilise resources such as the Judicial College Guidelines, which provide guidance on the appropriate compensation for various types of injuries. They also look at precedents set by similar cases. Once complete, they send their compensation valuation to the insurance company.
  • Compensation offer – The insurer may make a compensation offer at any point during this process. However, it is most commonly made once both parties have disclosed and considered all evidence.
  • Negotiation – Your solicitor will usually carry out all negotiations on your behalf.
  • Responding to the offer – After each offer, your solicitor will review it with you and advise whether they believe it is fair and whether you should accept it or negotiate for a higher amount. If you decline the offer, your solicitor will continue negotiating with the insurer. Your case may proceed to court if an agreement cannot be reached. The decision to accept or reject an offer is always yours.

Should I accept first offer in personal injury?

Determining whether to accept the first offer in a personal injury claim depends on several factors, including the timing of the offer and the amount being offered.

Sometimes, an offer may be made before all evidence has been disclosed. In these cases, the offer may not accurately reflect the full compensation you’re entitled to for your injuries or associated losses.

Your personal injury solicitor can provide valuable insight into the appropriate level of compensation based on their experience with similar cases. If the defendant has admitted liability, enough evidence has been submitted, and your solicitor believes that the first offer fairly compensates you for your injury, you might consider accepting the first offer. Remember that once an offer is accepted, your claim is considered resolved, and you cannot reopen it later.

However, if you are unhappy with the first offer, you can ask your solicitor to continue negotiations with the defendant’s insurer.

How to negotiate a high personal injury settlement offer

After a compensation offer is made that you or your solicitor consider unsatisfactory, you can discuss personal injury negotiation tactics with your solicitor.

Your solicitor should explain all offers made by the insurer, providing a good understanding of how the compensation figure has been calculated.

Reasons to reject an offer – Typically, your solicitor might recommend rejecting an offer for one of two reasons. First, they may believe the offer inadequately compensates for your injury and financial losses. Secondly, if the offer is made prematurely before all evidence has been submitted, it could be difficult to access the right level of compensation due accurately.

Challenging an offer – If an insurer submits an offer without an explanation, your solicitor will likely request justification for the proposed figure. The insurer’s argument may sometimes justify the offer, but other times they might not provide a satisfactory explanation.

Making a counter-offer – After evaluating the insurer’s justification for their offer, your solicitor may formulate a counter-offer. This counter-offer would usually be based on your specific circumstances and would be accompanied by an explanation of how this figure was calculated.

Points of disagreement – Some claim components, such as loss of earnings, are relatively concrete. However, other areas – like solatium (compensation for emotional harm) – can be more subjective, leading to disagreement over the appropriate compensation amount.

Decision time – If the insurer refuses to raise their offer, you’ll need to decide, with your solicitor’s guidance, whether to accept the current offer or proceed to litigation. While most personal injury claims can be settled outside of court, litigation is sometimes necessary. Considering the higher legal costs of court proceedings, your solicitor would only recommend taking your claim to court if they believe the potential outcome would outweigh the current offer.

Need a personal injury solicitor?

At Mark Reynolds Solicitors we are experts in all things related to personal injury. Get in touch today if you’re looking to get advice or make a claim.

How to claim for personal injury after a car accident

Car accidents can leave pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike with injuries that range in severity from minor to life-changing.

The distress caused by being involved in an incident can be overwhelming, and the situation further exacerbated by unexpected medical bills, loss of income due to the inability to work, the costs of vehicle repair, and the emotional suffering that comes with the experience.

While no amount of compensation can truly erase the distress caused by a car accident, it can certainly help to reduce the financial strain and stress associated with the resultant injuries.

This article guides you through claiming compensation for a personal injury after a car accident, providing useful advice to help you move forward from the incident.

How do I claim personal injury after a car accident?

Experiencing an injury after a car accident can have a significant, even life-altering, impact.

If you suffered an injury due to a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be eligible to claim financial compensation.

The process for making a claim varies according to the specific circumstances and extent of the injury. However, as a general guideline, you should follow these steps:

  • Seek medical help – After the accident, you should get a thorough medical examination. This not only ensures that you’re on the path to recovery but also helps you to obtain a medical record of your injuries.
  • Report the accident to the police – A formal accident report serves as an official record, which is a critical part of your claim. Ensure to report the accident to the police as soon as possible.
  • Document details of the accident – Take photographs of the accident scene, damages to the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Collect witness information and their statements, if possible. Any other information that could support your claim should also be documented.
  • Inform your insurance provider – Notify your insurance provider about the accident and the damages incurred. Be honest and accurate about the incident.
  • Contact a personal injury solicitor – Navigating the claims process can be complex. A personal injury solicitor can guide you through it and help to ensure you receive the best possible outcome from your claim.
  • File a personal injury claim – With the assistance of your solicitor, file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance.

Remember, each car accident and personal injury claim is different. Contact our team of personal injury solicitors here at Mark Reynolds Solicitors for tailored advice and support.

What injuries can you claim for after a car accident?

After a car accident, you can claim for a wide range of different injuries, including compensation for the pain endured and any ongoing treatment or care costs incurred due to the accident.

The following list outlines some of the different types of injuries for which compensation can be claimed;

Physical injuries

Physical injuries can range from minor to severe and can include:

  • Whiplash
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises

Psychological injuries

Accidents can also lead to psychological trauma. Such injuries include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Phobias
  • Sleep disorders

Fatal injuries

In the unfortunate event that a loved one loses their life due to a car accident, compensation can be claimed on their behalf. This can help to cover funeral costs, loss of future earnings, and the emotional trauma associated with the loss.

Every case is unique, and the type of injuries sustained will significantly influence the claim. Therefore, seeking professional legal advice is essential to understand what you can claim in your specific situation.

Can I claim for anxiety after a car accident?

Yes, you can claim compensation for psychological injuries, including anxiety, resulting from a car accident, but doing so can be challenging.

To do so, you must be able to prove that the mental illness is directly linked to the car accident; this is usually achieved using medical records and professional testimonies.

How long after a car accident can you make a personal injury claim?

Generally, you should make a personal injury claim for a car accident within three years of the accident date. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. You may be able to claim outside of this limitation period if the person injured in the accident was a child under 18, lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, or has “late-appearing injuries”.

It is always in your best interests to make a claim immediately after the accident to ensure the best possible result.

Who pays personal injury claims for a car accident?

In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays out for a personal injury claim. If the driver at fault has no insurance or is untraceable, it may be possible to claim compensation from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

File a personal injury claim with Mark Reynolds Solicitors

For more help or advice with how to make a personal injury claim for car accident, contact our team of solicitors here at Mark Reynolds Solicitors by calling us on 0800 002 9577.