Choosing the right solicitor can be a confusing process, but one that is essential to get right We’d like to make that process as simple as possible for you.
Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of the most common questions our clients ask us when considering making a claim.
Simple Claims Process
What information do I need to give you to start my claim?
We just need a few simple details to get your claim started. Just choose the most convenient way for you to get in touch: You can enter your details on our Request a callback form, speak with our Customer First Response Team. They are available to talk from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Our team will be able to advise you if you can claim compensation.
What happens after I instruct you to claim on my behalf?
Once we’ve received a signed copy of our Terms and Conditions from you, we’ll start to work on your claim straight away. We’ll collect all the necessary information from you by telephone and email, and will go on to present it to the defendant’s insurance company so that we can get your claim started as soon as possible.
Will my details be kept confidential at all times?
As solicitors we have a duty of confidentiality; we’re not allowed to disclose any of your details without your permission. We take excellent care of any sensitive information that you pass on to us. You can rest assured that only our solicitors and specialist qualified support staff will be dealing with your case. We’ll never sell your personal information to any other company and we don’t pay a referral fee to anyone else when you come to us direct.
What do I have to do during the claim process?
Very little. We take the complicated legal process out of your hands so that you can concentrate on getting your life back to as normal as possible. We’ll let you know the information we’ll need from you at the start of the claim, so all you’ll have to do is attend the relevant medical assessments and rehabilitation sessions that we set up for you. If we need any more details from you as your claim develops, we’ll let you know by telephone or email. It is extremely rare for a claimant to have to appear in court for a personal injury claim; we represent you in court so you don’t have to attend any court sessions.
Will I have to fill out lots of paperwork?
We will need you to fill out a certain amount of paperwork, but we try to keep this to a minimum. The purpose of the paperwork we send is to make sure that we have all the information we need to get you the maximum compensation you’re entitled to. If there’s anything about any of the documents that you are unsure about, we’re on hand to give you all the advice you need to fill them out correctly.
Will I have to come to your offices?
In the majority of cases your solicitor will not have to meet with you face-to-face and you will not need to come to our offices. In some, more serious cases however we may send the solicitor dealing with your case to your house to discuss matters in more detail.
Will I have to have a medical?
We always advise that you receive a medical assessment in order for us to recover the appropriate amount of compensation for your injuries. We’ll arrange your medical appointment for you at a location that’s as convenient for you as possible.
Will I have to go to court?
Almost certainly not. For the vast majority of our cases a claimant will never have to appear in court. However, it does remain a small possibility for particularly serious or complicated cases. In the unlikely event that you did have to appear in court, then your lawyer would be present with you every step of the way to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
How long will the claim take from start to finish?
Every case we work on is unique which means it is impossible for us to tell you exactly how long your claim will take. We have settled some cases in as little as two months, whereas other claims have taken several years. Sometimes a seemingly straight forward claim can turn into a more complicated and lengthy case because a person’s injury has gotten worse over time.
What we can do however is to tell you straight away whether or not we think you have a claim and to promise to do our best to settle your claim as efficiently as possible. If you’re looking to complete your personal injury claim as quickly as possible, there are few firms in the UK that can match Bott and Co. Our significant investment in IT, coupled with our decades of combined experience has made us one of the most productive personal injury firms in the UK, coming in 4th in a study by The Lawyer UK200.
How many people do I have to speak to about my claim?
If you’ve had an accident or personal injury, you’ll know the catastrophic effect it can have – not only on your life but on your loved ones too. We understand that choosing the right solicitor is a personal choice, and one that’s not to be made lightly.
When you choose Bott and Co, you choose to have your own dedicated lawyer to be there to support you sympathetically and with respect, from the moment you begin your claim, to the day that your compensation is paid into your bank. Once we have accepted your personal injury claim, we strive where possible for you to only ever speak to your allocated lawyer or their assistant to ensure that you’re only dealing with the people who understand your claim inside out.
If I don’t understand something, can I talk to my lawyer at any time?
From the first call, you’ll find a personable, friendly and experienced claims handler ready to understand the nature of your claim. We’ll always try to make the claims process easy to understand, but if you ever have any questions at all you can contact the person dealing with your claim by telephone or email. You don’t need to worry about checking in to find out how your claim is getting along; we’ll keep you up to date on the status of your claim through emails, letters and telephone calls.
How much compensation will I receive?
Compensation amounts vary depending on the case, but figures average at around £2500, with some claims being considerably higher. In the past we have settled claims for clients that run into millions of pounds.
How quickly after my claim is settled will I receive my money?
The amount of time between your case being settled and the moment you receive your compensation can vary, but it normally takes around 4-6 weeks, if not sooner. The compensation is paid by the defendant’s insurance company so we have to wait for them to release your cheque before we can pay the money into your account.
How is my compensation amount decided?
The JC guidelines set out the amount of compensation due for each type of personal injury. Your solicitor will refer to these guidelines to establish a general ballpark figure of how much your claim should settle for in light of the injuries you sustained. The final amount of compensation you settle for will depend on a combination of factors including whether you reach a split liability agreement and whether you previously suffered from any health conditions.
The way that we work means that we only get paid when we have settled your claim. That means we are highly motivated to secure you the best settlement that we can.
What are the JC guidelines?
The Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases set out how much compensation can be claimed for the many different types and severity of personal injury. The guidelines go into almost every kind of injury that can happen to every part of the human body, and are used by your solicitor to establish how much compensation you should be able to claim for each injury.
What other compensation can I claim for?
The law seeks to place a person back in the position that they would have been in had their accident not occurred. This means that you can claim for any money that you lost or had to spend because of your accident, including but not limited to; loss of earnings, care, medical treatment, medication, gardening and DIY services and travelling costs. When we accept your claim we will advise you to keep a record of any financial losses following the accident, so we can add this amount to your final compensation amount.
Will I receive any help in recuperating from my injuries?
Yes. We’ll arrange for your medical assessments and any physiotherapy or rehabilitation that you might need. The costs of these services will be covered by the other side, so you don’t need to worry about the cost of any treatment or medication that you receive.
Can I claim for a child?
Yes. If the claim is on behalf of someone still under the age of 18, they will need to appoint a litigation friend to act on their behalf throughout the duration of the case.
If the claim is for someone who is now an adult but was under the age of 18 when the accident happened, then that person is still able to claim for themselves.
Can I claim on behalf of a member of my family?
You can only claim for a member of your family who is over the age of 18 if they tell us directly that they’re happy for you to make a claim for them. We would normally recommend that the injured party is the person that makes the claim but if they would prefer you to do it on their behalf, this can be arranged.
What is a litigation friend?
We will appoint a litigation friend to make decisions in a personal injury case where the person making the claim is either:
- An adult who lacks the mental capacity to manage their own court case
- A child (under the age of 18)
A litigation friend can be:
- Someone who has a lasting or enduring Power of Attorney
- A parent or guardian
- A family member or friend
- A solicitor
- A professional advocate
A litigation friend will act in the other person’s best interests, do everything possible to keep them informed about what is happening in the case, find out their wishes, discuss matters with the solicitor and pay any costs ordered by the court. If there is a court hearing, the litigation friend will have to attend.
Can you take over a case from my current solicitors?
Yes. In most circumstances we can take over a case from your current solicitor, but this does depend on the exact circumstances of your case and the stage that it is currently at. You can always call us to ask whether we can take over your case; our advice is free and you are under no obligation.
What happens if I change my mind about claiming?
You have the right to change your mind about claiming and can do so by contacting your lawyer and instructing them to stop working on your case. However, if you do change your mind about claiming before the case has been settled, you will be required to pay for the work that we have carried out on your behalf.
It’s important to be sure that you want to make a claim before you instruct us to start working on your case. If at any point you have any doubts or concerns about your claim you can contact your dedicated lawyer, who will be able to provide you with all the information and advice you need for peace of mind.
What is the RTA portal?
The Claims Portal was introduced by the Government in 2010 to be used by all parties involved in settling certain types of personal injury claim, including road traffic accidents. It is a secure online space where all parties involved in a case can communicate and share information to settle road traffic claims in the most time and cost efficient way possible.
What does dropping out of the portal mean?
A claim will not continue in the web based portal when either the insurer thinks the accident was partly or wholly your fault, or because they did not respond in a timely fashion. Your claim will continue but in a more traditional paper-based format.
What is a medical report and why do I need one?
A medical report is an official document written by a medical professional who has carried out an assessment of your health, including any injuries you may have sustained as a result of your accident. We need to have a medical report in order to be able to carry out a thorough assessment of your case and to ensure that we are able to recover the appropriate amount of compensation for you.
Can I choose a doctor close to where I live?
You can’t choose your own doctor but we will arrange an appointment for you, and we will always try to make sure that the doctor is as close to where you live as possible. In the event that you need to drive or take public transport to the doctor, the cost of this can be added to your final compensation amount.
Can I choose the doctor for my medical assessment?
You can’t choose your own doctor for your medical assessment but you can rest assured that we will choose an impartial medical professional who is situated as close to where you live as possible.
What is a medical agreement form?
A medical agreement form is the official document that we use to confirm that your medical report is correct, enabling us to use the report to assess the correct amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
What is involved in the medical examination?
What a medical examination involves depends on your particular injuries. What you can expect are questions about your health before the accident and how your health has been affected by the accident since. The doctor may examine your injuries and ask you to perform a few gentle movements to establish the extent of any damage, in order to be able to provide us with their expert opinion on how you have been affected by your accident.
Do you look into my entire medical history?
In most cases we don’t need to look at your entire medical history but in some circumstances, where a case is particularly serious or complex, your full medical history may need to be part of the assessment. If this is the case you can rest assured that this information will be treated with complete confidentiality, and will not be used for anything other than helping us to assess the right amount of compensation for your injuries.
What happens if I want part of my medical history to remain private?
If there is good reason for you to keep a part of your medical history private and it has nothing to do with the injuries you sustained in your accident, then a judge may be persuaded to prevent full disclosure on this part of your medical history.
I already had a pre-existing condition but the accident has made it worse, can I still claim?
Yes. As well as claiming for new injuries and financial losses caused by the accident, you can also claim compensation for any additional pain and suffering that have occurred as a result of the accident, including any worsening of pre-existing conditions.
Do I need to attend a medical if I’m no longer injured?
Yes. We still need to receive an official medical report from a doctor, in order to establish the extent of the injury and the amount of time it took for you to recover. Even if you are no longer suffering from any pain, a medical professional’s opinion is necessary for us to recover the right amount of compensation.
No. All the costs of physiotherapy and any other medical treatment that we recommend will be passed over to the other side’s insurance company for payment. At no point will you ever receive a bill for physiotherapy, medication or any treatments, so you have one less thing to worry about.
No Win No Fee
What does No Win No Fee actually mean?
It’s simple. When you instruct one of our expert solicitors to make a claim on your behalf, it won’t cost you a penny. So in the unlikely event that we handle your case and your claim is unsuccessful, we won’t charge you a thing. When your claim is successful, we take our fees from the amount that you are awarded before we pay the compensation into your bank account, so you never have to deal with legal bills or any hidden costs.
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What does it cost me to claim?
We limit the costs we can charge on your case under the terms of our Conditional Fee Agreement. This means that however much work we need to do to settle your claim we will never charge you more than 25% of the total compensation you are awarded. The result is that you get the best possible service whilst retaining the majority of your compensation, without ever having to worry about finding the money to pay an unexpected hefty legal bill.
In the event that you are not already insured with ATE (After the Event Legal Expense Insurance) then you will also need to purchase this to cover any costs that you need to pay to the other side. Purchasing ATE also means that you are insured if we do not win your claim, meaning that you won’t have to pay us a penny in the unlikely event that this happens.
What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
A Conditional Fee Agreement is the written agreement that formalises the no-win no-fee arrangement. It’s a document designed to give you peace of mind; legally stating that you won’t have to pay a penny in the unlikely event that your claim is unsuccessful. The terms of Bott and Co’s Conditional Fee Agreement mean that we limit our costs (i.e. how much we charge you) no matter how much work we do on your case.
What is Before the Event insurance?
Before the Event insurance is a pre-existing insurance policy, in other words when you take out insurance just in case something happens. Common types of Before the Event insurance include car insurance and household contents insurance. Sometime legal expenses can be attached to the Before the Event insurance too.
What is After the Event Legal Expense insurance?
After the Event Legal Expense insurance covers any legal costs which you may be liable to pay the other side in respect of your personal injury claim. You will only need to purchase this if you do not already have a pre-existing legal expense policy. Often your house or motor vehicle insurance policy will include legal expenses cover so it’s worth checking before buying After the Event Legal Expense insurance.
When you claim with Bott and Co you will be assigned your own dedicated lawyer who will handle your claim from beginning to end. They will be more than happy to talk you through whether you need to take our After the Event Legal Expense insurance cover.
What do I have to pay if I win my claim?
We win 99% of all our claims which means you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands. When we do successfully settle your case we retain up to 25% of the total compensation awarded to you. This is deducted directly from your settlement which means you never need to worry about having a hefty legal bill to pay at the end of your case.
We work this way because in April 2013 the Government reduced the fees that solicitors could recover from the other side by 60%. In order to continue providing the public with a genuine no-win no-fee service we’ve had to start keeping a small percentage of your compensation to cover our costs.
What do I have to pay if I don’t win my claim?
We have an outstanding track record of winning 99% of all our claims, however there is a very small chance that we may not be successful in winning your case.
If you have a pre-existing legal expense policy when your accident occurs then you will not have to pay any costs whatsoever if you lose. Our no-win no-fee policy means exactly that: If you don’t win then you don’t pay a penny. Usually your house or motor vehicle insurance policy will include legal expenses cover so it’s worth checking. If you don’t have a pre-existing legal expense policy then you will need to buy an ATE insurance policy. This will cover you for any fees in the rare event that we are not successful in winning your case.
Who actually pays the compensation?
It’s extremely rare for an individual to have to pay compensation out of their own money. The amount will normally come from the other party’s insurance company, whether it’s from their car insurance for a road traffic accident or Employer’s Liability Insurance for an accident at work.
Who pays for my opponent’s costs and other expenses?
In the vast majority of cases the opponent’s costs and expenses will be covered by their insurance company.
How does Bott and Co get paid?
We work on a no-win no-fee basis. This means that in the unlikely event we do not win your case then you do not have to pay anything. If, however we do win your case we retain up to 25% of the total damages awarded to you. We deduct this amount directly from your compensation before paying it into your bank account. This means you don’t ever have to worry about paying for our services up front, nor about receiving a surprise bill for legal fees at the end of your claim.
Are there any cancellation fees if I change my mind?
Whilst we won’t charge you a cancellation fee if you change your mind, you will be liable to pay for any work that we have done for you from when you first instructed us to start working on your claim. We won’t start work without your permission, but any work that we do for you from that point will be payable if you change your mind about going through with your claim.
Remember that if your claim is unsuccessful, you don’t pay us a penny, so you have nothing to lose financially by continuing with your claim once the process has begun.
What happens if I receive an offer directly from the other side?
If you receive an offer directly from the other side then we highly recommend that you contact us as soon as possible so we can advise you on your best options. If you do accept the offer from the other side then you are liable to pay for the work we have done on your behalf from the time that you instructed us, so it’s normally much better for you financially to continue your claim with Bott and Co rather than accepting money from the other side directly.
What is a pre-med offer?
A pre-medical (or pre-med) offer is often made by the defendant’s insurance company at the same time as admitting liability for the accident, or very soon afterwards and before a medical report detailing your injuries has been obtained. The insurance company make a pre-med offer in an attempt to conclude the case there and then. Usually pre-med offers are made in a bid to save time and money for the insurance company in the long-run.
There is a risk that if you accept a pre-med offer then you will settle for a lesser amount of compensation than what your claim is worth. This is particularly the case where you are settling before you have fully recovered. When you hand your claim to Bott and Co we will assign a dedicated lawyer to your case. They will be best placed to advise you whether or not to accept a pre-med offer as they will understand the ins and outs of your claim.
All About Claiming
What is a personal injury claim?
You can usually make a personal injury claim if you have had an accident – at home, in your car, at work or in a public place – where someone else is at fault.
How do I know if I’m eligible to make a claim?
As a general rule if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s actions you can make a personal injury claim.
Can I claim for an accident that happened a long time ago?
You have three years from the time of the accident to make a personal injury claim in most cases. However, if you were under 18 when you had the accident you may have longer to start your personal injury compensation claim.
Can I claim if my accident happened abroad?
Yes, in the majority of cases. Whilst it can be a more complex and lengthy process, it is usually still possible to claim for accidents which have happened aboard.
Can I claim if I’ve suffered with health issues before I claim?
Most definitely – Any previous health issues will be taken into consideration when settling your personal injury case but this does not stop you from claiming. In some cases we see clients’ existing health issues are worsened as a result of an accident.
I already have an offer from another firm, can I have a ‘quote’ from you so I know whether the offer is good?
Yes, we’re happy to discuss our terms of engagement on a case by case business and can explain to you how we work out our fees. However, as our fees include 25% of your compensation, we’re unable to tell you the exact amount our fee will be until the full amount of compensation that you will be awarded has been established.
What do you think my chances are of success and why can’t you give me a definite answer?
If we accept your case, then we’ve already assessed your chance of success as more than 50%. We can’t give you a definite answer because we need to keep the matter under review as the case develops and new evidence comes to light. However, we do win 99% of our claims, so we can tell you that your case is in safe hands.
What is a split liability agreement?
This is when two or more parties involved in an accident agree to share the blame. Perhaps you were injured in a car accident but the other driver claims the collision was partly your fault or that you contributed to the accident, even if only in a minor way.
If you reach a split liability agreement on your case, this will be taken into consideration when deciding on the compensation you are owed. The percentage of liability (i.e. blame) the other side takes directly affects the amount of compensation you will be able to claim. If you agree to a 50:50 split liability agreement on a case worth £20,000 for example you would receive £10,000 (i.e. 50% of the total).
What is a Part 36 offer?
A Part 36 offer is an offer made by either the Claimant (person making the claim) or the Defendant (person whom the claim is being made against) in order to try to settle a claim.
A Part 36 offer can be made at any point throughout the duration of claim but, crucially, is made without any admission of liability (i.e. without taking the blame for the accident).
A Part 36 offer must be accepted within 21 days, however the party making the offer has the right to withdraw it even after the 21 days.
It’s important to note that if you reject the offer but then agree to settle at a later date for a lesser amount (at trial or otherwise) you would then have to pay the other side’s legal costs from the date of when you could have accepted their Part 36 offer (i.e. 21 days after it was first made). This may sound overwhelming but your dedicated solicitor will be able to advise you on whether or not they think you should accept a Part 36 offer.
Who We Are
Who Is Bott and Co?
Bott and Co is an award-winning no win no fee solicitors specialising in personal injury, flight delay compensation, and holiday illness claims. We have over a decade’s experience and a 99% success rate in getting people like you the maximum compensation you deserve. Bott and Co recovers more than £25 million in compensation each year and 98% of people who claim with us say they would recommend us to a friend.
Are Bott and Co a solicitors or a claims management company?
Bott and Co is a solicitors. Because we are a law firm and not a claims management company, we have greater powers to secure you the compensation you deserve. As a solicitor we are also regulated by the SRA which means you can be sure of a quality and reliable service.
Our director David Bott is a Past President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) who leads a staff of passionate Bott and Co legal professionals standing up for the rights of injured people in the UK.
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What’s the difference between a claims management company and a solicitors?
A claims management company is, in effect, a middle man. They can handle the administrative elements of your claim but they’re unable to take legal action on your case. That means if your case requires a court hearing, a claims management company will have to instruct a solicitor on your behalf.
This is not the case here at Bott and Co. We are a firm of solicitors who have the ability to handle every element of your claim. With us there are no middle men. You will be dealing directly with the company handling your claim right from the very start.
How can I contact Bott and Co?
We’re open 7 days a week, from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. A member of our award winning staff will always be available to take your call during those hours. You can also contact us through our website at any time with the options to complete a claim form or request a call back.