Personal Injury

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Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors have over 25 years experience in dealing with injury compensation claims.

In that time our service has moved with the times and we now set the standard for the legal sector with cutting edge case management software. This use of evolving technology compliments our traditional commitment to provide high quality legal services to every one of our clients, delivered by experienced legal advisers.

Our range of personal injury services include:

Road Traffic Collisions (RTC)

We win damages for many thousands of injured RTC claimants each year, and our expert knowledge and service will ensure that your claim has the maximum prospects for a successful outcome.

We deal with every aspect of RTC claims, including claims for drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. The RTC department is the largest department within Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors and is carefully structured so that claims are always dealt with by a specialist handler. We have dedicated teams to deal with every type of claimant, from relatively low value claims valued at several hundred pounds up to catastrophic injury claims worth many millions.

Our teams structures have evolved over many years, and the carefully designed system allows our legal advisers to quickly and easily escalate any challenging or difficult issues up to a senior manager, Partner or Director for immediate guidance or a second opinion. Our legal advisers are all experienced and highly trained specialists working in a dynamic team environment which enables them to make good decisions quickly and with confidence, supported by a second senior opinion as and when one is required.

In addition to this we believe our case management software is the best on the market, and this allows our staff to deliver professional advice quickly, efficiently, and by whatever method the client prefers. We use simple principles, sending letters and documents by e-mail where possible, and using plain English to confirm things so that everybody understands the position. We also monitor key pieces of information through our software, which allows us to keep focused on reducing delays as well as making sure that the right result is achieved.

Clinical Negligence (CN)

Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with clinical negligence matters. We understand that the doctors, dentists and Hospital clinicians don’t always “get it right”.

We are familiar with all types of medical and dental negligence, arising from private healthcare providers, your GP, your dentist or from the NHS.

We also understand that litigation can be daunting. In clinical negligence cases, litigation is often the last resort. Investigations into your claim begin by obtaining your medical records and instructing an expert qualified in the correct field of medicine to guide us as to whether you were provided with substandard care, and the extent to which this has caused you to suffer injury or loss.

We aim to assist you through the claims process as swiftly as possible, providing you with specialist advice tailored directly to your circumstances. You will receive regular updates in plain English, and you will have a direct line to contact your solicitor should you have any queries arising from the process.

Whichever field of medicine your injury relates to, our extensive network of medical experts ensures you receive the best medical guidance available. Once your position is clarified, we begin an ongoing process of negotiation with the proposed Defendant to reach an early conclusion to your claim, with the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Employers Liability (EL)

At Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors, we have vast experience of dealing with work compensation claims and each year recover hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for people that have gone to work to do their job and have been injured.

Many Claimants worry about bringing a claim against their employer but your employer has to have employer liability insurance by law and so it is the insurance company that will pay any compensation if you win.

We have years of experience in this area and our knowledgeable lawyers will guide you through the process step by step to ensure that claims are dealt with swiftly and with maximum compensation. We conduct all types of workplace compensation claims, from injuries arising as the result of an unsafe system of work or an unsafe workplace, to claims involving defective work equipment, lack of training and risk assessments, manual handling or even incompetent colleagues. Our lawyers technical expertise means that claims are dealt with efficiently and confidently.

The dedicated Employer Liability team are always on hand to talk to and advise which is essential in building relationships with clients. The client care delivered by our lawyers is second to none. Our team have the ability to explain matters in plain English to ensure that clients are fully appraised of the position at all times. Our bespoke case management system assists the team in being pro-active and allows us to contact and advise clients by whichever method they prefer, whether by telephone, email or letter.

Public Liability (PL)

We have successfully claimed thousands in compensation for people injured due to an accident on public property. Our team has expert knowledge in these types of claims which range from trips, slips and falls due to dangerous premises.

We offer a comprehensive and friendly service from the outset of the claim through to the end result.

The claims are dealt with by dedicated members of the team who are able to guide you through the process of bringing an injury claim. Our team of highly trained specialists ensure claims are dealt with quickly using our dynamic case management system to deliver an efficient and professional service.

At Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors, our legal advisers have dealt with hundreds of claims where injuries have been caused by sharp and broken objects, obstructions on the highways, or from objects falling from a height in a public area. Such accidents happen in shops, supermarkets, restaurants, schools, libraries, car parks and other places where members of the public visit. The team has excellent technical knowledge that means claims are handled efficiently and effectively with maximum compensation being achieved.

How will my personal injury claim be funded?

Funding Injury Compensation Cases

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1 - Will I have to contribute towards Horwich Cohen Coghlan's fees?
A - You won't have to pay anything up front whatever happens as client contributions are paid out of damages of winning claims, and if you lose then you don’t pay us anything. If you win and if you started your "no win no fee" claim after 1st April 2013, legislation provides that you may have to make a contribution towards our fees unless you already have legal expenses insurance to cover them. That contribution will be payable out of your damages, and it will be limited to only a part thereof (see below). Awards for personal injury damages were increased by 10% for all relevant cases from 1st April 2013 onwards, and this increase will help with any contribution you make..

Q2 - How much will I have to contribute towards Horwich Cohen Coghlan's fees?
A - If we are successful and you win your claim there are two types of contribution you may make under a "no win - no fee" funding agreement. Firstly, you might have to pay our “base costs” (i.e. our normal fees), and secondly, you may have to pay a “success fee” (see Q5 below). The success fee is limited by law; the base costs are not limited by the law, but in practice our policy is to limit the combination of the two so that you are almost certain to walk away with 75 percent of the damages you win. You do not have to pay anything up front, and any contribution to our fees will be paid from the damages.
In addition to this, if you have chosen to buy the optional After the Event (ATE) legal expense insurance policy, then you will also pay that premium from your damages at the end of the case. You do not have to take out that insurance if you don’t want to, but your damages may be at risk if you do not have it (see below).

Q3 - Why should I make a contribution to my own legal fees if my claim is successful?
A - Before 1st April 2013 claimants generally received all of their damages after the legal costs had been resolved, but the government changed the law and new rules were introduced in late 2012 and early 2013 that changed the funding position dramatically. In essence, success fees and most ATE premiums are no longer recoverable from the losing defendant. These changes were made despite protests and even attempted legal action by Claimant representative groups, who argued that the changes were very unfair. The government pushed on regardless, and the new funding rules apply to all claims started from 1st April 2013 onwards.

Q4 - How do "No Win - No Fee" or "CFA" (Conditional Fee Agreements) work?
A - In summary, you agree to pay the normal fees (known as "base costs") to your solicitor, but your solicitor agrees to waive them if you are not successful in recovering compensation. To reflect the risk of the solicitor not getting paid, you also agree a "success fee" which is only payable if you win. The success fee is a percentage of the base costs, but it is capped at no more than 25% of the damages (or less, depending on the type of damages you recover).

Q5 - How are the base costs and success fee calculated?
A - Solicitors calculate their fees in various different ways. Here at Horwich Cohen Coghlan we work on the basis of an hourly rate for the base costs (these being our normal fees) and a success fee of up to 100%. Both the base costs and success fee are payable only if you win your claim, and in any event the success fee is capped (see above and below). We should make it clear that other solicitors charge in other ways, and some may not charge a success fee at all, and if they do, it may be less than 100% of the base costs. We do charge a 100% success fee, but this is in part because we are an established firm of solicitors who will deliver a high quality and professional service to you, and will make the very best effort possible to get you maximum compensation. Moreover, whilst red tape stops us from giving you a cast-iron guarantee (see below), for all practical purposes we will limit our fees (i.e. the totality of our base costs and success fees) so as to leave you with 75% of your damages. Many other solicitors firms will not do this.

Q6 - How are my contributions (paid from damages at the end) calculated?
A - By law, the sum you pay towards your success fee cannot (in broad terms) exceed 25% of the value of your damages, excluding any claim for future loss or provisional damages. This means that the success fee is linked to your damages. Our base costs are, in theory, not linked to the damages in this way, but our track record shows that when the base costs and success fees are added together, we have never taken more than 25% of a personal injury client’s damages. Put simply, all of our successful personal injury clients have walked away with no less than 75% of their damages. Red tape prevents us from saying that we would never take any more than 25% of your damages, but we can assure that you the chances of us doing this are so remote that they can be ignored.

Q7 - Will I have anything else to pay if my personal injury claim succeeds?
A - There are circumstances in which Claimants have to pay something towards the other parties’ legal costs, even if damages are awarded. This could happen if the other side makes a formal "Part 36 offer” which you then reject, but which is subsequently shown to have been a good offer. If this were to happen, then you may have to pay the other sides’ costs from a date shortly after the offer. Those costs are generally limited to the value of your damages, so although your damages may be used up you would not end up having to pay anything more. (An exception to this would be if the claim was shown to be dishonest or fraudulent, in which case you could be ordered to pay more.) We have to stress however, that costs orders against our clients are rare, as we give our clients quality advice about when to accept and when to reject offers.

Q8 - Can I protect myself against potentially losing my damages through a Part 36 offer?
A - If you don't happen to already have Legal Expenses Insurance that covers this risk, you can purchase an ATE policy that will protect you as long as you provide honest and reasonable instructions. The cost of this policy is not recoverable from the other side, and as such you would need to pay for it out of your damages. That would be separate from any contribution you make towards our own fees; this may mean that you will be left with slightly less than 75% of your damages if you purchase an ATE premium (but only by the cost of the premium). You do not have to take out that insurance, but if you don’t then your damages may be at risk from offers as described in the paragraph above..

Q9 - Will I have to pay anything else if my claim does not succeed? 
A - Not unless your claim was struck out, or shown to be dishonest or fraudulent, in which case you could be ordered to pay all of the other sides legal costs. This very unlikely, and if you have purchased ATE insurance it should also cover that risk.

Q10 - What do I do if I still have a query about the funding of my claim?
A - Please call or e-mail the person dealing with you claim (quoting your claim reference number), and they will discuss your query with you personally.

Technical Information

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 - These changes include the following;

  • prohibited referral fees in prescribed circumstances. [sections 56 - 60 LASPO 2012]
  • ended the recoverability of success fees in Conditional Fee Agreements, for most personal injury claimants (excluding mesothelioma claims) [section 44 of LASPO 2012]
  • ended the recoverability of After The Event Insurance premiums for most personal injury claimants (excluding mesothelioma claims) [section 46 of LASPO 2012]

The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2013 (and the 60th Update - Practice Direction Amendments). These changes include the following;

  • The amount of fees that the Claimant can recover from the other side in low value RTA claims will be reduced from 30th April 2013, and further changes and reductions for other types and values of claims are set to be applied from the end of July 2013. This means that more Claimants face an increased liability for the shortfall in their own recovered costs.
  • Qualified One Way Costs Shifting - means that in personal injury claims, the Claimants doesn't have to pay the other sides costs of the claim is not successful. There are significant exceptions to this which include;
    • where Claimant fails to beat other sides Part 36 offer (contribution can't exceed the damages award plus interest, but the damages will be applied in the first instance to discharge the contribution to the other sides awarded costs)
    • if claim is struck out for being without merit, or for conduct reasons
    • if the claim is determined to be "fundamentally dishonest"
  • If the Claimant beats his own Part 36 offer, then he will receive a 10% uplift an the actual award (with a sliding scale for award exceeding £500k)

Simmons v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1039

  • This Court of Appeal decision means that awards for personal injury general damages from 1st April 2013 onwards will increase by 10% where the Claimant instructed his lawyer on a CFA after 1st April 2013, and so has to fund his own success fee from his damages.


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