How long will it take to get my compensation?
This varies considerably depending on several factors, including how cooperative the defendant and their insurers are, and whether they are prepared to admit liability for your claim at an early stage, but also depending on your recovery period and length of time that it takes to obtain the full medical evidence to support your case. On average, and depending on these factors, most cases take anything between six months and three years to conclude, although complex cases can take longer than this if they proceed all the way to a court hearing.
What is a success fee?
A success fee is the element of legal costs that we are entitled to charge if we win the case, to compensation us for having taken a risk that we would not be paid if we had been unsuccessful. It is the success fee that you are asked to contribute out of your compensation as we are no longer able to recover that element of legal fees from the defendant, even if we win the case, because of legal changes made by the government in 2013.
How much will a PI claim cost me?
Your claim will cost you nothing at all if we are unsuccessful as you will be protected from having to pay any legal costs in those circumstances. If we are successful with your claim you will be asked to make a contribution towards your legal costs out of your compensation but this will be capped at no more than 25% and you will therefore recover at least 75%.
I have been asked to attend the police station for an interview. Can I take a lawyer with me?
If you are being interviewed under caution at the police station you have the right to have a lawyer with you. That lawyer will be able to make enquiries on your behalf to confirm what the police are investigating, take your instructions and give advice and help you through the interview process. In most cases, such help can be provided free of charge under the Legal Aid scheme regardless of your means.
I am being investigated by the Department of Business. What should I do?
The Department of Business takes a leading role in investigating allegations relating to criminal offences arising out of business malpractice. They have the power to apply to the court to disqualify you as a director and instigate criminal proceedings which can result in unlimited fines and/or a prison sentence. You should take immediate, specialist legal advice.
I have been accused of dumping controlled waste. What should I do?
Illegally disposing of controlled waste or ‘fly tipping’ is a serious offence punishable with an unlimited fine and/or up to five years’ imprisonment. There are a number of possible defences available. You should take specialist legal advice before speaking to the authorities.
I have been told that I have not complied with fire regulations by the Fire Authority. What should I do?
The Fire Authority may simply be asking you to comply on a voluntary basis. Alternatively, they may have served you with an improvement, enforcement or prohibition notice or they may be investigating with a view to prosecution. Whatever the circumstances you should take all necessary steps to remedy any breach as soon as possible and seek immediate advice from a lawyer who specialises in fire safety cases.
I have been arrested for fraud. What should I do?
You should contact a solicitor who specialises in cases of fraud straightaway. You are entitled to take legal advice before answering any questions. Your personal liberty, the future of your business and your ability to act as a director could well depend upon you seeking the right advice as quickly as possible.
I am the director of a company. Am I liable if an employee dies as a result of an accident of work?
Directors cannot rely upon limited liability to avoid the risk of being prosecuted as an individual if a death occurs in the workplace following breaches of health and safety. Penalties upon conviction can range from an unlimited fine to life imprisonment depending upon the circumstances. Seek legal advice immediately.
Do I need a solicitor to attend with me for a meeting with HSE?
You are entitled to nominate someone to attend the meeting with you and that can include a solicitor but HSE do not have to agree. If you are being interviewed under caution and in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act you can insist on having a solicitor with you