Terms Used in Personal Injury

Explanation of words and phrases commonly used in Personal Injury Claims

CLAIM  Your demand for damages for personal injury whether or not court proceedings are issued.

CFA  A Conditional Fee Agreement or no win no fee where your solicitor gets paid at the end of the case on the condition that the case is won.

ATE  After The Event insurance, a policy taken out to cover the eventuality of losing the claim and having to pay your opponents legal fees.

COSTS  The term given to your legal fees or basic charges, the amount charged by your solicitor for the work done.

BASIC CHARGES  Charges for the legal work done on the claim for damages.

DISBURSEMENTS  Payments made on your behalf such as court fees, experts fees and traveling expenses.

DAMAGES  Money that you win whether by a court decision or settlement.

INTERIM DAMAGES  Money that a court says your opponent must pay or your opponent agrees to pay while awaiting for a settlement or the courts final decision.

BTE  Before The Event insurance an insurance policy you may already have which covers legal expenses commonly found in Household or motor policies.

TRIAL  The final contested hearing of any issue to be tried.

SUCCESS FEE  The percentage of basic charges added to the bill if the claim is won, and recovered from the loser.

ADVOCACY  Appearing at Hearings.

COUNTERCLAIM  A claim that your opponent makes against you in response to your claim.

PART 36 OFFER  An offer to settle your claim made in accordance with part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

CLAIMS MANAGEMENT COMPANY  Usually a middle man who finds work for solicitors.

COMPENSATION  Please see damages above.

INDUSTRIAL DISEASE  Illness caused by something you have come into contact with at work.

RTA  A Road Traffic Accident, involving a car or other vehicle.

WHIPLASH  Please see our separate explanation.

CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION AUTHORITY, CICA  A government scheme to compensate the innocent victims of crime.

MIB  Motor Insurers' Bureau, an independent company set up by the government to compensate the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.

LEGAL AID  In most personal injury cases this has been largely withdrawn.

BEREAVEMENT AWARD  A set sum of £10,000 which can be claimed by certain relatives of the deceased.

CONTINGENCY FEE  A funding arrangement whereby the solicitor takes a fixed fee of any damages recovered.

The length of time that you have until you must commence court proceedings, most commonly three years from the date of any accident in personal injury cases.

BREACH OF STATUTORY DUTY  Failing to comply with a duty laid down by a government statute or regulation.

NEGLIGENCE  Failure to act with the prudence a reasonable person would have exercised in the same circumstances.