Accident Claims - Getting you back on your feet

Legal Experts Warn of Dangers of Cosmetic Surgery

More and more people are choosing to go under the knife - but experts have warned that cosmetic surgery can go disastrously wrong if proper precautions are not taken.

Cosmetic surgery is one of the select band of industries that are currently booming, with over 210,000 procedures taking place in the UK last year and treatment rates up by almost 20% in the past four years.

The figures demonstrate just how mainstream it has become to have anything from a Botox injection to a more serious operation like breast augmentation.

And now Bentley Solicitors which has several years' experience in handling cosmetic surgery negligence claims, has highlighted the dangers inherent in the industry.

A spokesperson said: "Cosmetic surgery is so ubiquitous nowadays that many people are fooled into thinking that it is a simple and risk-free thing to do.

"However, we know from the many people, especially women, who come to us with complications following a procedure that this is not always the case. More and more are suing for negligence because they have not received the expected duty of care."

Bentley Solicitors has identified several common issues that should be taken into consideration by prospective patients before even considering treatment.

These are:

 - The industry is poorly regulated, meaning that certain clinics are putting profits before ethics by employing cheaper, unqualified doctors from abroad

 - Many cosmetic issues are more psychological than physical, so patients often have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved

 - Breast augmentation or rhinoplasty (nose job) operations are extremely popular but things do sometimes go wrong, and in fact they are the two most commonly litigated procedures

 - Some plastic surgeons can paint an idealistic picture of what can be achieved in a procedure, or put pressure on a patient to proceed when they are not absolutely sure

While most plastic surgeons are highly reputable, the rise in cosmetic surgery operations does mean that more patients are having an unsatisfactory experience without the required duty of care.

Bentley Solicitors Limited has considerable expertise in the field of cosmetic surgery compensation. Its expert personal injury solicitors are used to helping patients through the medical negligence claims process in a straightforward and empathetic way.

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Why Mesothelioma Claims Are So Important

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, typically caused by exposure to asbestos. Nowadays, thankfully, the dangers of asbestos are only too well known and this mineral has been banned since 1999 in the UK. However, the impact of asbestos exposure is still being felt because it can take up to 5 decades for the symptoms to show – which is why so many individuals are suffering from asbestos related diseases today.

In fact, asbestos related illnesses claim more lives in the UK every year than road accidents.

One of the major reasons industrial diseases like mesothelioma are still prevalent is that asbestos was used so widely in construction and other industries as well as for insulating homes and public buildings between the 1950s and 1990s. This natural mineral has excellent heat-resistant qualities, which made it ideal for all sorts of building projects – before, that is, the danger it poses to health was realised. Combine this with the fact asbestos dust can lie latent in a person’s lungs for many decades and even when mesothelioma does present, its symptoms are similar to other illnesses so it often isn’t diagnosed in time, and it becomes clear why there are so many mesothelioma claims being made today.

If you worked in an environment where you were exposed to asbestos, even in a job dating as far back as 50 years ago, lived near an asbestos manufacturing plant, or have ever come into contact with someone else who worked with this mineral, you might want to consider making a mesothelioma claim. This particular asbestos related cancer can be caused by exposure to just a small amount of particles and it often takes more than 20 years for signs such as chest pains and shortness of breath to reveal themselves after the initial inhalation.

Mesothelioma claims are important because:

·        If you are suffering as a result of a previous employer’s negligence or someone else’s fault, you deserve compensation. While sadly no amount of money can provide a cure, it can at least go some way to ensuring you receive the right medical care and attain the highest possible quality of life.

·        They raise awareness that people are still suffering, even today, from asbestos related diseases. Although industry is regulated nowadays, many people are unaware of the potential dangers of asbestos in houses and buildings that were built in the last century – compensation claims should help make people more aware of this mineral and how it can be safely dealt with.

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Road Traffic Accident Victim Successful Award

When a client of Crewe Personal Injury firm Bentley Accident Claims Solicitors acted with bravery to save a family member from being struck by an oncoming vehicle he sustained multiple injuries as a result. Fortunately his relative only suffered minor injuries, and our client was able to make a successful claim for compensation using our team of personal injury experts.

The road traffic accident happened as the two people were attempting to cross the road on a busy slip road near a dual carriageway. When a vehicle suddenly approached at excessive speed, our client took measures to rescue his companion. and thanks to his actions, his companion was not struck by the vehicle and only suffered minor injuries – sadly though, our client was hit and sustained multiple injuries including a serious leg fracture and closed head injury.
As a local man, our client was already aware of Bentley Accident Claims Solicitors of Crewe.
One of our team of specialist personal injury solicitors immediately arranged for a home visit and we quickly established the details of his compensation claim as well as the impact of the accident on his personal life.

Having accepted his case on a No Win No Fee basis, we began the thorough investigation into his accident, including witness interviews and statements, and preparation of a full report. The police also carried out their own investigation alongside ours.

While the investigations were taking place, we assigned a rehabilitation case manager to our client as it was clear he was struggling with his day-to-day activities because of his injuries. Recommendations were then made and as a result our client received additional state benefits and was moved to a more suitable council property.

We were also able to secure a £5,000 interim payment for our client, to help him cover the cost of his medical care during the claims process.

Within two years of the date of the accident, Bentley Solicitors of Crewe had won the case and our client received £70,000 in compensation.

Furthermore, we were able to arrange for a Personal Injury Trust to be established for our client, which ensures he will continue to receive the state benefits he’s entitled to.

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Industrial disease – an occupational hazard?

Over a three-year period from 2008, approximately 5,700 new cases of work-related illness were diagnosed in the UK*.

These statistics in fact only represented a small proportion of the number of total cases, as they are part of a voluntary medical reporting scheme that many doctors may not have contributed to.

In the past, becoming sick and even dying as a result of your work, was considered in many occupations to simply be something that went with the territory of needing to earn money for one’s self and family.

Of course in many cases previously, medical science was not sufficiently sophisticated to identify a firm correlation between occupation and illness symptoms.

Today, that has now changed considerably.

Society has recognised that some occupations are hazardous and insists that employers and employees alike take certain minimum safety precautions. 

In other situations, it is also recognised that whatever may be the safe practices today, in the past they were not in place and that people may have suffered potentially serious effects on their health as a result.  Perhaps one of the best-known examples of this relates to the asbestos industry.

The law insists that your employer provides a safe working environment.  If they fail to do so they may be subject to prosecution.  You may also have the right to progress industrial injury claims if your working environment has led to deterioration in your health.

The same basic principles apply to accidents at work or in the legitimate conduct of your duties.

In some cases, your employer may immediately make excellent provision to compensate you for the damage to your health or the consequences of the accident but some may be less inclined to do so.  Even in situations where they have accepted liability, are you confident that you know the real amounts you might be entitled to and as a result, whether their offer is just?

This is where Bentley Accident Claims may be able to help you.

We will provide from the outset, a fully qualified solicitor for you to discuss your potential claim with and they may be able to offer you an initial opinion.

If we believe that you have just grounds for a claim, we will be happy to progress things on your behalf on a no-win, no-fees basis.

Your health is important and if trying to conduct your duties in line with the requirements of your job has put it at risk, you may be due for compensation accordingly.    

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Military service and injury compensation

The men and women of the UK’s military services are almost constantly in the news.

Hardly a day goes by without coverage of their heroism and service, whether in conflict, rescue or the provision of aid situations.  Unfortunately, that coverage also frequently includes news of injuries and sometimes fatalities sustained during the carrying out of their duties.

Here are some facts that you may find interesting:

·         service personnel may have the right to seek compensation for injuries sustained as part of their pursuance of their legitimate duties;

·         that may apply in situations where your employer has failed to provide a safe environment, has asked you to conduct needlessly dangerous duties or ordered you to perform tasks without the pre-requisite training or safety equipment;

·         it may also be possible to seek compensation if you have been injured as a result of an accident even if none of the above situations were the case. This does not only apply to combat situations but also to things such as training and transport etc;

·         the law allows you to seek compensation because society recognises that you have a right to care and financial help in the event that you are injured whilst serving your country;

·         trying to prepare and present your claim may not be straightforward – that is why it might be advisable to seek the advice and help of specialist military injury compensation claims solicitors;

·         such solicitors may be able to act for you on a no-win, no-fees basis and that means you won’t have to worry about financial consequences should your claim not be successful;

·         their role is not simply to prepare your case for you, they may also be able to offer objective advice on the scale and nature of your claim and how much compensation you might realistically be able to ask for;

·         of course, your claim may not be accepted and it may be necessary to progress the matter through due legal process though typically both parties wish to avoid that where possible;

·         the outcome of your claim may be influenced by situations in which the problem occurred due to your wilful failure to comply with instructions or safety requirements – or where you were seen to have been acting irresponsibly. That is why it might be important to collect witness statements and documentary evidence as soon as possible following the accident or incident.

Claiming compensation may not appear to be an instinctive course of action for people in the military but it may be your right and in some situations, may enable you to obtain entirely justified help for you and your family. 
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Road accident injury claims – your questions answered

Here is a sample of some of the questions heard relating to road accidents and associated claims.

Is it right to make a claim?

In the UK to the year ending September 2011 (the latest confirmed figures available at the time of writing) 24,430 people had been killed or seriously injured in road accidents*.

In many of these cases, people and families suffered either tragedy or serious inconvenience as a result.

In such circumstances, money cannot wind back time and prevent the accident but it may allow you and your loved ones to cope with the financial consequences.

The law recognises your right to seek compensation for the distress and pain you may have suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  Only you can decide whether or not to progress a claim but a qualified accident claims solicitor will be happy to offer you their advice as to your options and probabilities of success, should you choose to do so.

What can I claim for?

Injury compensation claims may be made for a variety of reasons but broadly speaking they relate to pain, suffering or financial consequences, you may have suffered as a result of an accident.

For example, if an accident means that you are unable to work for a period of time, the law may allow you just compensation for your loss of or reduction in, earnings/income.

Do I have to prove my claim in court?

There are two aspects to this question, court and evidence.

In terms of court, typically the legal representatives of both parties will attempt to reach a just settlement of your claim without the need for court proceedings.  In many cases this is actually achieved.

In some cases it may not be possible to do so and evidence may need to be presented in court and a judgement sought.

Evidence is always helpful to support a claim.  It is important to seek medical treatment and opinion as soon as possible following an accident.  It is also important to ensure that you keep copies of all medical documents, treatment dates, diary notes to record your condition, prescriptions and so on.  Photographs may also be very helpful. 

How much will this cost me?

Some solicitors’ services are entirely on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Furthermore, any awards secured for you will be 100% paid to you – the other party meets your solicitor’s fees**.

Can my solicitor guarantee that I will obtain compensation?

No.  If the other party contests your claim and eventually wins, then you will receive nothing.

Using an experienced accident claims solicitor with experience in these areas will provide you with sound advice at the outset.  If they do not believe your claim to be viable, they will tell you that.


** Under Scots law there may be some slight differences in terminology and approach but the net effect may typically be the same.
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Your accident claims solicitor and medical / clinical negligence

Medical professionals typically do their utmost to try and ensure that their patients receive the very best of care and attention.

Yet things can sometimes go wrong and when they do, you may need assistance in order to help you get your life back on track.

Here are some points to consider:

  • of course, not all medical treatments can be guaranteed to have a successful outcome. If your treatment is unsuccessful in spite of the best professional efforts of medical healthcare professionals, then that may be regrettable but something you may have to consider to be part of life’s uncertainty;

  • however, occasionally treatments and medical service may fail because an individual or institution failed to perform to the required professional standards or meet their duty of care;

  • at times, this may result not only in the treatment or care failing to achieve the expected benefits but also in it causing further problems that might be more serious than the initial matter receiving attention;

  • these problems may also arise in areas other than treatment, for example, a failure to rapidly diagnose and treat an illness at its earlier stages, arising from indifference or complacency, may have serious consequences for the final prognosis;

  • in some cases, these situations may be deemed to be due to professional negligence and if you suspect that you have suffered such, you may have a legal right to seek compensation;

  • the primary intention behind such a claim is not to punish the people or institution concerned – it is to try and ensure that you and your family receive a sum of money in order to help you cope with the physical and emotional consequences that you might suffer following such negligence;

  • if you feel that you have experienced some of these unfortunate events, you may need to consult legal expertise in order to assess whether or not you have justified grounds for a claim;

  • choosing which accident claims solicitor to use might be important in helping you to achieve a just settlement if appropriate. Here at Bentley Accident Claims you’ll be speaking to a fully qualified solicitor from the outset and they’ll be only too pleased to offer you a rapid assessment of your situation.

You may understandably be a little nervous about starting to progress a claim for medical negligence.  We understand that but you may have nothing to lose by asking a few questions and our services operate strictly on a no-win no-fee basis.

We would welcome your call and be happy to advise further.
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Industrial injury claims – a quick guide

If you have suffered from an accident or injury related to or caused by your work, you may be nervous about pursuing compensation. After all, your employer pays your wages and you may be hesitant about challenging them. However, claims for industrial injury may be more common than you think, and with a robust lawyer, you may be able to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
An employer’s health and safety duties to their employees are well known, and, in most cases, employers are legally obliged to have insurance against such claims.

What kinds of things may lead to a claim?

There are typically two scenarios at work that may lead to an employee claiming for compensation. Firstly there is the sudden accident scenario where you may be injured out of the blue. This may happen due to:
  • injury caused by defective machinery;
  • trips and slips at work;
  • employee attacks;
  • problems caused by manual handling (e.g. back problems); or
  • damage caused by hazardous chemicals.
Apart from sudden accidents, the other type of claim for industrial injury may be those caused by prolonged exposure to particular conditions. So for example, people who have worked with asbestos may develop illnesses caused by that material several years after they have finished in that particular job.
Even if you have left the employment which exposed you to dangerous conditions, if you can prove that your illness or injury was caused by it, you may still be able to make a claim.

What is the procedure?
The first step may be to contact a solicitor to talk through the details of your injury, and what has happened to you. In this initial chat, the lawyer may be able to tell you whether you have a strong chance of claiming compensation.

If you both decide that the claim is worth pursuing, your lawyer may then contact your employer (or former employer) setting out the basis of the claim. If the claim stems from a sudden accident, the letter may not be a surprise to your employer.

Typically, employers may pass the claim to their insurers, so that the process of negotiation may begin. The majority of accident compensation claims may be settled at this stage, if it is clear that your employer was at fault. In this case, the discussion may turn next to the question of how much compensation should be awarded.

But if there is any doubt about who was at fault or how much compensation is payable, industrial injury claims may proceed to court. Here a judge will listen to the evidence and the cases put by both sides’ lawyers, and make an award on the basis of what he or she has heard. If you have brought your claim on a no win no fee basis, the worst that could happen may be that you lose your case and feel frustrated, but have no legal costs to pay.
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How can you pick the best accident claims solicitors?

Every person who needs to use injury compensation lawyers may have a different concept of who will offer the best accident claims service for them. Different people may place different criteria at the top of their list of priorities. But a list of the qualities that you may find among the “best” claims lawyers may include:
  •  a lawyer or firm who take the stress out of the process for you. Of course, no firm can de-stress the claims procedure completely, but a firm that takes responsibility and drives the process for you may make the process less painful;
  • a firm that takes charge of medical appointments for you, and liaises with the experts about what to expect from the appointments. Ideally, your lawyer may be able to translate both legal and medical jargon;
  • a genuine no-fee deal. Some firms may charge a success fee when their clients win that comes out of the compensation. Others may hand over 100% of the compensation to their clients;
  •  a team of experts in compensation issues. Ideally, your lawyers should be dealing with accident compensation claims day in day out so that they know their way around the law and the system;
  • a lawyer or firm you find it easy to talk to. You may have to have long conversations about medical issues (depending on your claim), which may be much easier with a lawyer you find personable;
  • a lawyer or team of lawyers who tell it as it is. If you claim is not likely to succeed, they should tell you. Likewise, if there are any weak points to the claim, you may need to know what these are before you decide to proceed;
  • a firm that keeps you up to date with the progress of your claim. The best solicitors may be informative, updating you about major issues, but not bombarding you with letters that say nothing.
  •  lawyers who are easy to get hold of. With the summer holidays coming up, you may wish to choose a firm big enough to have holiday cover so that your claim does not get “shelved” until your lawyer returns from holiday;
  • a strong negotiator. The claim may be typically more likely to be settled in the first few months than to proceed to court – particularly if the evidence is clear that the accident was not your fault. So the best accident claims solicitors may be able to secure a settlement without anyone having to set foot in the courtroom.
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Summer is approaching

As summer approaches, the roads get busier with tourists driving to their holiday destinations. But busier roads may mean more accidents. And more accidents may mean more injury compensation claims.
Who can make compensation claims?
This is really something that needs to be determined on a case by case basis by a lawyer. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell where blame lies, and sometimes it can be difficult to gather enough evidence for a convincing claim.
At Bentley Accident Claims, you speak to a qualified solicitor on the initial call, so you may rest assured that your potential claim is being screened by someone who knows what they are talking about. You know that clients are important to the firm, and do not have to suffer the infuriating call centre experience of having to explain the details of your accident to yet another person you are transferred to.
In your initial screening call the lawyer may ask you questions about the accident to establish where the blame may lie. If the accident was not your fault and there is someone who was clearly to blame, it may be worth making a claim.
How much compensation do people get?
The exact figure may depend on the severity of the injury, and how much it has affected your daily life. So if, for example, you have suffered a number of broken bones that have caused you immense pain and stopped you from going to work and doing things that you enjoy, the amount of compensation you receive may reflect these issues.
Through case law and agreed protocols in the insurance and claims industry there is a tariff of typical levels of compensation that may be paid out for a variety of injury compensation claims. Your lawyer may be able to tell you, based on this tariff but taking into account your own individual circumstances, how much compensation you may expect.
How long may the process take?
This depends on the nature of the claim, and whether the person defending it is insured.
If the accident was very clear cut, and the person at fault is insured, you may find that a settlement may be agreed within a few weeks of your first call to your injury solicitors.

However, injury compensation claims that involve complicated medical or factual issues or very high values may be defended more vigorously by the person who you believe is at fault. In this case, your lawyer will have to explain the court process and your role in it.
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The magnificent seven! Top tips on choosing an accident claims solicitor

If you have never needed to use a lawyer before, you may not know where to start when you have to look for one. In the aftermath of an accident, you may quite rightly be preoccupied with how much pain you are in.  So what factors may you wish to take into account when you decide which solicitor to choose? The following points may help:
  1.  your initial call. As the saying goes, you do not get a second chance to make a first impression. Neither should your claims lawyer! At Bentley Accident Claims you speak to a qualified solicitor from the very beginning, rather than being fielded by a call centre as faceless claims companies tend to do;
  2.  how personable the lawyer is. Is this person easy to talk to? Depending on the nature of your injury, you may be divulging pretty personal medical information;
  3.  the teams’ experience. A lot of money may be at stake, so you may wish to check that your lawyer has plenty of experience in the field of accident claims. Why not ask the question on the phone? Any lawyer with plenty of success stories should be pleased to tell them;
  4.  the fee structure on offer. Is there a genuine “no win no fee” deal on the table where you do not bear any risk or have to put any monies up front? There are many variations of the no win no fee model, and you may wish to make sure that yours is a pure one – where you never have to put your hand in your pocket;
  5.  the level of client service on offer. Does the lawyer or firm give an idea about when you may expect to hear from them next? When deciding which accident claims solicitor to choose, this may be an important factor because there is nothing worse than being left dangling without knowing what is going on;
  6.  whether the claims firm uses plain English. There is lots of jargon involved in law and the legal process. Accident compensation claims may be no exception. You may appreciate a solicitor who can “translate” it into normal language that you can understand; and finally
  7.  does the lawyer come across as a robust negotiator? If your injury is a serious one, this may be your chance to secure a financial settlement that may give your family financial security. This may be the most important factor to take into account when you decide which accident claims solicitor to employ.
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Medical negligence claims: what can you expect?

Sometimes, the fact that there may be so many courtroom dramas on television may not be helpful to people who are thinking about making medical negligence claims. Television dramas would have us believe that bringing a claim may be all about lawyers in dark suits stomping around courtrooms. So what really happens?

Medical negligence issues may happen in many kinds of scenarios. On one hand, you may have a long standing illness that may have been misdiagnosed or mistreated. On the other hand, you may have suffered a botched operation, where doctors and surgeons may not have done what they should have when you were on the operating table.

Either scenario can be upsetting, because you may not have received the care you are entitled to expect from the medical profession. Deciding to make a claim is the first step.

Choosing your lawyer
Medical negligence cases may not be just like any other kinds of accident compensation claims. They may require specialist knowledge, and perhaps more importantly specialist experience of how to negotiate with the NHS or their lawyers. This is because the “day in court” that you may be expecting from watching television dramas may be quite rare. In many cases, where negligence may be clear from the facts, medical negligence claims may be settled because the person who is responsible may want to draw the matter to a conclusion without going to court.

At Bentleys, you may speak to a qualified lawyer in your initial enquiry call, who may set your mind at risk by setting out how likely your claim may be to succeed. After taking the details of your claim, you may be able to get a rough idea of the level of compensation you may expect, given that there may be standard “rates” for different types of injury.

You may also be guided through the next parts of the procedure so that you may know what to expect next, and importantly, what may be expected of you.

Your day in court
As a claimant, you may have to submit to further medical examinations, in order to gather more evidence for your case. If your claim has been taken on in a true no win no fee deal, you may not have to pay any fees for these appointments upfront. Your lawyer may stand the cost and the risk of them and recover the cost later from the other party should your claim succeed.

What happens if yours is one of the comparatively few medical negligence claims that ends up in court? By this stage, your lawyer may have prepared you so thoroughly that you may feel confident about what to expect from the experience.
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Making your choice of accident claims solicitors

Everyone has to make big decisions from time to time. In the wake of an accident, which you believe was due to a third party’s negligence, there may be a very big decision to make. You may have a significant injury which may have forced you to spend less time at work, threatening your livelihood. You may also be in serious pain. So how may you decide which firm of accident claims solicitors may be the right one for you?
You may wish to take the following things into account:

  • experience. No matter how flash their website is, or how catchy their name, the most important factor you may use to take into account may be the depth and breadth of experience it’s a firm’s lawyers have in this field. For example, accident compensation claims may be specialised as a branch of law. But if your accident was a road traffic one, or a work one, you may wish to make sure that you lawyer has experience of that particular sub branch;
  • customer service. Bringing a claim on someone’s behalf is an important service, and the person bringing that claim is not only a claimant as far as the law is concerned, but they may also be a client as far as the deal with their lawyer may be concerned. Some claims firms may use call centres for the initial stages of their clients’ claims, where an impersonal service may move people from one stage to the next. At Bentleys Accident Claims, however, you may rest assured that you will speak to a qualified solicitor from the very first call. You can also expect regular updates and involvement in the progress of your claim;
  • the fee deal. The default position is that a claimant may simply pay their own fees and see if they may reclaim them at the end of the case if they win. But these days many firms, such as ourselves, offer no win no fee deals. This means that by using our service you won’t lose out, even if you do not win your accident compensation claim. However, if you choose to use another lawyer that offers a no win no fee service, do check the small print to make sure this is really the case.
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How do injury compensation claims work?

Coming to terms with the fact that you have had an accident that is someone else’s fault, may be difficult. After all, you may be in pain, in shock or feel let down if the accident happened at work in circumstances that you feel could have been avoided. When the dust has settled and you start thinking about making a claim, how might injury compensation claims pan out?

  • start looking for the right lawyer. Not every lawyer is a specialist in injury compensation claims. So you may wish to check the credentials of those you are considering before engaging them as your injury solicitors. Not only is personal injury a discrete area of law which has its own rules and procedures, but your lawyer may also need to be familiar with the tariff of charges that may apply to different injuries. Given that your claim may be likely to end in a settlement, you may need to make sure that you choose a lawyer who may negotiate strongly on your behalf;
  • get comfortable with the fee structure of the claim. How much, if anything, may your lawyer expect you to contribute up front for expenses? Some lawyers may insist that the claimant (i.e. you) may make payments for medical expenses and other appointments needed to formulate the evidence for the claim, with the intention of reclaiming them later in the event of the claim being successful. However, many firms may bear this risk themselves, and claim the monies back on settlement or in court. But the second and perhaps most important element of a no win no fee deal is knowing how much of your compensation you may keep. Some firms may charge a higher rate if you win. But others however, may hand all of your compensation over to you.
  • start gathering evidence. Your lawyer may lead this stage of things, while he or she is putting your case together they may be gathering all the information they may need. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need to attend further medical appointments;
  • the final stages are for your lawyer to carry out. Some claimants may be concerned about the possibility of having to stand up in court and give evidence. But the reality is that this may be relatively unlikely. Many claims may be settled at an early stage – especially if the causes of the accident are obvious. And if yours is one of the few injury compensation claims that does end up in court, your lawyer should be able to guide you through the experience to make it as painless as possible.
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Choose a car accident claims solicitor

Have you recently had a car accident that was not your fault? If so, you may wish to think about contacting a car accident claims solicitor. But if you have never used a lawyer before, what may be the kind of things that you may wish to take into account?

The initial contact
You can tell a lot about a firm by the way that they speak to you initially. With some claims companies there may be a factory mentality, where claimants may feel as though they are being “processed” along the various stages of the claims procedure.

At Bentley Accident Claims, on the other hand, you will typically speak to a qualified solicitor from the very first call, so that you may immediately get a professional opinion on your claim.

The firm’s experience
Another issue you may wish to take into account may be how much experience the lawyer has in making accident compensation claims. Whilst there may seem to be many kinds of claims firms around, this is a specialist area of law. So someone who does a bit of everything and “dabbles” in negligence issues may not be the person to trust with your claim.

The fee arrangement
Finally, how much may making a claim cost you? This is where the small print of whatever agreement is put in front of you should be read carefully.

Many accident claims solicitors may offer a no win no fee deal, but in reality no two no win no fee agreements are the same.

By way of explanation, the default position with a legal claim for compensation when you have an accident may be paid for by the person who is at fault. So if you win your claim, the court may typically decide that your legal costs may be paid by the other party. But should you lose, you may have to stump up for the other parties’ fees.

At Bentley’s, our no win no fee service means that we, as your car accident claims solicitor, will take on that risk. So, you will have nothing to pay, whatever the outcome.
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Military injury claims - commonly asked questions

Here are some commonly asked questions on the subject of military injury claims.

Are members of the armed services eligible for such compensation?

The question of eligibility may depend very much upon the circumstances and that is why you may be advised to consult legally qualified experts such as BentleyAccident Claims.

In principle, however, as a member of the military you may have the right to progress accident compensation claims in situations where your employer may have acted negligently or recklessly.

Is it right to ask for compensation?

This is a difficult question and one that may arise frequently when dealing with public service minded people such as the military.

Only you can ultimately make such a decision, however, the law recognises your legitimate right to seek compensation in circumstances such as those mentioned above.  This may be extremely useful in helping you to recover from your injuries or to lead as normal a life as possible afterwards.

It may be your just entitlement and something that might prove to be important to your family.

What are the conditions of making a claim?

Each case is unique to the claimant and it may be difficult to make sweeping generalisations, however, you may typically find that you will need to be seen to have:
  •  complied with all existing regulations relating to the use of safety equipment (there may be exceptions in situations where you were ordered not to or obstructed from so doing);
  •  to have been behaving in a responsible fashion and in line with prevailing regulations;
  •  to have been engaged in duties that were a legitimate part of your responsibilities (unless again you were ordered to the contrary). 
What will I need to support military injury claims?

There are no fixed rules on this but it may be sensible to:

  • take photographs of the environment, where this is practically possible under military regulations;
  • document, as soon as possible after the incident, the exact circumstances leading up to it and immediately afterwards;
  • ensure that you consult medical advice immediately where possible and keep precise notes of all such treatment, securing copies if practical;
  • try to obtain witness statements or the names and addresses of the witnesses concerned.
How much will this cost me?

Accident claim lawyers may be able to operate under a no-win no-fees arrangement.

If you win, you will typically need to pay nothing from the compensation awarded, as the responsible party will meet your legal fees.  There may be some minor administrative differences in this process under Scots law but the net result may be similar.

What is the next step?

To contact an expert claims injury lawyers with specialist knowledge of military injury claims.  You may be able to have an initial entirely non-committal discussion, where they may be able to help you understand the parameters of your situation and whether or not they believe you may be in line for possible compensation.

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Why a good accident claims solicitor may make a difference to you

It may be the case that your first instinct, after suffering an accident, is to avoid legal processes and the use of an accident claims solicitor.

If so, that might be perfectly understandable but you may find that it is not always advisable.

Playing fair

The responsible party may not, unfortunately, share your initial instinct.

It would be nice to think that we lived in a world where people automatically accepted their responsibilities in situations where they were responsible for accidents that led to injury and damage to third parties but that may not be the case.

You may find that the other party simply refuses to accept liability or even if they do, they do not accept the impact that the accident may have had on your life.

It is a regrettable truth that in some cases, the responsible party may be motivated less by what is just for you and more by their desire to reduce the financial implications of their liability.

This is why if you are making accident compensation claims, as may be your legal right, it may be advisable to seek the help of a professional accident solicitor.

The solicitor’s role

At Bentley Accident Claims a qualified solicitor will always deal with your initial call.

Their role has many objectives but perhaps the primary one is to help you understand whether or not your accident is likely to be one that may be attributable to another party and successfully pursued. Typically, perhaps after obtaining additional information and all the facts, they may also be able to advise you on what they consider to be a realistic compensation sum that you may wish to pursue.

Your solicitor’s only role is to help protect your interests and to seek justice on your behalf.

They may be able to act for you on a no-win no-fee basis and if you do win compensation, this will typically go entirely to you, as the other party will meet your solicitor’s fees.

It might pay to remember that even if you are reluctant initially to consult an accident claims solicitor, the other party may already have appointed legal expertise to act on their behalf against you!
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Injury compensation claims explained

How does the injury compensation claims process work?

  • in the United Kingdom, the law recognises that parties responsible for accidents arising due to their negligence or the failure to comply with legislation, may be held accountable under law for injuries and damage occurring as a consequence;
  • this is not primarily a case of retribution - it is more a sincere effort to try and ensure that innocent parties, who have suffered as a result, receive adequate compensation for any negative impact on the lives;
  • if you have suffered an accident that you believe to be the responsibility of someone else, it may be your right to ask that the person or institution concerned, recognise the effects that this has had on your life;
  • in some cases, you may need the help of injury solicitors to progress your claim for compensation, as the law may be complicated and it might be unrealistically optimistic to assume that the responsible party will simply accept their liability and offer you adequate compensation;
  • you may find, for example, that there may be suggestions that the accident was your responsibility or due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. winter weather etc);
  • of course, if you were responsible or played a contributory role in the accident (e.g. perhaps failing to comply with published safety standards etc) that may put any claim at risk or call into question the compensation sums due;
  • at Bentleys Accident Claims, your initial call will be responded to by a fully qualified accident claims solicitor (rather than a call handler) and he or she will be only too pleased to form an initial impression of the circumstances and to offer you advice as to whether you may have grounds for a claim;
  • in the case of injury compensation claims, it may be possible to progress action on your behalf entirely on a no-win no-fees basis and if you win compensation, 100% of this will come to you, as the other parties typically pay your legal costs;

  • under the Scottish legal system, legal fees may be handled slightly differently as a technicality but the same principle of you not playing in the event you are unsuccessful, may typically apply;

  • making successful injury compensation claims may enable you to quickly get your life back to normal and given the importance of that objective, it might pay to seek qualified legal help.
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The role of accident claims solicitors

As we are coming out of the depths of winter, it may be important to remember that accidents may still be a little more commonplace until the warmer weather truly arrives. That is not to say, however, that negligence may not sometimes play a part - and that is why consulting accident claims solicitors might prove to be important:

  • nobody disputes that occasionally an accident may happen in which there is no clear liability - and that may be particularly the case when there is a lot of ice, snow and sleet around;
  • yet sometimes the fact that winter is doing its worst is not an adequate explanation for why an accident took place;
  • for example, it may not be a company’s fault that severe cold weather caused stairs in their premises to freeze over but before opening to the public, it may very well have been their legal responsibility to ensure that those stairs were adequately de-iced and made safe for public use;
  • there may be a tendency for people who are responsible for an accident to attempt to dismiss it as just one of those things and attributable to the weather, however, qualified accident solicitors may be able to objectively analyse the position and establish whether or not that is the case and whether or not you are eligible for compensation;
  • at Bentley Accident Claims our qualified and specialist solicitors will be very happy to help you understand whether or not you were really an unfortunate victim of bad luck or in fact, one of negligence on the part of another party;
  • if it is a case of the latter, our solicitors will be willing to work with you to help progress accident compensation claims that might help you to secure a sum of money that will aid the progress of your recovery;
  • in the United Kingdom we have an admirably long tradition of trying to understand the other person’s position and of seeking to avoid recriminations. The law, however, permits you to seek just recompense if you have suffered injuries as a result of another party and this may be in your best interests and those of your family;
  • accident claims solicitors may be key in helping you to achieve this and if you have suffered an accident, so taking their advice sooner rather than later may be advisable.
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How do car injury claims work?

Your first thought following a road traffic accident may be to make sure your family and passengers are alright, and to seek medical help if needed. But if the accident was not your fault, your thoughts may turn to car injury claims.

Securing compensation for an accident may sound like a daunting task, but with an experienced injury compensation claims lawyer, you may rest assured that you have someone to champion the cause for you.

The initial phonecall
At Bentley Accident Claims, we take your enquiry seriously from the very beginning. Unlike some other claims companies where your telephone call may be screened through an army of receptionists before you speak to a lawyer, you will be put through to a qualified solicitor who will listen to the details of the accident and assess your case.

When you make this call, it may help if you jot down some notes about the accident beforehand, to jog your memory. Accident compensation claims may be complicated, depending on the nature of your case. So be prepared for a number of questions from your lawyer.

In your notes, you may wish to have to hand information about:

  • where the accident happened;
  • who was driving;
  • what the weather conditions were like on the day that it happened; and
  • whether there are any witnesses who may be prepared to give evidence for you.
You may also need to give some financial information later. This may include details of how much money you have spent on travelling to and from medical appointments and how much your earnings have fallen as a result of having to reduce your hours or have time off work.

What happens next?
Once your details of your accident have been investigated – and if your personal injury solicitor feels that you have a case - the next step is not court, contrary to popular opinion. In fact, the majority of car injury claims may be settled during the period of negotiation that should happen at the start of the procedure.

It may be that the party at fault admits liability straightaway (or more likely, their insurer may decide that the case may not be worth fighting), and that what really needs to be negotiated is the amount that you will receive in damages.

For most of the kinds of injuries sustained in car injury claims, there is a tariff of the level of compensation that may typically be paid out. The exact sum that you end up with may depend on the level of pain you suffered, and whether there were any aggravating factors.
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Finding a good accident claims solicitor

Being involved in an accident can be frightening. But if the accident was not your fault and has caused you to suffer an injury, you may wish to look around for a good accident claims solicitor. So what kind of qualities should you look out for?

A sympathetic ear
In order to formulate your claim, you may have to tell your lawyer all about your medical history and current state of health. You may also have to disclose details about who your dependants are, and how much you earn.

Given that this is quite personal information, your lawyer needs to have a sympathetic ear. Accident victims react to their injuries in different ways, and you may find that someone who treats you sensitively may make the experience less stressful.

A good communicator
The law involved with the claims procedure may seem as though it is full of jargon. But you need a lawyer who can explain it to you in a clear and concise manner, in language that you can understand. At Bentley Accident Claims we speak your language, and know how important it is that you are comfortable with what is happening at every step of the way.

A specialist in their field
Dealing with accident compensation claims is a specialist area in terms of law and procedures. Accordingly, you may wish to check that your solicitor is a specialist in this field.

A strong negotiator
Your compensation lawyer will represent you in negotiations with the party who was at fault. If the other party admits liability, or does not admit liability but decides to settle the claim, he or she will be responsible for securing an appropriate amount of compensation.

Accordingly, your claims solicitor needs to be a robust character who is able to secure the largest sum possible.

The right funding option for you
Finally, you may be nervous about approaching an accident claims solicitor if you are not sure how the process will be paid for. You may wish to ask your lawyer about a no win no fee arrangement. This is a scheme where the lawyer bears the risk of your claim. So if your claim is not successful, there is nothing for you to pay, but if you win compensation, the party that caused your accident may be responsible for your fees.
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Winter injury compensation claims – what is the procedure?

Slipping on snow or ice can just be painful or embarrassing. But sometimes it may be more serious than that, and lead to an injury that causes you serious discomfort for some time. It may even leave you needing time off work and affect your earnings. If this happens, you may wish to look into making injury compensation claims if the slip was due to someone’s negligence:

  • the first thing to do is gather the facts together. As soon as you feel able, you may wish to write a few notes about the incident to ensure that the details are fresh in your memory. If possible, you may wish to take some photographs of the accident site;
  • choose a firm of specialist personal injury solicitors. Injury compensation claims are not mainstream – they require specialist knowledge and expertise which is why you may wish to consider using a lawyer that deals with such claims day in, day out. At Bentleys we have qualified solicitors on hand to talk claimants through the procedure;
  • establish the fee structure. If you have never dealt with lawyers before, you may be concerned about how much it may cost to bring a claim. Your lawyer should explain how the fees work. Typically, if your accident was caused by someone else your fees may be paid by them. And if you are unable to prove that the accident was not their fault, there may not be anything to pay thanks to our no win no fee deals;
  • go through the investigation together. This may seem like “raking over” the details of the accident, but may be necessary to formulate your claim. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may have to get independent medical evidence to support your claim;
  • let the negotiations commence. Once your lawyer has all the facts, the next step is negotiation. If the responsible party admits liability or if the facts involved make it seem unlikely that they will be able to defend your claim, you may find that a settlement may be offered;
  • enjoy your settlement. If your lawyers manage to negotiate a settlement, then you may wish to consider how to invest it prudently; or
  • go to court. Unfortunately, some injury compensation claims may not be capable of settlement. If this is the case, your lawyer will explain to you exactly what is involved in the process. You may have to attend a court hearing and give evidence. But is this happens, you can rest assured that your solicitor will be there for you.
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Is winter a key time for accident compensation claims?

In Britain, we are often accused of being obsessed with the weather. But where ice and snow can be mere inconveniences on one hand, when coupled with a property owner’s failure to clear a path or a poor driver’s carelessness, winter weather can bring misery for accident victims. If this happens to you, you may wish to take the following steps when making accident compensation claims:

  • seek medical help. Of course, your top priority after sustaining an injury should be to get in touch with your hospital or doctor as soon as possible. You may be concerned about making a fuss, but if you are in pain you may wish to get treatment straightaway. There is also another reason to do this at your earliest convenience – the medical records from such a visit may evidence the agony that you experienced immediately after the accident;
  • take a photo of the accident site. If you have tripped or fallen due to ice or snow that should have been cleared away, you may wish to have it photographed before it melts!
  • seek legal advice. At Bentley Accident Claims, we are realistic about people’s chances of success. Sometimes, accidents are nobody’s fault and it is not doing anyone a favour for accident claims solicitors to pursue a claim that is unlikely to succeed. However, if someone else was clearly at fault for your accident, we will give you a realistic appraisal of the chances of getting injury claims compensation;
  • get into the habit of keeping receipts. If your claim for compensation is successful, you may be able to claim back some of the costs involved in getting to and from medical appointments, as well as the appointments themselves, if you have to use private practitioners. You may also be able to make a claim for any loss of earnings that you have sustained as a result of the accident, in addition to compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured;
  • take care of yourself. Sometimes it can be easy to try to push yourself in your recovery, to achieve things before you are ready. But accident compensation claims may be stressful too, and you may wish to take each day at a time to concentrate on getting better. Let your personal injury lawyer worry about your case!
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Accident compensation claims - your frequently asked questions

Here are some questions relating to accident compensation claims that we sometimes hear from our clients:

- can I claim compensation? That depends upon the nature of the circumstances surrounding the accident but if you believe that you were not personally liable for it then you may well be entitled to appropriate compensation from the responsible party;

- how do I go about claiming? The first step is to take expert legal advice from fully qualified personal injury solicitors such as ourselves. We will perform an initial assessment to see whether or not you may be eligible to instigate an accident compensation claim;

- what happens if the other party disputes my claim? At Bentley Accident Claims, we will always seek to achieve a negotiated and amicable settlement (including appropriate compensation) on your behalf, however, in some cases that may involve legal proceedings;

- can you guarantee success? No, we cannot guarantee the outcome of a legal process in advance but what we can guarantee is that if we do not succeed in obtaining compensation for you, we will not charge any fees;

- how much will a claim cost me? Even if you win, your legal representatives’ fees will typically be met by the other party and they will not affect in any way the amount of any damages you are awarded (in some accident compensation claims under the Scottish legal system, there may be technical differences in terms of the application of this);

- how much will I be able to claim? That will obviously depend on the nature of your accident and the severity of your resulting injuries, however, the law provides for just compensation and your legal team will be experts in quantifying the amounts that you may be due;

- will I need to provide medical evidence? Once again, it is not easy to give generalised answers as so much may depend on the exact circumstances of your individual case and the other party’s response to your claim. However, as a general rule, medical evidence supporting the extent of your injuries and any required treatment, may only help your claim. In some cases, you may be required to see an independent medical professional who will provide a report as to the extent of your injuries etc;

- how long will it take? As you may have guessed, the only possible answer to that is that it depends upon the circumstances. The key factor may be whether or not the other party accepts, and their liability or not. If they do not, that may involve full legal proceedings, which will inevitably take longer than an amicable solution;

- do I have to claim immediately after the accident? No, you may lodge accident compensation claims up to three years after the event (there may be certain special exceptions) but it may be important that you have facts to hand. Try to ensure that original documentation, medical records and witness statements, if applicable, are all safely stored away and ready for use if required.
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How to claim compensation

If you have suffered personal injury as a result of an accident that you believe was the responsibility of another party, then you may be wondering how to claim compensation.

At or near to the event itself

The first step is to ensure that you are in possession of all of the facts relating to your accident. That is not quite as intimidating as it may sound - you simply need to be clear as to when and where it happened and the circumstances leading up to it.

It is a fact of life that human memory may be liable to become hazy on points of detail over time, so it might be advisable for you to make some personal notes on the key circumstances and facts, as close to the actual event as possible. (Also, see our Top Tips below).

If anyone witnessed the accident, it might be useful if you are able to record their name and address and a brief summary of what they saw and believe happened.

Finally, it might also be useful for you to keep notes of any medical treatment or help you received at the time the accident took place - and on an ongoing basis.

Some of these things may not be essential in order for you to progress accident claims, however, the more information you have available to support your position, the easier it may be for us to obtain just compensation on your behalf.

Afterwards and ongoing

In some cases, the responsible parties may accept their liability. In other situations, unfortunately, they may be less inclined to do so.

In either situation, you may need professional help to progress your claim.

In the case of people that accept liability, there may be a tendency for them to seek to minimise the cost implications in terms of the compensation they pay. Professional help in this area may allow you to quantify what you may be due by way of claims compensation.

In the case of disputed liability, you may need expert legal help in order to obtain a judgment in your favour.

That is where a no-win no-fee arrangement with an organisation such as Bentley Accident Claims may be able to help you to understand both how to progress a disputed claim for compensation and more importantly, to achieve it.


- Some people carry around a throwaway camera in their glove compartment in case of witnessing or being involved in a road traffic accident.

- Dating any photographic evidence may always be useful. So, if you trip or slip on a faulty pavement for example, get a newspaper for that day and take a photo with the date of the paper and headline visible.

- Similarly, if you twist your foot on a deep pot hole, taking a photograph evidencing the depth (such as showing a ruler) may be useful.
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A typical car accident claim

In one sense, there is no such thing as a typical car accident claim.

The circumstances surrounding every accident are likely to be different and the results may similarly vary from being trivial, up to potentially life-changing for any of the parties involved.

Yet there is one basic principle that may apply to all such incidents - if you have suffered injuries as a result, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.

Of course, not everyone injured in a motor vehicle accident will ultimately be eligible for compensation. There may be a number of circumstances that need to be taken into consideration, including whether or not you were responsible for the accident yourself.

Assuming that was not the case though, if you suffered injuries that resulted in a quantifiable impact on your life then it may be possible to look to the responsible party for just compensation.

The nature of the compensation and the amount payable will obviously be related to the severity of your injuries and how significant were any impacts on your life. Qualifying injuries may range from whiplash and relatively minor but temporarily incapacitating bruising/muscular problems up to potentially permanently disabling conditions.

Assessing the amount of the compensation you may be due is complicated and one that is the domain of specialised accident lawyers such as ourselves.

At Bentley Accident Claims, we will initially seek to understand the circumstances of your accident so as to judge whether we believe you have grounds to progress a claim. If we believe that to be the case, we will then work with you to try to understand and quantify the effects the accident has had upon you.

Broadly speaking, this involves looking at the physical and psychological distress you may have suffered as a result of your injuries and then looking at the related but separate area of the financial impacts on your life. For example, if you are unable to work and earn income for a period of time due to your injuries, this will need to be factored into the amount of compensation you seek.

Obtaining the compensation due in a car accident claim, may or may not sometimes be relatively straightforward. The other party (possibly through their own legal advisers) may accept liability and the matter is then resolved by process of negotiation surrounding a just sum.

At times, liability may be disputed, in which case your specialist solicitors may need to progress legal action on your behalf through the courts. We will operate for you on a no-win no-fees basis.

You may be able to make a car accident claim up to three years after your accident. This may be something that becomes necessary, as the duration and longer-term effects of your injuries are sometimes not clear in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
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Icy slips and accident claims solicitors

Now we are in the depths of Winter, walking on icy pavements can be a real hazard and you may even know someone who has slipped on an icy spot and suffered from a personal injury. So, if this happens to you, what next? Depending on how bad your injury is, you could end up unable to work for a while (maybe suffering from a reduced wage). You may also have to deal with trips to doctors, hospitals etc, as well as the pain. So, can accident claims solicitors help?

Each case is unique, so will need to be looked at individually. However, the most important thing to do if you have a slip, is to see a medical professional immediately. They can then properly assess the injury and start you off on the road to recovery. Not only that, but the personal injury is then verified, should an accident claims solicitor feel that you have a justified reason to claim compensation.

Accident compensation claims - can you claim compensation for an icy slip?

If you suffer anything other than a trivial accident, you may have to live with the effects for days, weeks, months or even years - those effects may be physical in the sense of pain and disability (temporary or permanent) which negatively affect your quality of life but they may also be financial in that they impact your ability to work or your day-to-day living costs.

The law accepts that if you suffer such affects, as a result of a third party, you may have the right to demand appropriate compensation. There is little doubt, however, that sometimes accidents happen which are no one’s fault. If we feel however that you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another individual or company, we will look to seek personal injury compensation for you.

Of course, not all accident compensations claims are guaranteed to be successful – and sadly there may be genuine cases where people make a claim for loss or earnings etc and they are unsuccessful. That is why accident claims solicitors such as ourselves won’t waste your time or give you false hope if we think your compensation claim will not go anywhere. Rather, we will endeavour to objectively assess your individual situation and offer you our professional advice as to whether or not you have grounds to progress your case.
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Welcome to Bentley Accident Claims

Bentley Solicitors are pleased to welcome you to their new website Check back here regularly for our latest news and advice on personal injury claims.
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