FAQ's for Personal Injury Claims
Answered by Kate Golding, Senior Associate Solicitor
If you are able to prove that you have suffered an accident that was not your fault, for example a road traffic accident caused by somebody else or an accident at work caused by you not having been providing with safety equipment, you may have the basis of a claim for compensation.
The law exists to provide redress and compensation for people injured through no fault of their own. Insurance companies seek to attach a stigma to claiming compensation for personal injury to reduce the number of claims that are made. However, you should not be embarrassed or feel ashamed about making a claim when you have been injured or affected financially by the negligent actions of others.
Yes – most personal injury claims must be started no more than 3 years after the accident date if you are an adult or no more than 3 years after your 18th birthday if you are a child. However, as different time limits may apply to different types of claim, the sooner you consult a lawyer, the better.
Many people, some unknowingly, have the benefit of Legal Expenses Insurance with home or motor insurance policies or even with some credit cards, which will provide cover in cases of personal injury. Some people are members of trade unions which will also provide assistance. In the event that no insurance or trade union cover exists, in appropriate cases we are able to offer no-win-no-fee agreements tailored to your specific circumstances.
It is often impossible to give a precise indication of the likely timescale, but in general, straightforward personal injury claims can often be concluded within 9-12 months from the date the claim commenced, depending on recovery from injuries, any additional treatment that may be recommended for the patient before a final prognosis can be given, and so on. More protracted claims, in particular claims which require long recovery, Court proceedings and possibly also a trial, could take 2 years or more to conclude.
Yes – in most cases you will need to see a medical expert who will examine you and prepare a report detailing the injuries you have suffered and whether you will go on to make a full recovery. This report will be used to value your claim for the purposes of settlement.
In most personal injury cases, you will be eligible to claim for the pain, suffering and any limitation caused to your day-to-day living as a result of your injuries. This will be calculated by obtaining expert medical evidence. In addition, you can make a separate claim for financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident, to include loss of earnings.
Aside from deducting the premium for any insurance policy that is recommended to you and which you decide to take out during the course of your claim, we will make no deductions to the sum of compensation that you receive.
The vast majority of personal injury claims can be settled without the need to go to court. There are however some occasions where a suitable settlement cannot be agreed with the Defendant’s solicitors and on those occasions, the claim would need to go to court so a Judge could consider it and make a final Judgment.
As well as a full description of your accident and details of the people involved, your solicitor will need details of any legal expenses insurance you may have in place, details of the injuries that you have suffered, treatment you have had so far and any future treatment that has been recommended and full details of expenses you have had to pay out as a result of your accident, with receipts where possible.
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