Whether you’ve suffered a personal injury in a car accident, at work, in the community, in hospital or elsewhere, if someone else’s negligence was to blame, you might be eligible for compensation. However, to get the money you’re entitled to, you’ll need to take the appropriate legal steps. To help you do this, here’s a brief guide to claiming compensation.
Establish the facts
The more facts you can establish about the circumstances surrounding your injury, the easier your legal team will find it to fight your case. As it states on the website of personal injury experts Michael Jefferies Injury Lawyers, solicitors will want to know details of the accident and how it occurred. With this in mind, it’s useful to write down everything that you remember about the accident as soon as possible, and if you can, take photos of the scene. If there are witnesses, make a note of their names and addresses so that they can provide statements.
If you suspect you have been injured, make sure you see a doctor straight away. Their medical notes could prove to be very important in helping you to secure compensation. Take pictures of the injuries if possible too, and make a note of any follow-up medical visits you attend.
Try to keep a record of any expenses you incur as a result of your injury as well, such as travel receipts for getting to and from medical appointments.
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible
There is a time limit on making a personal injury claim. This must usually be done within three years of your accident, so don’t delay. Also, bear in mind that the sooner you begin your claim, the fresher the details of the accident will be in your mind.
To start your compensation claim, simply contact a personal injury solicitor. These legal experts will talk you through your options and guide you through each step of the process. Your solicitor will be able to tell you how likely your claim is to succeed and what sort of figure you could be looking at in a settlement or if your case goes to court. They will also be able to estimate how long the process is likely to take.
If you decide to proceed, your solicitor will start the legal proceedings by sending a letter to the defendant.
Find the best way to fund your claim
When you have your initial consultation with a solicitor, they will discuss funding options with you. If you have a strong case, you may be offered a no win, no fee agreement. This is a popular arrangement that means you don’t have to risk your personal finances to proceed with your claim. If you don’t succeed in getting compensation, you won’t have to pay any legal fees.
Alternatively, you might want to fund your claim privately or using legal expense insurance. You may also be able to take out an After the Event Insurance policy.
Consider a settlement
Once your legal team has estimated the value of your claim and you have decided how much money you would be willing to accept, your solicitor may recommend writing to the defendant with a settlement offer. If the other party agrees to pay the amount specified in your offer, this can enable you to avoid court. If you can’t reach an agreement with the defendant, your solicitor will advise you on whether to continue with your claim. Doing this may involve going to court, where a judge will make a decision on any compensation award.
Making a personal injury compensation claim can seem daunting, but as long as you follow these steps, you should find that the process is straightforward.