When disaster strikes and you find yourself injured through no fault of you own, the stresses of temporary disability and the inability to work can be overwhelming. Don’t forget that you may have the option of compensation. Making a personal injury claim is straightforward and can see you with financial reward that makes this difficult time a little easier. Here’s how to make a claim:
Step 1 – Find a reliable personal injury solicitor
You’re probably familiar with numerous personal injury television adverts, with thousands of personal injury solicitors to choose from online and off, but choosing the solicitor that’s right for you takes a little more time than simply picking the company on your TV screens. Do your research; read reviews and take time to discuss your requirements with someone over the phone or face-to-face. Getting a feel for a solicitor’s manner and professionalism is essential if you wish the process to be as stress free as possible.
Step 2 – Gather any evidence
With a personal injury solicitor in place, the next step is to gather any evidence surrounding the incident. Your solicitor will help you do this. Evidence that may need to be collected includes witness reports and any paper documentation from medical staff. A medical report will be instructed by your doctor but it is usually required that all your medical treatment has been completed before a letter of claim can be put forward.
Step 3 – Approaching the defendant
Following the collection of evidence, your solicitor will put together a letter of claim that will be sent to your defendant. This will state your case and belief that they are the person or organisation liable for your injury. Following the submission of this letter, there is a pause in proceedings as you wait for the defendant to reply. It may be that the defendant is happy to settle the issues out of court, which means they will pay an amount of damages as agreed between the two of you. It may be the case that the defendant is your employer and could need to take out after-the-event insurance cover. It can be a slow process at this stage, but there is little that you have to worry about as this goes on.
Step 4 – Court proceedings issued
Next ‘pre-action protocol’ is followed, furthering encouraging interaction between the claimant and defendant; this is carried out to ensure both sides can be properly investigated. The protocol has to follow in order for a court case to succeed, there may be costly fines against your case should this not be followed. During this stage, always be sure to reply to your solicitors enquiries as swiftly as possible. Again, your case may be settled before the court case arises.
Step 5 – Court proceedings begin
When court proceedings have been issues, a court case must begin within 4 months. During the trial, the court will decide if the defendant has been found liable for your injury. If so, it is then that the defendant will be made to pay your damages. If the case rules against your favour, then do compensation will be due. Most personal injury solicitors work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – ensuring you are not left out of pocket should this be the result.
If you’re in need of guidance with your personal injury claim or a business looking to take out ATE Insurance then click here to find out more and to speak with one of our experienced team at Guardian Legal.