Bringing a personal injury claim – Common misconceptions
Posted on 22nd September 2017
Hodge Jones & Allen is celebrating its 40th anniversary and throughout its 40 years personal injury law has received an unprecedented amount of attention and criticism. From my experience we regularly see misinformation and read negative publicity which often can deter people from bringing a legitimate PI claim.
Here are my top five common misconceptions around bringing a personal injury claim:
1. My case will take years before it is settled
The majority of straightforward personal injury cases will settle within 6-12 months if liability is admitted. A straightforward PI claim is usually a minor injury whereby almost all symptoms have resolved quickly and you have resumed your employment and regular activities within a short space of time. However more complex claims that can take longer are those with serious or life changing injuries that severely impact your daily life or if liability is denied the defendant says they are not responsible for causing you injury) . In my work as a PI solicitor I deal with all aspects of the case to make sure victims get the appropriate care and treatment, tailored to their own individual needs,
2. I will have to go to Court before I receive any compensation
The majority of PI cases I handle do not go to court and our client’s often receive compensation without setting foot in a court room. We find that insurance companies are often willing to settle out of court to reduce time and costs of attending a court hearing which is why they are often keen to begin settlement negotiations as soon as possible. Of course if liability is denied then it is harder to settle a claim, however insurance companies tend to take a pragmatic approach when deciding if the case can be settled or not. Going to Court is a last resort and even though it happens sometimes, it is certainly not the norm.
3. You have to pay legal fees if you win or lose your case
Here at Hodge Jones Allen, if you lose your case you do not have to pay any legal costs. You only pay a small contribution to legal fees if you win your case as we claim the majority of our legal costs from the defendant.
4. I am too late to make a PI claim – I did not claim straight after my accident
If the accident occurred here in the UK, you have three years from the accident date in which to bring a personal injury claim. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but on the whole you have three years to bring your case. Our advice is always do not delay and start your claim as soon as possible, however provided you are within the three year limit you are in time to bring a PI claim.
5. I am better off dealing with the claim myself
In our experience, our clients tend to get more compensation if they are represented by a legal professional, rather than doing it themselves. This is because they are not aware of how much their claim is worth, or what they can include as part of their claim. Insurance companies are not obliged to tell you what your claim is worth and often use this to their advantage by making low offers that you may think are reasonable when actually you are entitled to more to help you get back on track
My experience over the last 8 years has taught me the real truth about personal injury claims. My clients are hardworking individuals who have been injured in an accident through no fault of their own. They have been negligently injured are entitled to bring a personal injury claim to help them recover from their injuries and receive recompense for the losses they have incurred as result.
Hodge Jones & Allen will continue to help injured victims fight for what is right!