How to start a personal injury claim
Can I make a Personal Injury Claim?
If you are unfortunate to have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s fault or negligence, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
The main criteria you will have to meet to be able to make a claim are:
- You must have sustained an injury at the fault or negligence of someone else.
- You were injured within the last 3 years.
A claim for personal injury can also be made in a case where an injury has been caused by a potentially defective product.
What evidence do I need to prove negligence?
The key ingredients for a successful personal injury claim is clear and compelling evidence that establishes beyond doubt that the opponent’s negligence caused your injury.
The stronger the evidence is, the more likely the opponent’s will admit liability for the accident at the beginning of the claim. This will speed up the time it takes to settle your case. Even if the opponent denies liability, a personal injury claim with good evidence stands a greater chance to be settled in negotiation.
It is important to be totally honest with the evidence you provide as any false information can lead to a claim for fundamental dishonesty against you.
To help your solicitor build your case for your personal injury claim, you should provide evidence such as:
- The date, time and details of your accident.
- Who was responsible for your accident? Names and contact details of everybody involved, including any witnesses.
- The accident location. It will be necessary to mark the accident location on a map or be able to provide a detailed description of exactly where the accident occurred.
- Vehicle information, if necessary.
- Name of your GP practice and any hospitals where you have been treated.
- Dates and times of any subsequent visits to see medical professionals.
- Any financial losses you (or family members) have incurred as a result of the accident. Keep a diary and keep the receipts. These losses include items such as loss of earnings and travel expenses while attending medical appointments. Your solicitor will use these in your personal injury claim.
What medical evidence do I need?
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible, no matter how minor your injury appears initially.
To be able to claim compensation for an injury, it is necessary to show that the injury was caused by the accident in question and not by something else. This is called causation. GP and Hospital records will be important in terms of establishing causation.
Further, you must show that you took steps to mitigate your losses by seeking medical assistance at the earliest opportunity possible. If you have not, then the opponent could argue that they cannot be held entirely responsible for your injuries and compensate you in full as you did not act reasonably to seek treatment at the earliest opportunity possible and this could have exacerbated your injuries.
Summary of the Process
- Submitting your claim – Once your solicitor has the above information, they will formally notify the person or organisation you believe is responsible for your accident (The Defendant/Your Opponent). In many cases, the claim will be dealt with by the Defendant’s insurers. If your claim succeeds, your damages will be paid by the Defendant’s insurers.
- Pre-action Protocol – This protocol is set by the Ministry of Justice. The Defendant’s insurers has three months to investigate the claim and inform your solicitor whether they either accept liability for your accident or deny it.
- Liability admitted – If the Defendant insurers admit liability, then your solicitor will instruct a medical expert for the purposes of a medical report and begin negotiating your settlement amount.
- Liability denied – If liability is denied, your evidence will be further reviewed on prospects of success and your solicitor will advise you on the best way to proceed. Your personal injury claim may go to a hearing at Court for a judge to assess the claim and decide who is responsible however this is a rare occurrence.
Our highly experienced personal injury experts have years of experience in dealing with various types of personal injury claims and achieving favourable outcomes for our clients. If you have suffered an injury due to somebody else’s negligence and would like to speak with a personal injury specialist please call us today on 0808 252 5231.