A Short Guide to Making a Personal Injury Claim

The number of personal injury claims has fallen steadily in recent years, owing in part to changes to UK law – but also a testament to the increased effectiveness of health and safety measures, and overall diligence. Nonetheless, it is an unfortunate possibility that you suffer an accident that isn’t your fault, whether at work or in public. But how would you go about making a claim?

What Do I Need to Make a Claim?

If you believe you have suffered an injury that wasn’t your fault, for your first move you needn’t do much more than get in touch with a solicitor to make a personal injury claim. Even an initial consultation can help you understand the strength of your case.

Gathering evidence is naturally an important part of any legal case, so you should endeavour to collect all the information you have about your injury and the potential negligence that caused it. Evidence could take the form of eyewitness testimony, footage of the event or written correspondence before and after the event. You will also need medical evidence, from GP records to expert testimony on your condition.

Here it is important to note that there is a time limit for making a claim; you must do so within three years of the event, or within three years of learning of your injury. There are exceptions to this rule, for acting on behalf of those with reduced mental capacity and for suffering a personal injury as a child. In the former case, there is no time limit, while the latter will see you eligible to claim for three years from your 18th birthday.

What Does the Claim Process Look Like?

The process for entering a personal injury claim is relatively simple, but it is also worth remembering that your personal injury solicitors will be entirely in control of the process – meaning you need to do very little to advance your claim past speaking to a solicitor about next steps.

That said, there are three distinct steps to the average personal injury claim. Firstly, your solicitor will notify the defendant of your claim, whereon it will be passed to their insurers for step two: pre-action protocol. This is a legally protected three-month period in which the event in question can be investigated by the defendant’s insurers. The third step is either the admittance or denial of liability. Admittance of liability means the negotiation of a settlement with the insurers out of court; denial often means progression to a court hearing.

How Much Might My Claim Be Worth?

There is no single answer when it comes to answering this question; despite similarities in injury or event between cases, each and every personal injury claim is individual and distinct from one another. There are numerous variables to take into account, from the location of the injury to its nature and severity – not to mention the specifics of individual recovery time, the value of lost wages and the cost of any logistical interventions such as increased reliance on private transport.

For ballpark figures, there are wide-ranging scales of potential claim value depending on the site of injury. Brain injuries are the most serious and severe, and can result in higher compensation rates as a result; the upper bounds for brain injury compensation sit above £300,000, in comparison to toe injuries reaching a maximum in the tens of thousands.

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