Accidents can happen to anyone and at anytime. Additionally, they can be devastating if you get injured as injuries may impact your health and livelihood as well. Beyond seeking medical attention for your injuries, you can also rightfully claim compensation under the personal injury law. However, you need to understand this law well enough to get the claim that is rightfully yours. It is equally important to avail the services of an expert lawyer to handle your case successfully. Here are a few questions that you should ask before making a personal injury claim so that you can be assured about its success.
Q1: What is the process of making a personal injury claim?
Getting compensated for an injury caused by an accident that involves no fault of yours is something that you deserve. However, the entire process is complex as it involves a series of steps. To start with, you need a solicitor who specializes in this stream. The lawyer will collect evidence related to the accident and quantify the damages. A letter of claim is sent to the responsible party or their insurer and the case is settled by a settlement or trial depending on the way it is handled by the responsible party.
Q2: What information is needed to make the claim?
Essentially, you need to collect and present the entire facts and information related to the accident to prove the genuineness of the claim. This includes the details such as date, time and place of the accident and the way it occurred. Further, you need to provide detailed evidence related to your injuries, diagnosis and treatment given for them. Contact details of witnesses to the accidents would be valuable to make your case strong and credible. You should also give a proof related to loss of earnings caused due to the injuries.
Q3: How important is it to hire a solicitor to handle the case?
The best approach would be to get a personal injury lawyer to look after your case right at the start. Look for someone with relevant expertise and right experience in this domain. Someone who has handled several claim cases successfully would know the nitty-gritty of these cases and be capable of handling the entire complexities. Personal injury cases can become complicated and stretch long if you do not have the right person representing you.
Q4: How much will the compensation claim be worth?
Assessing the amount of compensation claim involves several aspects that are to be considered in view of specific circumstances. So there is no one-size-fits-all model that can be followed for calculating the amount of compensation. The solicitor will guide you about the optimal value of the claim on the basis of factors such as the severity of the injury, its impact on the quality of life, medical costs, additional costs incurred due to the injury and loss of earnings. The choice of accepting the claim value and settlement offer from the other party lies with you.
Q5: Will my case go to court?
Very often, personal injury cases are settled out of court by negotiations to reach at a settlement amount that is agreed to both the parties. This is a better alternative as compared to a trial in the court because this can be both expensive and time-consuming. The case is contested in court if there is a dispute between the parties or when they are not able to reach a mutual settlement. The entire case needs to be handled by an expert solicitor otherwise you may end up losing to the strong legal teams that most insurance providers have to represent them.
Q6: When will I receive my compensation claim?
When the claim is settled out of court, the solicitor will ensure that you receive the compensation as soon as possible. Optimally, this is done within 14-28 days though there may be some variations in the timelines. If the case is settled in court, the timing will be decided and enforced by the court’s order. Normally, this is to be done 21 days after the verdict has been given in your favor. Insurance companies may even clear the compensation within 5 days after the order, depending on their policies.
While these questions give you fair idea about the process, you need to understand the payment clauses for the solicitor’s services as well. Some attorneys charge on contingency basis, which means that they will charge their fees only after you get the compensation claim. This is an easy option for someone who is already burdened with medical expenses and loss of income.