Guest Post:How to Make a Personal Injury Claim
The number of personal injury claims being made in the UK rose by 18% in 2011 compared to the previous year. Therefore, if you have sustained an injury and are thinking about making a claim, you are not alone. Essentially, if you are injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault you could have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim.
The first thing to note about making a personal injury claim is that any claim must be made within three years of the accident occurring or injuries becoming apparent, whichever is later. Once this three year period has passed, you lose your right to make a claim.
Finding a Personal Injury Solicitor
Once you have decided that you would like to make a personal injury claim the first step in the process is to hire a solicitor who will be able to manage the claim. Solicitors vary greatly in terms of expertise and experience; therefore there are a few questions that you have to ask any solicitor who is potentially going to manage your claim.
Do they operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis? – If a personal injury solicitor operates on such a basis it means that should you be unsuccessful in your personal injury claim you will not have to pay any of your solicitor’s fees. However, you may be liable for the other side’s legal costs so be sure to ask your solicitor exactly what will happen if you don’t win. The last thing you want is a hefty legal bill at the end of the process.
How much court experience do they have? – The majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court and as a result, a number of personal injury solicitors have little to no court experience. It is recommended that you try to find a solicitor who at least has some experience in such an environment as should your claim go to court you don’t want to take a risk by it being your solicitors first time in the situation.
Have they successfully handled a similar claim before? – As with anything, with experience comes wisdom and knowledge. Consequently, it will strengthen your case to obtain the services of a personal injury solicitor who has successfully handled a similar claim before. They are likely to know the best course of action and should react well to any unforeseen circumstances that may arise throughout the claims process.
In addition to managing your claim, a solicitor will also be able to tell you how much compensation they feel your claim could be worth. However, in the meantime you can always use a compensation calculator to gain a rough estimate based the injuries you have sustained.
The Personal Injury Claims Process
Now that you have hired a personal injury solicitor and decided that you want to press on and make a claim, the claims process can be initiated. The first step in which is for your solicitor to write a letter to the other side notifying them of your intention to make a personal injury claim and how much compensation you expect to receive. They will then have three months to respond and either accept or reject your claim. If they accept the claim, a series of negotiations will take place until an agreeable amount of compensation is established; if such an agreement isn’t reached the case will go to court. On the other hand, if they reject your claim and don’t accept fault, the case will go straight to court and be settled by a judge.
On average, a personal injury claim will last between 8 to 12 months so make sure you understand that the process won’t be completed in a few weeks.
Injury Claim Specialists is one of the UK’s leading personal injury advice websites. We pride ourselves on offering easy to understand, plain English injury claims advice on a wide range of different injury related topics. There are also a number of extremely useful tools such as the Compensation Calculator, which can give you a compensation estimate in less than a second, and the Injury Claims Guide is at hand to answer all of your personal injury related questions.