Almost half of all adults in the UK have been injured in an accident in the last five years – including workplace accidents, road accidents and slips and trips in public places. Injuries sustained as a result of an accident can change your quality of life, your ability to earn income and your families financial well being. We’ve put together a simple, introductory guide to making a claim against personal injuries suffered in the UK – the process, the information required and the types of injuries you can claim against.
What Is a Personal Injury?
In legal terms, a personal injury is considered a physical or psychological injury or illness. A personal injury can also result in death.
Examples of personal injuries are:
- an injury at work or an illness caused by your job
- a psychological illness caused by stress, anxiety or bullying at work
- an injury caused in a traffic accident
- an injury received as a result of faulty goods or services
- an injury caused if you fall over in a public place
- an injury caused by errors in hospital treatment
- a physical or psychological injury sustained by a victim of crime
Why Should I Claim?
Personal injury claims are often associated with “ambulance chasers,” shady companies who cold call people looking for any excuse to take legal action against another party. We strongly urge our readers to avoid such companies and act responsibly at all times when considering making a personal injury claim. It is however your legal right to make a compensation claim if you have genuinely been injured (physically or psychologically) as a result of the actions of a 3rd party. The compensation is intended to provide financial support for any area of your life that has been affected by the accident, including covering the cost of any required medical services and replacing income lost as a result of the accident.
How Much Could I Claim?
In order to find our what sort of compensation you may be entitled to, you should contact a reputable personal injury solicitor. Beware anyone who promises to gain you thousands of pounds of compensation before they have fully considered the facts of your case. Compensation vary’s significantly between cases but payouts can be anywhere from thousands of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds in more serious cases.
What Do I Need To Prove?
The first thing that must be established is that your injury was caused by an accident that was not your fault or was caused by the actions of a 3rd party. Partial or complete blame must be attributed to that 3rd party as they (or their insurance company) will pay the compensation. You will need to prove that the 3rd party had a duty to prevent your injury and could have taken reasonable steps to prevent the injury. If it is not possible to establish that someone was at fault, it is unlikely that your claim will be successful.
The first step in any personal injury claim is reporting the incident to the relevant parties. You must inform both the police and your insurance company if the injury is the result of a road accident. A doctor should be informed so that if you go to court as part of your claim he/she can provide the court with a medical report.
It is also wise to gather any and all pertinent information about the accident and injury. This should include;
- The time and date of the accident
- Where the accident happened
- How the accident happened
- The contact details of any witnesses and the other people involved in the accident
- The details of your injuries including any medical treatment received
After you have collected the information above it is time to contact a reputable specialist personal injury solicitor and discuss your case with them. A reputable lawyer will consider your case without requiring you to pay any fee’s up front. If they are not prepared to work on a “no win, no fee” basis you should avoid them.