We’ve all seen the countless injury compensation adverts on TV and probably thought little of them. Until such an unfortunate event happens to you. Making a personal injury claim is often a long process which the TV adverts do not do justice to. Here are some of the processes you will have to go through when making your claim.
What must be proven?
For a claim to be successful, three things must be proven:
- someone had a duty of care over you
- they were negligent in upholding this duty of care
- you suffered injuries as a result
We as human beings have a duty of care owed to us in most places that we go and in turn, many of us hold a duty of care for other people. For example, road users have a duty of care to other road users.
It must be proven that either action or inaction amounted to negligence. In civil legal terms, negligence is a breach of that duty of care which results in damage to a person(s). For example, a negligent action would be a driver who was not paying due attention at the car wheel and drove into a car in front. A negligent inaction would be a shop owner’s failure to clean up a spilt carton of milk on shop floor.
What time limits do you have to make a claim?
Under current English law, a person can file a claim for injury, illness or accident up to a maximum of 3 years after an accident occurred. If you try to make a claim after this time limit, it is highly unlikely that you would be successful in your claim.
If you are under the age of 18 when the accident occurred, the three-year time limit is put on hold until the time that you turn 18. This allows you three years as an adult to decide whether to make a claim or not.
Why do you need a solicitor?
You are entitled to make your own case for compensation to the Court. This would involve you funding your claim and paying for costs such as medical examinations, police reports and barrister’s fees up-front, then claiming these costs back from the third party if you win your case. This would only be advisable to do if you have considerable knowledge of the English legal system and confident with dealing with people at the top of their profession.
Personal injury law is complicated and fluid in nature and with that, each case brings its own circumstances. Your claim will most likely be against an insurance company who have experience in defending themselves against claims such as yours and will have the resources to put up a very strong case against yours.
How much compensation will you get?
The amount of compensation you are likely to receive depends on a number of factors which include:
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- The speed in which you recover
- The effect the injuries gained have had on your life
- Any financial losses you have suffered as a result
If your case is successful you will usually receive compensation for your pain and suffering and any financial loss, which may include loss of earnings, damaged clothing, medical bills and travel expenses.