Personal Injury Claim Process in the UK
What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury compensation claim is a legal case made against a person or group whose negligence, recklessness, or error led to an accident that caused you physical, mental, and financial harm. It is the formal process of recovering financial compensation from the party responsible for your injury.
To file a personal accident claim, you should contact a solicitor. A lawyer with experience in personal injury claims in the UK will guide you through the steps and processes required to file a suit and get your money.
What Sorts Of Accidents And Personal Injuries Am I Eligible To File A Claim For?
You are eligible to file a personal injury claim for nearly any accident in which another party was at fault. Here are some of the most common types of accidents:
1. Road Traffic Accidents
You are a safe and conscientious driver, but not everyone who is out on the road. You may have a case against another driver and get a road accident claim if you were harmed in the accident caused by their inattention, insobriety, or recklessness.
2. Work Accidents
Work accidents are so common. Especially, if there are inherent hazards in your job, your employer should provide you with the required training and personal protective equipment. They should also have a risk assessment system in place to mitigate dangers to employees’ health and safety. Unfortunately, some employers choose to put cost savings and profits over the well-being of their people. If you have been injured at work and believe the firm is a fault, you should contact a work accident claim lawyer.
3. Slips, Trips, and Falls
Owners of public venues/places have a legal duty to ensure they are safe. Slippery floors, icy sidewalks, broken stairs and bannisters, and degraded electrical outlets are just some of the common hazards that can cause slips, trips, falls, and electrocution. If any of these have happened to you, then you may hold the proprietor accountable and get compensation.
4. Medical Negligence
Diagnostic error, surgical error, treatment error, and prescription error are some of the most common types of medical negligence and malpractice. The medical team who treated you must provide a legally defined standard of care. Failure to do so can endanger your health. If you have been injured or become sicker after medical treatment, then you can hold the physician and hospital accountable.
How Does The Personal Injury Claims Process Work?
You can sustain an injury that has left you permanently disabled, your life will be changed forever, in any of the above-mentioned accidents. You may lose your job, suffer a catastrophic financial loss, and need full-time in-home care.
These kinds of life-changing injuries can put an overwhelming mental, emotional, and financial strain on you and your family. In such a situation, you must know the process of claiming personal injury to pursue a large compensation to overcome the burden. Here are the five basic steps of the personal injury claims process:
Step 1: Assessment
If you believe you have a case against another party, then you should contact a lawyer. They will examine the preliminary facts of the case, including your version of how the accident and injury happened. Based on this initial assessment, the solicitor will decide whether you have a valid personal injury claim or not.
Step 2: Consultation
Once the solicitor has decided to take the case, they will launch their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. They will also assess how the accident has affected you personally and financially. In addition to pain and suffering, the injury may have put you out of work and caused undue hardship on your family.
In the consultation phase, your personal injury solicitor will lay out all the damages for which you can claim compensation. They will also ask you for any evidence you have collected. You should give them any medical records, photographs, and other types of documents that may help your case.
Step 3: Submission
The next step of the claim process is that your solicitor, after collecting all the evidence, will generate a claim notification form (CNF) or a letter before action dependent upon the likely value of your claim. This is a summary document that will constitute the core of your claim. It sets down in detail all that occurred and what the other party is responsible for.
The CNF or letter before action is then submitted to the respondent’s insurance company, which officially notifies them of your intention to sue for damages. The other party must acknowledge the CNF within 24 hours and then they have 30 working days to conduct their investigation and confirm whether they accept or deny liability. Alternatively, if a letter before action is sent the other party has 21 days to acknowledge receipt of the letter before action. They then have three months to conduct their investigation into the incident. After this time has passed, they will have to accept liability or deny it.
Step 4: Investigation
Once a decision has been made in your case you will need expert medical evidence to detail the injuries sustained, likely recovery period and any risk of future problems. Your solicitor will arrange this for you and explain the medical opinion. They will also need to gather details of any financial losses such as loss of pay, medical expenses, replacement costs of any damaged items as well as details of any care and assistance you have received.
Step 5: Negotiation
If the respondent accepts responsibility for the accident, then your solicitor will begin negotiating the compensation settlement. This can take some time. However, your solicitor should keep you informed of the progress they make.
If the other party denies liability, the case needs not go to court. Negotiation is still possible. Your solicitor can turn up the pressure on the respondent by using witness statements, photographs, video footage, medical evidence, and expert opinion to fight your claim. If the evidence is excessively stacked against the other party, their insurance company will usually choose to settle rather than go to court and risk more judgement.
Step 6: Finalisation
After all the above processes have been completed, the respondent’s insurance company will offer a final settlement figure. The money usually comes through in a month or so.
How Does An Attorney Help In Gaining A Personal Injury Claim?
The personal injury claim process can be complicated and going through it can be complicated, which is why you should seek the advice and assistance of a trained solicitor. Most importantly, they have the resources to properly investigate the accident and gather the evidence required to demonstrate who was at fault for the accident.
PDA Law’s personal injury attorney has the experience and expertise to help you navigate the steps described above. Our lawyer can also help you decide whether the final settlement offer made by the other party is fair and adequate compensation.