It can be daunting contacting a law firm and discussing our private, and sometimes embarrassing, matters with a stranger and it may seem easier and straightforward to deal with a legal matter ourselves. However, this is not the case.
When someone is injured in an accident they are entitled to claim for compensation for their injuries and financial losses, provided it can be shown that someone else was at fault and that their negligence caused the injuries.
Evidence has to be obtained to prove the negligence, usually by way of witness statements and expert evidence, and there is a complex and potentially exhausting process that must be followed.
The Personal Injury Process
Personal Injury cases have a three-year deadline, which means you must issue you claim before the expiry of this period – you should contact a law firm as soon as possible.
Once your claim has been accepted, the Defendants will be contacted and medical and other evidence will be gathered as to the value of your compensation.
Compensation falls into two categories; general damages and special damages.
General damages are the compensation you will receive for the pain and suffering you have endured due to your injury. This is valued based on the contents of a Medical Report and the extent of your injury.
Special damages encompass other financial losses, such as past and future loss of earnings, medical expenses, care and assistance, the cost of house adaptations and disability equipment etc.
During your claim, you may suffer financially if you are unable to work. Temporary payments can be applied for to cover this, although this can be more difficult if there is a significant dispute as to who was to blame. If blame has been accepted by the opponents, this is a reasonable request which is often granted. Your Solicitor will support with this.
Once the case is settled, you cannot claim at a later time for more compensation, so it’s vital that you have had full and professional medical examinations which your Solicitor can help with.
Often, you are allocated a law firm by your insurance provider or you are contacted directly by the third party insurer. Often insurance companies will try and settle a claim directly with you and tell you that solicitors complicate things and that they will get a better settlement without the solicitor’s fees.
This is not true. Most personal injury lawyers, like us, use a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement with most Personal Injury clients. The insurance companies are relying on the fact you are not aware of what a reasonable offer would be and they may offer you less than you deserve due to this.
A Solicitor will be highly experienced in Personal Injury cases and will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive the amount you are entitled to.
I’m a senior solicitor in the Accident and Personal Injury team here at Howells Solicitors, and an expert in motor accidents and helping people claim compensation. If you would like to discuss an incident with me call 0114 249 66 66 or email [email protected] and one of our team will call you back. I cover the South Yorkshire region, and Howells have offices in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham.
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