Where there’s blame, there’s a claim.
While this maxim is perhaps synonymous with corrupt ambulance chasers bellowing at us through low budget television advertisements, it actually contains a large degree of truth.
From road traffic accidents to slips, trips and medical negligence, the personal injury claim world revolves around recovering financial compensation for folk wounded through no fault of their own.
Far from being the reserve of professional hypochondriacs with a merciless thirst for easy cash, though, making a claim for damages can actually be a course of action fraught with difficulties.
Consequently, aside from having a personal injury claim solicitor in your corner, someone like Claim4, for instance, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with a few of the important steps involved…
Choose a Solicitor
Despite what you may think, obsessively poring over Ally McBeal DVDs does NOT make you a legal expert. Although you may fancy yourself on the stand booming “OBJECTION, YOUR HONOUR!” a much safer bet is to find a solicitor who will advise on the likelihood of your case being a success, and how much you might be able to claim in compensation.
Stake Your Claim
One of the first things your solicitor will do is send a claim letter to the defendant, outlining details of your injury and the circumstances surrounding it. The person you’re holding responsible for the accident should then reply within three months. If they accept liability for your injury, your solicitor will attempt to settle out of court.
Mull Over the Offer
Normally, the solicitor you’ve enlisted will tell you what they think the value of your claim is. They’ll also ask you for the level of compensation you’re prepared to accept from the defendant and whether you’d like to make an “offer to settle” for that amount. If a figure is agreed between both parties, the claim can be settled without heading to court.
If the offer from the defendant didn’t float your boat, your solicitor is best placed to advise you on whether to initiate legal action. Importantly, if the defendant maintains their innocence and declares they are not liable for paying your compensation, a court date may be the only solution in order to challenge this assertion and receive the compensation you feel you’re due.
Heading to Court
If your claim is taken to court, a judge will preside over your case and arrange a schedule. You will then receive the date of your hearing from the court. In the run up to this date, your solicitor will let you know about the homework you must carry out – if any – for when the big day finally comes around.