How to Make A Claim (that also puts your health first)
If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. An injury or illness can cause financial loss for yourself and your family, especially if the injuries or illness is severe. Financial compensation reimburses you for lost wages, medical bills, travel expenses, and pain and suffering.
After an injury, there are four steps you must take to ensure that your personal injury claim is successful and to ensure your health comes first.
Step one – Seek medical attention
The first step to making a personal injury claim is to seek medical treatment. Depending on the severity of the injury, this could be a situation of life or death or make the difference between saving and losing a limb.
Either have someone drive you to the nearest Accident and Emergency department, or contact an ambulance for assistance. You should also notify your GP about your illness for follow-up treatment. You may be required to have one or more operations or visit a specialist for additional treatment. The hospitals and doctors will be required to provide detailed information about your treatments, diagnoses, and prognosis to support your claim.
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Step two – Record the details of the injury or illness
How you record the details will depend upon what caused the injury or illness.
If the injury occurred as a result of a motor accident, you should contact the police to file a report and contact your insurance company as well. If it occurred as a result of a workplace injury, you should record the accident information in the Accident Book. If you were injured when participating in a sports activity, notify the people in charge of the event. If you were injured on someone’s property, contact the business owners or the homeowners.
Regardless of how or where the accident or illness occurred, you need to document details about the situation. You can take photographs of the accident scene and of your injuries. This will help you establish both negligence and the extent of your injuries. Document what happened, to the best of your recollection. The sooner you write down the details, the more information you will be able to provide. The details will get fuzzier over time. Also, collect the names and contact information for any potential witnesses who can help support your side of the events. You should provide all of this information to your solicitor.
After you’ve documented the accident or illness, you’ll also need to keep a record of doctor’s visits, medications, treatments, operations, expenses and wage loss information. The more information you have available to support your claim, the better. Keeping a notebook or binder allows you to gather all of the information in a central location, which makes it much easier when your solicitor requests the documentation. Detailed information also gives your solicitor an opportunity to assess the merits of your case.
Step three – Consult a solicitor
The next step after seeking medical attention and reporting the accident to the proper authorities is to consult with a personal injury solicitor. You should consult a solicitor as soon as possible because there are time limitations for filing a claim. If you wait too late to file a claim, you will not be financially compensated for your injuries or illness.
Your solicitor is your best ally in proving your claim for financial compensation. Your second best ally is your records, and your solicitor will help you organise your records to support your claim.
Your solicitor will be able to answer many of the questions you have about your injury claim. He or she will inform you about the merits of your claim, the viability of it, the amount of compensation you can expect, as well as how long it will take to complete the claims process whether it ends in a settlement or a court verdict. When liability is not disputed and the injuries are minor, the entire process may take just a few months, but if the injuries are severe or the other party disputes the details or their liability, it can take years.
If you choose to move forward, your solicitor will send you a Letter of Engagement which explains the basis of their representation of you as their client.
Step four – Seek support
Injuries and illness cause many degrees of pain and suffering. While you can receive assistance in getting back to normal physically, you and your family members may need additional emotional support. This support can come from people who have similar injuries or who have lost loved ones in a similar fashion. It could also be from professional counsellors who are trained to help victims and their families. They can help you or your family members with coping mechanisms or referrals to specialists who have helped them.
While the process can be daunting and time-consuming, the more information you gather, the better you’ll be able to support your claim. After seeking immediate medical assistance, gathering information is your next priority. Don’t forget to follow your doctor’s advice, in order start your body on its path to healing.
If you’d like further information on anything discussed here, call 0800 808 9740 or contact us online.
*Please note – With regards to No Win No Fee - In limited circumstances, fees may be charged when your accident claim is not successful. These specific limited circumstances will be explained to you by your Solicitor.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau says it's our "civil and legal right" to make an accident claim. But 69% of us don't make an accident claim. Don't miss out on what's rightfully yours.
First Personal Injury is a trading name of Jefferies Solicitors Limited. Jefferies Solicitors is a limited company registered in England and Wales under registered number - 07451340.
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Head Office: Jefferies Solicitors (trading as) First Personal Injury, The Triangle, 8 Cross Street, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1EQ - 0161 908 5100
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