There is sometimes hesitation when it comes to deciding what to do about a personal injury sustained as a result of an accident. Unfortunately, the reality is that you may be unaware of the full consequences that you may suffer over time which can include deterioration of health and unforeseen future loss of earnings. It is your legal right to make an accident compensation claim, but it must not only take into account losses to date but will also need to projected for potential losses into the future.
It is important to be proactive in protecting your legal right to compensation for negligence. It can be daunting to begin with, so start out on the right foot by getting in touch with a specialist solicitor who can help you from the very start all the way through to the end.
Immediately having suffered an accident you should try to gather as much information as possible. This is understandably difficult, especially during a time when you are more interested in regaining your health and recovering. However, getting accurate information as soon as possible is crucial for a successful accident compensation claim.
In regard to evidence make a written note as soon as possible after the accident containing the information on the list below. The answers to these questions will help a solicitor to give you advice as to your chances of success in an accident injury claim – potentially saving you a lot of time:
Where did the accident happen?
When did it happen?
Where there any witnesses to the accident?
Can you take photos of the location?
Can you remember the sequence of events which led to your accident?
The law exists to protect your legal right to compensation should you be injured as a result of negligence at the hands of a car driver, home owner, a business owner or a public authority such as your local council. Failing in the duty to take care for the safety of others can cause injury and if you have been the victim of such negligence it is vital you act as soon as possible to protect your legal right to compensation. Call our accident helpline for free legal advice with no obligation.
Here are some of the typical types of accident compensation claims where clients usually need assistance:
accidents at work
tripping or slipping in public or private places
illness or diseases that might be linked to your work
accidents or injuries caused by defective products and services
violent criminal attacks which result in injuries
The calculation of financial losses and pain and suffering is often not an easy task. For the sake of convenience an accident compensation solicitor will separate damages claims into different categories and once these sums have been calculated the amounts due may be increased by an interest calculation which differs dependent on the category into which the damages fall. The main categories are as follows :-
Represents compensation for items that cannot be calculated accurately by an accident compensation solicitor and often involves a degree of assessment. The category includes pain and suffering for injury, loss of amenity and loss of congenial employment. There are other items which may fall into this category where an accurate calculation of value is difficult if not impossible. Assessment of these losses is usually assisted by the use of expert opinions including specialist medical reports.
Represents compensation for losses that can be calculated accurately. This category includes loss of salary and the value of damaged or lost personal property. There are numerous other items in this category and all losses should be discussed with a solicitor. These items are proved by documentary evidence including wage slips, invoices and estimates.
In certain circumstances a court will award accident compensation that is provisional and will allow a claimant to have the right to return to court for re-assessment if the illness or condition deteriorates in the future. The court will only re-consider the award on one occasion only and great care should be taken with the timing of such an application.
The amount awarded in a claim for pain and suffering is based on a number of factors including the extent of the injury, the recovery time and whether or not there are any long-term consequences. An accident compensation solicitor will doubtless put his views on valuation to the judge however the actual assessment of this figure by a judge is no easy task. Judges are guided by previously decided cases and by guidelines put forward by the ‘Judicial Studies Board’ which constantly reconsiders the awards made in the courts and attempts to give guidance on the amounts that should be awarded. The Judicial Studies Board publishes ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in personal injury cases’ which is available at most public libraries. The most important previously decided cases can be found in the numerous court reports and are outlined in ‘Kemp and Kemp’ which is a practitioner’s book used to assist in the calculation of personal injury compensation that can be found in most public libraries.