Friday, May 24, 2013

Step-by-Step Guide: Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim

 This is a guest post from Carla Steve of Clear Water Solicitors.

Personal injury compensation claims have been on the rise at a steady pace over the course of the last few years. As an explanation many are now observing that that awareness about legal rights is on the rise. Life is fragile and there’s no two ways about that. Accidents at both home and workplaces have become very common, and either claim the lives of millions of people each year or severely injure them in the process. In the event that an accident occurs, where a person has been injured due to someone’s negligence, certain laws have been formulated and put in place to protect the rights of the victims. If you have suffered a personal injury you can seek compensation on two grounds: special damages and general damages. The following steps can help streamline the process, and lead to a better understanding of what to do:

What constitutes a personal injury?

For you to be able to make a personal injury compensation claim you must first understand what a personal injury is. Accidents are aplenty and can leave emotional and physical scars on a person. You can pursue a personal injury claim if an accident that you were involved in resulted in the following:

•    An ailment, infection, disorder or physical injury
•    A cognitive or psychological disorder, injury, ailment
The most important element of a personal injury is that it is occurs because of an accident caused by someone else. Most personal injuries can be pursued under tort.

Understanding personal injury: What it alludes to:

•    Injuries obtained at the work place or those acquired as a result of working with faulty or dangerous equipment
•    Psychological condition acquired as a result of stress at the work place
•    Injuries incurred due to road accidents
•    Injuries caused by defected or damaged products or faulty services
•    Any injury caused by tripping over faults with pavements
•    Psychological condition caused by any kind of child abuse
•    Erroneous medical treatments or wrong vaccinations
•    Injuries inflicted upon a victim while a criminal activity is underway (could be psychological)
•    Psychological or physical ailment caused due to unfair distinction or harassment at the work-place

Actions you can take:

•    Inform the necessary authorities like the police with reference to a crime or accident, health and other insurance companies.
•    Procure evidence for the authorities – the injury needs to be documented, photographs of the site, accounts of witnesses and victims
•    If the injury is physical, make sure you consult a doctor who can help with medical reports that can be presented for the health insurance requirements
•    If the injury takes place at work then an entry must be made in the accident book, or a report should be given to the employer.

Complaints: The ins and outs

For a compensation claim to work you need to first bring it forward as a proper account. There is a chance that you may be able to settle the matter with a formal apology. In the event that your personal injury compensation claim stems from a serious injury you can take a different course (i.e. make a formal complaint).

Depending on the situation you are an, a formal complaint can be lodged with a department within the government, the authorities or the police, the educational institute that you’re attached with, or a hospital.

Compensation: What you need to know

In order to get compensation for your claim you can go through certain channels. In general there are claims managers or claims assessors that can guide you. You can also take up the matter in court and pursue it legally. Alternatively, the personal injury lawyers can also be approached to help you lodge an official claim. There are also special compensation schemes that one can take advantage of.

Legal action: The breakdown

•    If you want to avoid going to court
•    Find a solicitor and provide him with all the necessary evidence and accounts of the incident of the personal injury
•    Individuals with legal expenses insurance should provide a copy of their insurance to their solicitor
•    After the initial consultation, the solicitor will decide whether or not to on the case
•    A claim is sent to the defendant with an expected reply within a particular period. If the defendant accepts responsibility then the solicitor tries to settle the matter outside the court
•    A part 36 offer or a compensation offer is made on the basis of the value of the claim and could be presented from either side in order to settle matters outside court
•    If you are insistent on legal action by the court
•    In case the defendant does not accept liability or the matter isn’t resolved through compensation, the case can be presented in front of a judge after consultation of the solicitor.

About the Author:

Carla Steve researches about compensation claims for personal injury and other issues relating to injuries. She is passionate also about work accident compensation claims and other employee rights issues.  She also loves cheering on Chelsea FC and listening to RnB music.