Here’s a step by step FAQ based guide to the personal injury claim process explaining what may happen at each key stage in obtaining your injury compensation.
- your personal information
- specifics of the accident
- your injuries and any past/current treatment
- the contents of any relevant insurance policies
Once this process is complete we will undertake a conflict check and a risk assessment to ensure we are able to accept the claim.
If the claim is accepted, we will then open a file and you will be sent a Client Care pack explaining the claims process and providing the essential documents that you need to sign so that we can pursue you claim.
Depending on the type of claim and the nature of your injuries we will also need to review documents held by others that might be relevant to claim. This could include:
- GP or hospital notes;
- HMRC employment schedules;
- Occupational health records;
Once we are satisfied that we establish an arguable case, the details of the claim, why we allege the fault and your injuries will be submitted to the Defendant and their insurers for consideration.
In any event the next step will likely be to obtain a medical report to prove a link between the accident and your injury. Depending on the injuries you have suffered it may be necessary to get reports from experts from more than one discipline, e.g. if you broke you leg and suffered a head injury we would need reports from an orthopaedic surgeon and a neurologist.
In complex cases we may instruct other types of experts at this stage such as barristers, engineers or occupational therapists.
However, no two claims are ever exactly alike as the circumstances leading to any accident rarely led to identical injuries and each person recovers at their own rate. As a result lawyers tend to value claims within brackets, e.g. between £2,000 and £3,000, which reflect the factors refrred to above and also different judges may each value a claim slightly differently.
We will therefore tell whether the sum offered falls within a reasonable range and if so where within that range the offer falls, and as a result whether we deem it capable be being accepted. However, we recognise that there are other factors than obtaining the highest possible sum and that the claims process is stressful, and as such we always make clients aware that they can chose to accept any offer even if it is lower than we might hope to achieve before a court.
This can be done for many reasons, including:
- The Defendant refuses to accept liability;
- we have been unable to reach a settlement;
- the period of time (usually three years from the date of the accident is about to expire;
The claim paperwork is submitted to the Courts who process it and send it to the Defendant or their nominated solicitors. They will then respond, setting out how and why they deny liability or have been unable to reach a settlement.
At this stage the Court will consider each claim and set out the steps it believes are appropriate to allow the claim to be decided. This process can take many months depending on the nature of the steps ordered.
If during the process a claim still cannot be settled, a final hearing will be ordered and you will attend to give evidence. This might be about the circumstances leading to the accident, your injuries or your recovery – or in some cases all three. Once a judge has heard evidence on all of the issues he or she will tell us their decision and if they are awarding damages, the amount.
At this stage we will provide details of how to seek investment advice so that your damages will work for you in the best possible way.