An Overview of the Personal Injury Claims Process

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1 An Overview of the Personal Injury Claims Process Personal Injury refers to physical or psychological injury or illness that is caused by the negligence of another. A successful personal injury claim will result in financial compensation for the injured party. Types of personal injury claims There are different ways in which an individual may suffer a personal injury and for which Express Solicitors will be able to help you pursue a claim: Road traffic accidents whether you re a driver, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or passenger Work place injuries these include work-related illnesses Faulty goods or services Medical negligence errors in hospital or errors in medical treatment A slip, trip or fall in a public place Holiday accidents Accidents in the home Accidents involving animals such as dog bites or horse riding accidents Injuries resulting from criminal offences, like assault Making a personal injury claim Personal injury claims are subject to time limitations. In the UK you are able to make a claim within 3 years of the accident. It is advisable that you make the claim as soon as possible to give your solicitor more time to build the best possible case for you. If a child has suffered personal injury, they have 3 years from their 18 th birthday to make a claim. There are exceptions to the above limits in rare cases, for example some Marine and Aircraft Accidents, and Criminal Injuries Compensation have a 2 year limitation period and very occasionally, it's possible to apply to the Courts to bring a claim outside of the relevant period. Also there are some very severe level cases where the person misjudged not to have capacity and in those cases the limitation period won't apply at all, such that the claim can be bought many years later. The important thing is to seek advice from a specialist Personal Injury solicitor as soon as is possible rather than waiting and missing one of the key dates which could prevent one from claiming their fair compensation

2 Amount of Compensation There are 2 types of compensation that can be claimed for: General damages and Special damages. General damages Compensation for an injury: - Pain - Suffering - Loss of amenity Special damages Actual financial loss caused by the accident: - Damage to clothing/ belongings - Cost of medication - Cost of travel - Cost of hiring a car - Loss of earnings General damages are based upon medical evidence: normally a medical expert s report on the injuries suffered needs to be obtained. The amount of compensation encompasses how the injuries affect you now and in the future. Special damages are designed to put you back in the financial position you were in as if the accident had never occurred. Any receipts and invoices should be kept wherever possible to prove these losses. Funding No win, no fee At Express Solicitors we are happy to deal with your claim by way of a conditional fee agreement, also known as a no win, no fee arrangement. At Express Solicitors we will not ask you for upfront costs. If you win your case We charge a contribution towards our fees from your compensation before you receive it. It is important that you speak to us about this further when contacting us as this will vary depending on your case. If you lose your case If you lose your case we do not charge for the work that we have done on your claim. An insurance policy is taken out at the start of your case to protect you from paying the other side s legal fees and also to pay other expenses, known as disbursements, such as medical experts fees or court fees if these cannot be recovered from the other side.

3 Why choose Express Solicitors to deal with your personal injury claim? We are an award winning firm accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). We specialise in Personal Injury and have very experienced specialist teams for any type of accident you may have suffered. Our experienced Solicitors will: - Deal as quickly as possible with your claim - Fight for the best possible compensation for you - Keep you in the loop with regular updates - Explain each step clearly and be easily contactable and approachable - We have in place a 4 service promise Step by step guide to a Personal Injury claims 1) When you contact Express Solicitors, our new client team will take your personal details and take details of your accident. They will then review these details with a partner who will decide if we are able to represent you in your claim and call you back to let you know if we can represent you. 2) Our new client team will create all the necessary documentation for your claim, send this to you and pass your file over to an experienced file handler or solicitor who will deal with your claim. 3) We will get in touch immediately to explain the next steps of your claim and gather any further information we require.

4 4) We will gather any further evidence to support your claim, including writing to witnesses, obtaining more information from you and contacting your employer about any financial losses. When we have enough information we will notify the party you believe are responsible for causing your accident and inform them that a claim is being made against them. This will either be the person responsible for your accident directly, a company, public body or insurer. They are known as the Defendant. 5) We will arrange to obtain copies of your medical records and arrange a medical appointment for you with an independent expert medical expert so they can prepare a medical report on your injuries. We may also be able to arrange any treatment you require, such as physiotherapy. 6) We will then await a response from the Defendant. When an insurer has to respond, can depend on the type of accident, or when or where your accident occurred. 7) All Personal Injury claims are initially governed by the pre-action protocol. This encourages exchange of information and is designed to help Claimants and Defendants settle cases fairly quickly and without the need to issue court proceedings. The pre-action protocol sets time limits with which both parties must acknowledge and respond to correspondence. If we feel it is appropriate we will issue court proceedings. 8) Once we have a response from the Defendant or their insurer, if liability is admitted then the next step is for us to negotiate settlement on your behalf, if your medical evidence is finalised and it is appropriate to do so. If liability is denied the Defendant must give reasons and provide documentation to support this decision and we will conduct any necessary investigation to dispute these reasons and to try and secure an admission of liability.

5 9) Where liability is admitted we would consider disclosing your medical evidence to the Defendant so they can make a settlement offer. This must be done before we can issue court proceedings. Your medical report will set out the expert s opinion on the severity of your injuries and how long they will last. This will give both sides an idea as to the value of your injuries. We will also draft a document for you known as a schedule of special damages which is a list of your financial losses. These will also form part of your compensation. The Defendant can make an offer of compensation for settlement at any time. At Express Solicitors we pride ourselves on being able to negotiate with the Defendant and their insurers to secure the best compensation we can for clients. Usually most cases settle without the need for a court trial. Once your claim has settled we will pay your compensation into your bank account once it is received which is usually within 21 days of settlement being reached.

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