10 steps on how to claim compensation
- Be certain your claim is eligible when you consider how to claim compensation. There are 3 conditions to meet: one, you must have needed medical attention, two, you are certain the accident was not your fault, three, you must start the claim within three years of it happening.
- Ideally, as near to the time of the accident as possible, you need to make notes of the setting and the conditions when it happened. Get the contact details of witnesses if possible. Write your own notes and take photographs, including of any injuries. If your accident happened at work, make sure it is recorded in the accident book. If it is a road accident, take the vehicle registration numbers and the details of the other drivers.
- Inform your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Retain all your documentation, especially medical records and receipts.
- Ask a reputable compensation provider how to claim compensation. These are regulated by the Ministry of Justice. Check that your compensation has that noted on their website.
- Your compensation provider, for example, Accident Advice Helpline, will help you find a legal representative from their network of in-house lawyers. They will be able to tell you if your claim is eligible and what it might be worth.
- When you start your claim, first ask your solicitor to tell you what his charges are. Most personal injury lawyers work on a ‘no win, no fee*’ basis which means the other side pays the legal fees if your claim is successful. If you are concerned you may lose, ask about taking out insurance to cover a losing position, or check if you already have After The Event insurance which is included on some household policies, for example.
- Be prepared to go for an independent medical examination
- Be prepared to go to court. Most claims are settled out of court, but if an offer is made and refused, the claimant may be forced to pursue his award through the courts.
- Make sure you understand what a “success fee” is and that you have agreed with your solicitor, in advance, what you will have to pay in fees.
Call Accident Advice Helpline free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: March 13, 2013
Author: David Brown