To make a personal injury claim is a stressful business. It’s not as if a claimant is fighting fit when they have to do it. They may be battered, bruised and traumatised from a personal injury incurred by a third party and then have to fight the legal case.
FAQs about making a claim in the UK
- If the personal injury is the result of a road accident, then the driver responsible is required by law to stop at the scene and to report the accident to the police.
- A person who has suffered personal injury as a result of the actions or negligence of a third party and who had to receive medical treatment as a result, is eligible to make a claim, provided they lodge the claim within three years of the incident.
- A claims assessor (also known as a claims manager) can handle a claimant’s case, but may not himself be a solicitor. A claims assessor must be authorised by the government to carry out business. They work by charging a percentage of the award won. It is always advisable to confirm the claims assessor’s terms of business before you start a claim.
- Under a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA), commonly known as “no win no fee*”, a claimant will not have to pay his solicitor fees if he loses his case. He may, however, be liable for disbursements such as court fees and medical examination fees and the costs of the other side. In this instance, prior to starting the claim, the claimant’s solicitor may suggest taking out an insurance policy to cover these costs if the claimant does not win his case.
- Many compensation providers exist, such as Accident Advice Helpline, who can help a claimant choose a solicitor. Many solicitors belong to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) who promises to follow a code of conduct and a consumer charter.
- Solicitors who belong to the Motor Accident Solicitors’ Society (MASS) have special expertise in dealing with personal injury claims resulting from road traffic accidents.
- The Disabled Living Foundation in London W9 provides help and support to disabled people, including those badly injured and disabled as a result of a personal injury. Headway, based in Nottingham, supports brain injury sufferers. After all, life has to go on, even after a successful claim.
Let’s hope we never have to experience such circumstances, but if we do, it helps to be informed.