How do I start a compensation claim?
Leading compensation providers, such as Accident Advice Helpline, advise the first thing to do is to check your claim is eligible. There is a three point 30-second online test which they offer. Having passed the test, the claimant needs to enquire what their claim might be worth. A compensation claim is an umbrella term, covering everything from faulty goods to bad holiday accommodation to accident and injury. On this site we deal with the latter. Assuming a compensation claim is eligible, the next stage is to find the right legal expert for the type of injury. On Accident Advice Helpline site you can select the appropriate category from the navigation bar at the top of the site.
The letter of claim
When an individual starts a compensation claim, the legal representative will gather the facts and figures and take statements from the claimant and any witnesses, if available. He must notify the potential defendant by letter and this must follow the pre-action protocol for the type of injury or accident that has occurred, so it is important it is drawn up by a professional. Different pre-action protocols are drawn up for different classes or injury, so for example the pre-action protocol for a car accident will be different to the one for a work accident. Key components are:
The letter for a compensation claim must address the company or organisation, that is the legal entity, deemed to be responsible for the accident or injury
It must go to the correct business, trading or personal address
The letter should state who the writer is, either the claimant himself, or the solicitor acting on behalf of the claimant
It should set out the circumstances
It should allege negligence or fault, or a breach of the law as the basis of the claim
It should summarise the injuries and the financial losses incurred, together with any on-going losses.
What happens next?
The respondent has a period of time to formulate a response, normally 3 months.
The claimant will need to have an independent medical report.
If the case is not settled out of court, the solicitor will advise how to proceed.
Date Published: March 12, 2013
Author: David Brown