The issue of whether you can reopen a personal injury claim does occasionally arise. We take calls from people who ask this very question. The rule to remember is this: If you make a claim for personal injury compensation and you settle that claim and receive compensation, you cannot then reopen the claim later if you decide the amount you received was not enough.
There is a possibility of focusing your action on the solicitor who represented you in your claim, if you believe they did not do a good job and were negligent in their handling of your claim. However, very few people have any cause to go down this route and to reopen a personal injury claim. This makes it even more important to ensure you seek help from the right people – people who have experience and knowledge of these claims – from the beginning.
Understanding personal injury claims
The Citizens Advice Bureau provides good advice on what a personal injury is and various other related topics that may prove useful if you have been hurt. Personal injuries can occur in numerous ways, and they are not always because of negligence. For example, if you don’t look where you are going and you step into the road to cross without paying proper attention, it would likely be your fault if someone hits you.
Accidents can happen anywhere and each day there are people who receive personal injuries that were not their fault. For example, road accidents are usually caused by the negligence of one person, whether that is a driver, a cyclist or another road user. A government report found that 185,010 casualties were recorded for the year leading to June 2016. While it is entirely possible some of these casualties were to blame for the accidents they were injured in, there would have been innocent people involved in the collisions as well.
There should be no need to reopen a personal injury claim if you do it right to start with
Firstly, it’s worth knowing you have three years from the date of your accident in which you must make your claim if you wish to do so. This applies to all personal injuries caused in all kinds of accidents, not just in road collisions. This is plenty of time, which means you don’t have to worry about making an immediate claim.
Thankfully, road deaths and injuries are coming down. Even though the level of traffic on the roads increased by 1.6% from 2014 to 2015, all casualties, seriously-injured people and road deaths all dropped over that same period. However, anyone who has been injured and knows someone else was at fault does have a right to seek compensation for their injuries. There is no need to feel embarrassed for doing so.
It does remain very important to find the right person to advise you if you are in this situation. Even if your injury occurred a year or more ago, providing it falls within that three-year time limit, you should still be able to put forward a claim. If you don’t want to find yourself thinking about the possibility to reopen a personal injury claim later, you should do everything you can to approach a personal injury lawyer experienced in your kinds of injuries today.
Does this apply if your personal injury was sustained in the workplace?
Yes, because negligence is always the most important point to consider. Was the injury caused because your employer did not do everything they should have done to keep you safe? Risk assessments are a common feature in all workplaces, even if you don’t always realise they have taken place. If your job was not risk-assessed before you started, or you were not given the proper equipment or training to do it safely, you could have an opportunity to claim. Workplace injuries account for around 4.1 million lost working days each year, the Health and Safety Executive has reported.
In this instance, finding a personal injury lawyer who has already handled many work-related claims is a great idea. This vastly reduces the chances of thinking you might reopen a personal injury claim later, which we have already seen is not an easy thing to do. Getting the right result to start with is very important.
Even if you aren’t sure whether you could claim anything, it’s easy to speak with a professional lawyer – easier than you might think. That means you can get a definitive answer on the odds of claiming anything, even for minor injuries.
Coping with becoming a casualty
Even if you did escape your accident with minor injuries, they can still bring you pain and disrupt your life. For example, 21,287 people – children and adults included – were injured or killed while cycling in 2014. Thankfully, most of these were recorded as minor injuries, but there were still 113 lost lives in those figures, and a further 3,401 people with serious injuries. In any of these cases, if the injured person was not to blame and another road user caused the accident – however innocently this may have happened – there is an opportunity to see if compensation might be awarded to the injured party.
Can we help?
Make sure you don’t have to reopen a personal injury claim later. Get it right from the beginning by getting in touch with Accident Advice Helpline now. Our experienced lawyers have concluded many personal injury claims for over 16 years, so why not find out if you could be the next person they can help?
Call us on 0800 689 0500 today, or ring 0333 500 0993 to find out more via your mobile phone. No one wants to reopen a personal injury claim when there is every prospect of getting it right first time. You can do that today and find out about your chances of receiving compensation via a no-win, no-fee claim. We are standing by ready to help if we can.