A personal accident injury claim can ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve if you have recently been hurt due to the negligence of someone else. These types of accidents can happen at any time and any place. Whether you have started working in the safest work environment possible or you are simply going on a trip to a shopping centre, you should try and get legal help for your claim as quickly as possible. That way you won’t lose out on evidence or compensation altogether.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that problems can still happen even if you get legal help for your case. This could be due to legal claims being a new experience for you, or perhaps even due to the negligence of your lawyer/solicitor. That’s why it’s important to understand what sort of mistakes could jeopardize your claim. That way you can avoid them.
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we will always do our best to provide you with the best advice possible when it comes to your claim. Don’t forget to check out our accident injury page in order to get started with our experienced solicitors.
Why is it important to fully understand the type of personal accident injury claim you have?
No matter what type of claim you are going to make, the more you know in advance, the more likely it is that you are going to have a successful claim. For example, say you are a victim of financial mis-selling. You were mis-sold PPI and had the tax taken away from you. You may not fully understand what PPI is all about and why you had the tax taken away in the first place. That’s why it is essential to have legal counsel on your side to ensure you are getting the highest pay-out possible.
Whilst you may feel a little naïve when it comes to world of legal claims in the UK, having the right legal counsel can get you on a path to having your case solved quickly and efficiently. Having a solicitor can also help you to:
- Organize your evidence
- Estimate the amount of compensation you could be owed
- Avoid any mistakes or pitfalls that could invalidate your case
- Get in touch with other people (i.e. the other party’s insurance providers or perhaps witnesses) on your behalf
- Organize a settlement agreement
- Fill out any tricky paperwork
As you can see having a lawyer on your side can be extremely useful. Even if you have read up on everything that you need to know about your claim, the UK’s legal system is always changing. That’s why, even though your lawyer could make mistakes, it’s always wiser to have one on your side rather than going to court and representing yourself.
Can a small mistake really effect my personal accident injury claim?
Honestly, it really can! Small things that you fill you in on your paperwork may only seem little to you. But they can have big consequences. This is because they may invalidate your claim or, worse still, make it appear that you were lying about some aspects of your claim to get a higher pay-out. It’s important to be honest about the information surrounding your case. If you do not know something then it is easier to admit to that than to make up a figure. Take a look below to see an example of how a mistake could invalidate a car accident claim:
If you are worried that you are partially to blame for your accident, it’s better to be honest with your solicitor about it. After all, you may find out that you are still eligible for a smaller amount of compensation, even if you may have to pay for the other party. Be open-minded and ready for anything that happens within the courtroom.
Personal accident injury claim: Easy mistakes & big consequences
So, if you are considering making a personal accident injury claim, it’s important that you think carefully about how you are going to make it and when. Although our law blog can teach you the basics of each type of accident claim, it would also be wise to at least seek the advice of a trained solicitor. That way you can understand exactly the type of case that you are getting into. As you can see above from our infographic, there are a number of ways that you could make mistakes when it comes to your court case. We are now going to look at each of these mistakes in a little more detail so you can understand why they may cause you problems in the future.
Mistake 1: Leaving your claim too late
Whether you have an accident at work claim or a mis-sold pension scheme case, it’s important to understand that each of these cases are going to have a time limit attached to them. For instance, for a criminal injury case, you will only have two years from the time of your attack to make a claim. However, for a traffic accident or an accident in a public place, you may have a little longer with 3 years.
If you leave a claim for too long then you may find that when you do pick it up later on, you have lost vital evidence, have not given your solicitor enough time to put forward a solid case, or that you cannot get a court date before the end of the deadline.
As soon as you get injured, you should look into getting the help of a solicitor. That way you do not waste any time and can get the pay-out you deserve as quickly as possible. You also need to keep in mind that there are currently court delays in the UK legal system due to Covid-19. Therefore, you may end up having a remote case that takes place over a video feed. Be open and flexible. That way you can get a trial date as quickly as possible.
Mistake 2: Not seeking out medical treatment
Your medical report is one of the most important pieces of evidence you need. Your medical report is extremely important as it will prove:
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why you should get a medical assessment as quickly as possible. If you leave it too late then you may have your injuries mis-diagnosed. When you make a claim, your main aim is to get the highest amount of compensation possible. Without a medical report, it’s possible that the court believes that you are lying about the extent of your injuries. This is because you haven’t had confirmation from any sort of medical specialist.
Don’t leave getting a copy of your medical report too late or else it will really affect the outcome of your case.
Mistake 3: Accepting a settlement agreement too fast
No matter what sort of personal accident injury claim you are going to make, it is very likely that if you are not at fault that you will be asked to sit down to a settlement agreement in order to discuss the amount of compensation you are demanding.
Whilst you may want to get this part of the settlement agreement over with, you should not accept any deals too quickly. The other party may try to convince you to only ask for a small amount of compensation money. Without the proper legal experience, you may assume that it’s a lot and be willing to agree to it. That’s why you should have a personal accident injury claim solicitor on your side to ensure that you are not fooled into accepting less than you are owed.
Mistake 4: Being aggressive during your case
We understand that getting involved in any sort of claims case can be emotional. You may have just got seriously hurt and are now face-to-face with the person/people who caused you to get injured in the first place. However, if you get angry in the court or start getting aggressive, it is very likely that your court case could end up getting postponed or even ended early. This is because you have not acted responsibly and may have even threatened to hurt the other person. Worse still, if you have lashed out and the other party has got hurt then they could make a counter claim against you.
Keep your composure and be respectful during the trial. This will help the proceedings go smoothly.
Mistake 5: Speaking to the other party’s insurer about your injury
Honestly, there is no reason for anyone outside of your owner personal accident injury claim lawyer to ask you questions about your injury. If a juror, the defense or the other party tries to ask you for more information about your injuries, you should contact your lawyer immediately. If an insurer tries to talk to you, the more information they find out about your case, the more likely it is that they will find ways to skimp on your claim. Keep your information to yourself until your lawyer says it is okay to talk about it.
Mistake 6: Forgetting to document key evidence
If you are aiming to claim a high pay-out for your losses, it’s important that you document as much evidence as possible to ensure that you can put the best case forward. Although you should always put your health first, you should consider calling the police to get a police report made of the incident. Not having the following evidence may also negatively impact your case:
- Photographs of your injuries, damages and the environment
- Videos/CCTV/ Dash-Cam footage of the accident, your damages and your environment
- Medical reports
- Witness statements
- Diary entries
- Receipts of financial losses
- Broken equipment
The more evidence you have, the higher your pay-out will be. That’s why if you do not have much evidence your case then you could only get a small pay-out amount. This could only get worse if the defense has more evidence than you.
Mistake 7: Signing away your rights to claim compensation
You should never ever have to sign any legal or court documents. Documents should never be signed without your lawyer recommending for you to do so. If you have been given a release, you may find that there is small print that documents that you are not allowed to make a compensation claim or that you are not allowed to access certain records. Show all documentation to a lawyer before signing anything. That way you can make sure that you are not making a critical mistake before you even get to court.
Mistake 8: Not keeping tabs on your financial losses
Not many people realise that they can claim damages for more than just your physical damages. These are known as “general damages” and account for your pain and suffering. However, you can also claim for “special damages”. These are for your financial losses. So, for instance, you got hurt. Therefore you ended up getting a taxi to go to the hospital. You could then claim back for your travel fees. You can also pay for any medication or therapies that could help with your ailments. However, to do this you need to keep the receipts of your transactions. Fail to do this and it will be impossible to prove that you lost money because of these expenses.
Keep your receipts filed away and ready to be organized by your lawyer. That way you can claim for them as well as your physical injuries.
Mistake 9: Talking about your case via social media
If you start to talk about the case online, it may be seen by the defense’s representation. They may use them against you in court. You should avoid talking on Twitter, Facebook or any type of social media. These could be very easily investigated by a lawyer. A post you make could potentially give the other party ammunition to avoid taking full responsibility for your incident. Take a look at the case study below to understand this further.
Mistake 10: Starting a claim without a lawyer’s help
You are free to make a claim on your own without the help of a lawyer. However, we would not recommend it. Having a solicitor on hand can make sure that you get the best legal advice possible. They will understand that it has been a traumatic time for you. That’s why they will guide you in the right path forward. If you do not have legal counsel, you could get taken advantage of. This could mean you end up only getting a small amount of compensation. Don’t take that risk and get help for personal accident injury claim.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your personal accident injury claim!
Here at Gowing Law, we want to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. That’s why you can always come to us to help you with your claim. We can offer you free advice and consultations to get started. If you are happy to work with us, our services are on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top even if you do not get a successful outcome.
Learn more about a personal accident injury claim
Don’t forget to read more about legal claims in the UK from our blog. We update it every week with new content. If you can’t find the topic you’re interested in, let us know! Send in your suggestions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog.