One of the few things that we can all be sure of is that, at some time in our life we will be involved in a personal injury accident claim. It could minor including slipping on the pavement, taking a fall or tripping on debris left on the floor however it can also be a major event including road traffic accidents which often endanger life or an accident at work due to hazards that can pose a risk of serious injury.
If you have been injured as a result of negligence by another person in the last three years, then you are entitled to instruct personal injury solicitors make an accident compensation claim. This could include damages for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other losses and expenditure. Most specialist accident solicitors are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts who offer free advice on compensation, operate under the no win no fee scheme and pay compensation in full. Win or lose there is usually no charge.
Personal injury accident claims settlements arise from many different situations including:
accidents in the workplace
trips or slips in the street, a shop or a public place
accidents in someone else’s home
a purchased product which later causes injury
contaminated food or water
accidents on holiday or abroad or just enjoying free time
accidents and injuries due to criminal behaviour or criminal attack
If you have been injured in an accident within the last three years, do yourself justice and contact a personal injury solicitor. If after talking to that solicitor, you decide to proceed no further you will not be charged for any initial advice which is usually given freely without obligation. Pursuing a personal accident claim should never be foregone due to fears about legal costs. Since the advent of the no win no fee scheme victims who suffer personal injury at the hands of another have been able to take legal action for compensation at no cost and without risk.
No win no fee agreements which are technically known as conditional fee agreements (CFA) were introduced in 1998 at which time legal aid was withdrawn for most accident claims. Under this scheme a solicitor will only receive payment if the case he represents is successful and payment of the solicitor’s legal costs are paid by the losing sides’ insurer. The money does not come out of the winner’s compensation which can therefore be paid in full with no deductions.
If a no win no fee accident claim is unsuccessful then the solicitor will have no right to a legal fee from either the client or from the other side. The legal expenses paid by the solicitor will be written off by the solicitor who will not recoup then from his client. There is a huge advantage to the claimant on such a scheme, if they are successful in their claim, they keep all of the compensation and if they are unsuccessful, they pay no legal fee and no expenses.
If a claimant takes advantage of a CFA then the accident claim is dealt with in exactly the same way as if the client was paying privately. The only person taking a financial risk is the solicitor and it is in his interests to ensure that the case is properly prepared for trial if necessary. The following routine steps will usually be carried out by the solicitor and his team on behalf of the client: –
All witnesses present at the incident, related to the incident/case in anyway are interviewed thoroughly and a written, signed statement of evidence is taken to be used in court if necessary.
Inspections of the site of the incident are carried out in order to find any further details that may be related to the case.
Professional location plans are drawn, and any photographic evidence is arranged from a professional photographer.
Any relevant mathematical calculations are made by an accident re-construction expert if necessary and the accident may be depicted or re-enacted in the form of a video recording.
It is very clear that the potential for a personal injury can be found anywhere and at any time and despite taking relevant safety precautions, the chances of meeting with an accident remain. If you are the victim of an accident and another person was to blame, there usually the opportunity to bring a claim for compensation for personal injury against the negligent third party.
In a personal injury accident claim it is necessary for negligence to be proved in order to establish the liability of a 3rd party to pay compensation. In its most simple terms negligence is defined as a failure to act in a reasonable manner. It can involve doing what a reasonable man would not do or failing to do what a reasonable man would do. To succeed in a personal injury accident claim it is also necessary to show that the third party owed you a duty of care, that the duty was breached, and that damage or loss ensued directly attributable to that breach.
Compensation that may be awarded in an accident claim is divided into two main categories for ease of assessment. The first category is ‘special damages’ which is compensation that can be calculated accurately on a mathematical basis and the second category is ‘general damages’ which is compensation that needs a degree of assessment. In addition, there are sub-categories for ‘interest’ which can be claimed at different rates and for different periods dependent on which category it fits in to. Furthermore, there are ‘future losses’ and other hybrid items of loss that may need a combination of mathematical calculation and astute assessment.