1. When can I make a claim?
When you can show that you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence e.g. If you have been in an accident that was another person’s fault.
2. What types of claims can be made?
All physical and mental injuries that arise because of an accident. To list a few: spinal injuries, head injuries, industrial deafness, road traffic accidents, sporting accidents, medical negligence, accidents a work and public liability accidents such as slips, trips and falls.
3. How does the claim process work?
After meeting with a specialist personal injury lawyer, you will be advised whether you have a valid claim. You will need to undergo a medical examination, after which your solicitor will keep you updated with developments (including settlement offers) before finalising your claim.
4. Is there a time limit to make a claim after an accident?
Yes, you need to have issued proceedings within 3 years of an accident taking place, or within 3 years of realising that you have suffered an injury.
5. Would I have to go to court to get compensation?
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court by negotiating a settlement. In rare cases, a court would decide on liability and damages after hearing evidence, but if you have instructed a specialist solicitor everything will be readily prepared for the court, if this were to happen.
6. How long does it take to receive compensation?
This depends on factors such as severity of injury, whether liability is admitted and the results of a medical examination. On this basis, most claims usually complete within about 18 months.
7. What will a medical examination involve?
Medical examinations usually take around half an hour for an Orthopaedic doctor. During this time a doctor will ask you some questions and examine you. After this, a detailed report will be sent to your solicitor who will share it with you in order to agree the contents of the report, which will then form part of your case.
8. What if I already had medical or health issues before the accident?
Having any pre-existing conditions will have no bearing on whether or not you are able to claim. However, after your medical examination, if it is found that your accident has exacerbated an existing injury or condition, this will be taken into account as part of your case.
9. What if the person whose fault my injury was isn’t insured?
For road traffic accidents, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates victims of uninsured and unidentifiable drivers. If you are claiming against your employer and they are uninsured then you can still claim if you are sure that they have the means to pay.
10. What does the compensation cover?
In addition to a sum for your pain and suffering, compensation would cover reasonable financial losses resulting from the accident, which can include: current and future loss of earnings, medical expenses, on-going care costs, a replacement car or car hire and personal property repairs, special equipment and even accommodation.