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What is a personal injury claim?

Ans. If you suffer any type of injury in an accident and someone else was at least partly to blame, you may be entitled to make a personal injuryclaim for accident compensation. Common accidentsinclude road traffic accidents, accidents at work, slips or trips in a public place or accidents on holiday.
A personal Injury claim can also arise as a result of injuries or illnesses suffered as a result of contracting an Industrial Disease such as asbestosis.

What can I claim compensation for?

Non-financial losses

The pain and suffering caused by the accident and the impact the injury will have on your quality of life. Your condition, age and future prognosis will be taken into account. You can also claim for psychological injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in certain circumstances.

Financial Losses
• Loss of earnings due to time off work.
• Future loss of earnings resulting from your injury.
• The care your family and friends or carers have provided to you.
• Ongoing medical needs and treatment.
• Most other expenses incurred because of your injury.
• If the accident resulted in the death of a relative you can claim for the cost of their funeral and possibly damages for bereavement. If anyone was financially dependent on the deceased they may also have a claim for compensation.

Who pays the compensation?

The organisation or person that is responsible for your accident is liable to pay. They are usually insured against personal injury claims and so it is the insurance company who will pay your compensation.

How much compensation will I receive?

There are guidelines for awards for particular injuries that we will use to establish the compensation that you could receive. You will also receive compensation for financial losses in addition to an award for your injury.

We can give you an accurate idea of what you might receive when we meet you to make an initial assessment.

How long will I have to wait for my compensation?

This depends on the situation and whether there is any issue with liability. It is not unusual to wait at least six months for compensation to be paid. If liability is not disputed we may be able to get the Insurance Company to pay some money in advance, this is called an Interim payment. We can also apply to the court for an interim payment to be made if we have to.

What if the accident was partly my fault?

You can still make a claim. Your compensation may be reduced to take into account any contribution you made to the accident or the injury that occurred, but it depends on the facts of your case.

Will I have to go to court?

Most personal injury claims are settled without the need to go to court. However we prepare all our cases in depth so we are ready to go to court if we have to.

How long do I have to make a claim?

You should contact us as soon as possible after your accident even though in most cases you must start a claim within three years of the accident or of becoming aware of the injury. Unless you were under 18 at the time of suffering the injury in which case you must start the claim before your 21st birthday.

Do I have to use the personal injury solicitor my insurance company recommends or can I choose my own?

No, you do not have to use the solicitor suggested by your motor insurance company or the insurance company representing the person or organisation responsible. You should choose a solicitor you like and who will get you the compensation you deserve. There is no harm in meeting with several before you make up your mind.

Can I claim compensation against my employer for an Accident at work?

Yes, you can make a claim for any type of injury caused by an accident at work even if it was partly your fault, provided we can show that someone was negligent. Your employer has a duty to provide you and your coworkers with a safe place to work, the correct equipment and sufficient training to enable you to carry out your type of job as safely as possible.

Before you contact us you should ensure that your accident at workis accurately recorded in the accident book. Your employer is required to keep this up to date to assist in compensation claims and also to avoid similar accidents in the future.

Will a claim for an Accident at Work affect my employment?

Ans. We work with your employer’s insurance company to resolve the claim and your employer should not treat you any differently. Your employer cannot dismiss you unfairly and your job is protected if you have been employed for one year (or two years if you started work after April 2012).

What happens if I have time off as a result of my accident at work?

Most employers have a company sick scheme that will entitle you to sick pay. If there is no scheme, you will be entitled to statutory sick pay. Your personal injury solicitor will look at claiming any loss of earnings during your time off as part of your compensation. If you have financial needs before your claim is resolved, we may be able to get some money in advance as an interim payment from the insurance company while we resolve your accident at work claim.

Can I claim for a disease contracted at work?

Yes, provided we can establish a link between the disease you have contracted and a substance or hazard at work.

What sort of work place accidents and illnesses can I claim for?

Common types of injuries and industrial diseases:

  • Back injuries caused by heaving lifting.
  • Injuries due to lack of protective clothing.
  • Injuries caused by faulty work equipment.
  • Work related hearing loss.
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Conditions caused by vibrating power tools.
  • Asbestosis and illnesses related to asbestos.
  • Illness caused by stress at work

What if the other driver in a road accident cannot be found or was not insured?

If the vehicle had insurance but the driver did not, the vehicle’s insurance company must deal with your claim. If neither the driver nor the vehicle was insured, or the driver cannot be traced, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau has a scheme that pays compensation to people who are injured in these circumstances. We will work with them to recover compensation for you.

Can I still make a claim if I was not wearing a seatbelt?

You can still make a claim if the accident was not your fault but your compensation may be reduced if your injuries would have been reduced if you had worn a seatbelt.

What is a public liability claim?

If you fall or are injured in a public place you may be able to claim compensation from the person or company who owns or maintains the area. They should have public liability insurance and we will make a claim against their insurance company.

Common types of accidents in public places:

  • Slipping or tripping on pavements or footpaths.
  • Accidents in supermarkets or shopping centres.
  • Injuries in clubs, pubs or restaurants.
  • Injuries caused by falling objects in public places

What should I do if I am injured in a public place?

If possible you should take photos of the scene of the accident or get a witness to do that for you. Get the name and address of any witness and report the accident to the relevant authority immediately. Your doctor should then see you as soon as possible so he can prepare a medical report to support your claim for compensation.