Archive for June 19th, 2012

5 steps to keep in mind while making a personal injury claim
Ken Adams

“Personal injury” has a broad definition. It could be an injury sustained at your job that leaves you unable to work, a road accident, health problems resulting from the consumption of a faulty product, health issues made worse by medical negligence, or you becoming injured from a safety hazard on public property. Considering the prevalence of personal injury causes, it is smart to know exactly what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Here are some other things to keep in mind if you have to make a personal injury claim.
1. Take the steps necessary to mitigate the injury, even before you make a claim. When you are experiencing personal injury, the most important factor is to make sure that you can get well as soon as possible. This means that before you begin the claims process, you should visit the doctor, even if your injury seems very trivial. Sometimes, small injuries can grow into more serious problems when left untreated, which leaves you vulnerable to claims of negligence for your own health. You should also contact your insurance company to make sure that they are aware of the situation.

2. Contact the police. If you are dealing with an incident like a car accident or an incident that involves not only personal injury but damage to property, you should contact the police to file a report. A police report can give you evidence to rely on when you make your claim, and it also introduces an official, third-party account–something that will become important in a case of “your word against mine”.

3. Keep your own file of evidence. Even after filing a police report, you should gather your own information about the incident. This may include taking photos from several different angles (especially in the case of a road accident or an injury that resulted from a safety hazard in a public place), getting the contact information of witnesses in case you need their testimony later, and writing down the sequence of events while you still remember them accurately (especially in the case of hospital negligence).

4. Be aware that the results of your claim may not be in your favour. Filing a personal injury claim is often a lengthy process that doesn’t result in the compensation that you are seeking. In fact, sometimes, no compensation is awarded at all. It is important to prepare yourself for the fact that you may not win in your complaint before you decide to commit time (and possibly money) to it.

5. Weigh the pros and cons of choosing a claims assessor and a claims solicitor. However, if you move forward with your personal injury claim, there are two types of help you can use. Claims assessors, which are usually seen as more affordable, usually advertise their services on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. However, assessors don’t always have the same abilities as solicitors to reap the compensation you win in court. Assessors may also ask for a percentage of your compensation if you win, which could result in you paying a large sum of money if you win big.

In the moment, it may be difficult to know what to do to make a successful claim for your personal injury. However, if you commit these steps to memory beforehand, you can be prepared and turn a bad situation into a favourable outcome. Getting experienced legal counsel, such as Irwin Mitchell, can also help quell some of your concerns about what to do if you are injured.


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