A personal injury claim can help you get the compensation you deserve if you were injured in an accident that was caused due to someone else’s mistake or negligence. In principle, pursuing such a claim should be fairly straightforward. The law is clear that if you can provide evidence that somebody else’s negligence caused your injuries, you should be compensated.
In reality, however, it is not always that simple. There is much more to pursuing a personal injury claim and there’s no room for error. Even the smallest error when pursuing a claim can have dire consequences. It could result in you getting a lower compensation amount than is due to you or it may even invalidate your claim entirely.
Watch out for these 8 things in particular when pursuing a personal injury compensation claim.
Failing To Collate Evidence
Immediately after an accident, shock, fear, pain, and anxiety all collide to create a situation where it’s difficult to think rationally. Most accident victims rarely think about documenting evidence at this time. However, without solid evidence, your chances of winning your personal injury claim could be slim.
If the accident was caused because of another person’s negligence, it is important that you gather as must evidence as you can right there and then. This could be in the form of photographs of the scene of the accident and your injuries, CCTV footage, dashcam footage, and witness statements.
As you can see, all of these things should be done immediately after the accident. If you wait, you’re likely to lose at least some if not all of the evidence, which could jeopardise the success of your claim.
Not Seeking Medical Attention For Your Injuries
Seeking medical attention after an accident is important, even if your injuries seem minor. First and foremost, you want to rule out the possibility of having sustained any internal injuries that could manifest only later. Not getting internal injuries treated on time can have devastating consequences.
Secondly, getting medical attention establishes a record of your injuries. Your medical report will have all details of your injuries, including the cause, severity, and treatment required. This can serve several purposes. It confirms that your injuries were caused by a particular accident. It also forms the basis for calculating personal injury compensation due to you. Without a medical record, you might weaken the chances of winning your claim substantially.
Not Keeping Tabs On Your Financial Losses
When filing a personal injury compensation claim, you can claim damages for general damages and special damages. General damages take into account your pain and suffering. Special damages take into account the actual financial losses you suffered because of the accident. This could vary widely from one claim to another. To get the maximum compensation due to you, you must be able to produce actual proof of your expenditure.
Keep receipts of all expenses related to your injuries, no matter how small. Every little bit adds up. Without a receipt as evidence, you may not be able to claim for those expenses.
Giving The Insurance Company An Official Statement
It’s standard practice for the guilty party’s insurance company to approach the victim and attempt to secure a recorded statement immediately after the accident, predominantly in car accident claims. They may do this in the guise of being helpful when the reality is they are actually looking for something that can be used as testimony against you.
The problem is, nobody is really thinking clearly immediately after an accident. If you’re rushed to answer questions, you are more likely to confuse details that would be used to determine fault. The insurance company will use your confusion to their advantage to create a defence strategy that can weaken your personal injury claim.
Make it a rule to not give a statement or even speak to another partys insurance company after an accident without first speaking to a personal injury solicitor.
Accepting An Out Of Court Settlement
If there’s just no way to deny fault, the guilty party’s insurance company may be quick to approach you with a settlement. With mounting medical expenses compounded by the loss of income, you may feel tempted to accept this. After all, something is better than nothing, right?
Wrong. Never accept any settlement from the insurance company right away. The compensation they are offering you is almost certain to be lower than what a personal injury solicitor could get you. Always speak with a personal injury solicitor before you accept any settlement or sign any document. A quick decision could result in you receiving a low settlement.
Starting A Claim Without A Personal Injury Solicitor
You can start a claim without the help of a solicitor but we obviously wouldn’t advise it. Winning a compensation claim is never easy. You can expect the insurance company to fight hard against paying any settlement or at minimising the pay-out. Unless you have experience of legal proceedings, you may make a mistake that could get your claim thrown out on a technicality. Underestimating the complexity of the process can be a big mistake.
You need a personal injury solicitor who has the legal knowledge and experience to match them every step of the way and fight for you to get the full compensation due to you. You have a higher chance of not just winning the claim but also winning the maximum amount of compensation.
The best part is, using a No Win No Fee solicitor is essentially risk-free and won’t cost you anything up-front. Most personal injury solicitors will help you on a No Win No Fee arrangement, wherein they waive their fees until such time that the case is closed. You only pay if your personal injury claim is successful. If it isn’t, you don’t pay. With a personal injury solicitor, you get all the benefits and take none of the risks.
Failing To Report All Your Symptoms
The compensation you are awarded will be based on the severity of your injuries. This includes all physical and psychological injuries. Very often, accident victims only talk about their visible physical injuries and overlook the psychological damage. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be more severe and can impact you longer-term as compared to the physical injuries. You must tell your doctor as well as your solicitor if you are experiencing increased anxiety, depression, flashbacks, phobias, or forgetfulness.
If any symptom is not reported in the report, you will not be compensated for that particular injury. When working on your compensation claim with your solicitor, make sure to tell them about every symptom no matter how minor it may seem. At most, it may not be taken into consideration. On the other hand, it may be considered and you will receive the commensurate compensation.
Leaving Your Claim Too Late
In most cases, the time limit for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the date the accident occurred or three years from the date the injury was diagnosed. In most cases you will not be able to file your claim after the three-year statute of limitations. Your solicitor will need time to put together a strong claim. If you wait too long, you may find that you’ve lost evidence crucial to your claim or your solicitor may just not have enough time. This could result in you losing out on the compensation due to you.
Don’t wait to start your claim after a personal injury. Start looking for a solicitor to help you as soon as you are able to.
Being aware of potential mistakes can help you to know what to avoid so you do not jeopardise your legal rights after a no-fault accident.