Monday, 30 January 2012

Accident compensation claims - your frequently asked questions

Here are some questions relating to accident compensation claims that we sometimes hear from our clients:

- can I claim compensation? That depends upon the nature of the circumstances surrounding the accident but if you believe that you were not personally liable for it then you may well be entitled to appropriate compensation from the responsible party;

- how do I go about claiming? The first step is to take expert legal advice from fully qualified personal injury solicitors such as ourselves. We will perform an initial assessment to see whether or not you may be eligible to instigate an accident compensation claim;

- what happens if the other party disputes my claim? At Bentley Accident Claims, we will always seek to achieve a negotiated and amicable settlement (including appropriate compensation) on your behalf, however, in some cases that may involve legal proceedings;

- can you guarantee success? No, we cannot guarantee the outcome of a legal process in advance but what we can guarantee is that if we do not succeed in obtaining compensation for you, we will not charge any fees;

- how much will a claim cost me? Even if you win, your legal representatives’ fees will typically be met by the other party and they will not affect in any way the amount of any damages you are awarded (in some accident compensation claims under the Scottish legal system, there may be technical differences in terms of the application of this);

- how much will I be able to claim? That will obviously depend on the nature of your accident and the severity of your resulting injuries, however, the law provides for just compensation and your legal team will be experts in quantifying the amounts that you may be due;

- will I need to provide medical evidence? Once again, it is not easy to give generalised answers as so much may depend on the exact circumstances of your individual case and the other party’s response to your claim. However, as a general rule, medical evidence supporting the extent of your injuries and any required treatment, may only help your claim. In some cases, you may be required to see an independent medical professional who will provide a report as to the extent of your injuries etc;

- how long will it take? As you may have guessed, the only possible answer to that is that it depends upon the circumstances. The key factor may be whether or not the other party accepts, and their liability or not. If they do not, that may involve full legal proceedings, which will inevitably take longer than an amicable solution;

- do I have to claim immediately after the accident? No, you may lodge accident compensation claims up to three years after the event (there may be certain special exceptions) but it may be important that you have facts to hand. Try to ensure that original documentation, medical records and witness statements, if applicable, are all safely stored away and ready for use if required.