Saturday, 11 February 2012

Winter injury compensation claims – what is the procedure?

Slipping on snow or ice can just be painful or embarrassing. But sometimes it may be more serious than that, and lead to an injury that causes you serious discomfort for some time. It may even leave you needing time off work and affect your earnings. If this happens, you may wish to look into making injury compensation claims if the slip was due to someone’s negligence:
  • the first thing to do is gather the facts together. As soon as you feel able, you may wish to write a few notes about the incident to ensure that the details are fresh in your memory. If possible, you may wish to take some photographs of the accident site;
  • choose a firm of specialist personal injury solicitors. Injury compensation claims are not mainstream – they require specialist knowledge and expertise which is why you may wish to consider using a lawyer that deals with such claims day in, day out. At Bentleys we have qualified solicitors on hand to talk claimants through the procedure;
  • establish the fee structure. If you have never dealt with lawyers before, you may be concerned about how much it may cost to bring a claim. Your lawyer should explain how the fees work. Typically, if your accident was caused by someone else your fees may be paid by them. And if you are unable to prove that the accident was not their fault, there may not be anything to pay thanks to our no win no fee deals;
  • go through the investigation together. This may seem like “raking over” the details of the accident, but may be necessary to formulate your claim. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may have to get independent medical evidence to support your claim;
  • let the negotiations commence. Once your lawyer has all the facts, the next step is negotiation. If the responsible party admits liability or if the facts involved make it seem unlikely that they will be able to defend your claim, you may find that a settlement may be offered;
  • enjoy your settlement. If your lawyers manage to negotiate a settlement, then you may wish to consider how to invest it prudently; or
  • go to court. Unfortunately, some injury compensation claims may not be capable of settlement. If this is the case, your lawyer will explain to you exactly what is involved in the process. You may have to attend a court hearing and give evidence. But is this happens, you can rest assured that your solicitor will be there for you.