Wednesday, 11 April 2012

How do injury compensation claims work?

Coming to terms with the fact that you have had an accident that is someone else’s fault, may be difficult. After all, you may be in pain, in shock or feel let down if the accident happened at work in circumstances that you feel could have been avoided. When the dust has settled and you start thinking about making a claim, how might injury compensation claims pan out?
  • start looking for the right lawyer. Not every lawyer is a specialist in injury compensation claims. So you may wish to check the credentials of those you are considering before engaging them as your injury solicitors. Not only is personal injury a discrete area of law which has its own rules and procedures, but your lawyer may also need to be familiar with the tariff of charges that may apply to different injuries. Given that your claim may be likely to end in a settlement, you may need to make sure that you choose a lawyer who may negotiate strongly on your behalf;
  • get comfortable with the fee structure of the claim. How much, if anything, may your lawyer expect you to contribute up front for expenses? Some lawyers may insist that the claimant (i.e. you) may make payments for medical expenses and other appointments needed to formulate the evidence for the claim, with the intention of reclaiming them later in the event of the claim being successful. However, many firms may bear this risk themselves, and claim the monies back on settlement or in court. But the second and perhaps most important element of a no win no fee deal is knowing how much of your compensation you may keep. Some firms may charge a higher rate if you win. But others however, may hand all of your compensation over to you.
  • start gathering evidence. Your lawyer may lead this stage of things, while he or she is putting your case together they may be gathering all the information they may need. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need to attend further medical appointments;
  • the final stages are for your lawyer to carry out. Some claimants may be concerned about the possibility of having to stand up in court and give evidence. But the reality is that this may be relatively unlikely. Many claims may be settled at an early stage – especially if the causes of the accident are obvious. And if yours is one of the few injury compensation claims that does end up in court, your lawyer should be able to guide you through the experience to make it as painless as possible.