If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, and you want to make a claim for compensation, then the first step you should take is simple; contact a solicitor who specialises in your kind of accident for legal advice. An initial consultation whether on the phone or in person will be free, and you will be able to get informed about your rights.
Once you have a better understanding of your legal rights, you will be able to make a more informed decision regarding whether to claim, or not.
How the Claims Process Works
If you do decide to proceed with an accident compensation claim, and you instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf, it is important to keep in mind that your input into the claims process will be minimised, so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
The claims process begins with signing or agreeing with the terms of a ‘conditional fee agreement’, otherwise known as a ‘no win, no fee agreement’. You will also need to sign a form of consent, so that your solicitor can represent you legally, and access any relevant medical cords, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Once you have signed this, your solicitor will be able to act on your behalf, and process your claim for you.
You will also be interviewed by your solicitor. This interview can take place over the telephone, and it is designed to establish the facts surrounding your case. You will be asked how your accident happened, when your accident happened, and provide details about any evidence that you might have in your possession. Once the facts surrounding your case have been established, your solicitor will then organise a medical examination for you. This usually takes place 2-3 weeks into the claims process, although it can take place a month into the claim. The examination will establish the extent of your injuries, a recovery period, and a prognosis. This report will then be used to determine a settlement demand.
With your case now built, your solicitor will present this to the other side. The other side should respond promptly, although they may launch their own investigation into your claim, which is normal and nothing to be worried about. Many claims can be processed in as little as 6-12 weeks, although some claims do take longer to process. Reasons for this include the other side taking their time to investigate, claim value contestation, liability contestation, and communication barriers. However, rest assured that your solicitor will do their best to get you your compensation as soon as possible, so you can get on with your life.