Personal Injury Compensation
The impression given in some areas of the media is that making a claim for personal injury compensation is as simple as ringing up a claims management company and giving them the most basic of details — unfortunately, at a time when you may be recovering from a serious physical or emotional trauma, nothing could be further from the truth.
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Claims for personal injury compensation can be complex, involve many procedures and have to overcome a series of obstacles in order to be successful. In many circumstances, these factors can combine to dissuade people from claiming personal injury compensation to which they are rightly entitled to, so it is in your best interests to understand what is involved in a personal injury compensation claim from the very start.
Qualifying for Personal Injury Compensation
You are entitled to make a claim for personal injury if you or a loved one has suffered a loss or injury due to the negligence of somebody else. The loss or injury could be physical and/or emotional, but has to be quantifiable — i.e. it has to be a loss or injury of which an account is made. This is normally done by means of your medical records when injured in an accident, but could also be the account of a psychiatrist or — in the event of professional negligence — an accountant.
The “somebody else” responsible for your loss or injury could be another road user, an employer, a medical practitioner, a public corporation or a private business. Whoever the person or person(s) are that you wish to make a personal injury compensation claim against, they must have owed you a duty of care which was breached by their actions — or lack of them.
Examples of Personal Injury Compensation Claims
Too much legal jargon can also be a contributing factor which dissuades people from making personal injury compensation claims, so here are some examples in plain English of what circumstances would qualify you to claim personal injury compensation:-
- A driver runs into you from behind, causing you a whiplash injury, while talking on his mobile phone and failing to see you slow down at a pedestrian crossing.
- An employer fails to provide you with adequate personal protective equipment to prevent an exposure to excessive noise and you suffer a hearing loss as a result.
- A dentist unnecessarily removes a tooth — causing pain and expense, and you need remedial treatment to repair the damage caused by his negligence.
- You walk into an unmarked glass door in a museum, sustaining a broken nose and severe facial bruising.
- You slip on a drinks spillage in your local restaurant and twist your knee awkwardly — requiring a knee brace and several weeks of immobility.
Issues with Personal Injury Compensation Claims
To illustrate how issues can develop with claims for personal injury compensation, we have added just one of several factors to each example which would influence a person´s willingness to claim personal injury compensation, affect how much compensation they receive or involve a complex claims procedure:-
- The driver who runs into you from behind did not see you slowing down because your brake lights were faulty.
- You are worried that the employer who failed to provide you with sufficient hearing protection will fire you if you make a complaint against them.
- The dentist who removed the wrong tooth has cared for the dental hygiene of your family for three generations.
- The person responsible for health and safety at the museum is the daughter of a personal friend who is on a last warning for the standard of her performance.
- You have been using the same restaurant as a local for the past twenty years and are unlikely to receive such a warm welcome should you claim personal injury compensation.
Getting Help with Personal Injury Compensation Claims
For all these reasons, and many more, it is important that you speak with a personal injury compensation solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity after you have been injured and received medical attention for your injuries. A solicitor will guide you through what procedures are involved in making a claim and advise you of how you can overcome any issues you may have.
Many personal injury compensation solicitors have experience of far worse scenarios than these, and will be able to assess your case and advise you of how much personal injury compensation you should be entitled to receive. This will enable you to make a decision as to whether your claim for personal injury compensation is worth your while to pursue and also prevent any attempted third party capture by the negligent party´s insurance company hoping that you will accept a premature and inadequate offer of personal injury compensation.