With plenty of myths milling around about the cost, complexity and time involved in bringing a claim, there are many reasons why people may be put off from bringing a compensation claim. Even so, the bottom line is if you’ve been injured in an accident which was not your fault, it’s your right to claim compensation.
Below, we’ve looked at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding compensation claims:
Many people are put off looking for compensation because they think they will have to go to court. However, only five per cent of personal injury claims end up in front of a judge, and these are generally cases which are unusually complex.
Your specialist personal injury lawyer will work hard to negotiate the out of court settlement you deserve. Even if the case does have to go to court, your solicitor be with you every step of the way to guide you through the whole process.
Most personal injury claims are brought on a no win no fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money if your claim isn’t successful.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will charge a ‘success fee’ out of your compensation. This amount will have been agreed before starting your case, but this will be a relatively small portion of the money you receive.
Starting a personal injury claim can be a daunting idea, but we can put you in touch with a highly experienced solicitor who will guide you through the process and will do most of the hard work for you.
They’ll get some details from you about your accident and ask you to provide any evidence you might have to help strengthen your case. This might include:
They’ll also refer you to a medical expert who will produce a report describing the cause and seriousness of your injuries and the extent to which they have affected your life. These will help your solicitor build a case for your personal injury claim.
How long it takes your claim to be settled depends on several factors, including the complexity of your case, how much compensation is being claimed, and whether liability is accepted by the other party.
Whilst it can take several months to come to a settlement, your specialist personal injury solicitor will do most of the work for you. They may even be able to negotiate an interim payment for you, to cover your out of pocket expenses while you recover from your injuries.
Then, once you accept an offer of settlement for a personal injury claim you’ll usually receive your compensation money within 14-28 days from the date of settlement.
It’s worth making a compensation claim in order to cover your losses as well as recompense you for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
The compensation you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and how they will affect you long-term, but could include damages for:
You can always phone a trained legal advisor for free on 0800 234 6438 who will be able to tell you if you have a strong case for compensation, but you won’t be forced to go ahead with your claim if you don’t want to.
It’s against the law for your employer to fire you or treat you any differently if you make a compensation claim against them. To do so would count as unfair dismissal (if you were sacked) or constructive dismissal (if you were forced out of your job by your employer making your life difficult). Either would allow an employment tribunal to award you compensation or even order that you are reemployed.
You also shouldn’t worry that bringing a compensation claim against your employer will leave them in a difficult financial situation. Every employer is legally required to have insurance to cover the cost of compensation claims so they will not be out of pocket.
Sometimes you may not realise how bad an accident has impacted you while you are still working for the employer, or you develop an industrial disease like Asbestosis which may not have shown symptoms until much later on.
If you can show that there is a link between your condition and your former place of work, you can still make a claim for compensation as long as this claim is made within three years of your diagnosis.
If your former employer is no longer active, you can still make a compensation claim through their employer’s liability insurance, as their insurer will still be responsible for your compensation.
Many people think that if they don’t bring a compensation claim for a personal injury within three years of their accident that they cannot make a claim. However, under the Limitation Act 1980, the claim must be made within three years of the accident or from when the severity of the injury manifests itself, whichever comes later.
So if you have an accident but don’t realise how serious it was until much later on, you may still be able to bring a claim.
According to a study by IRN, a clear majority of those surveyed think the UK is in the grip of a ‘compensation culture’, with 68 per cent believing that more people are lodging claims than ever before. The truth is that the number of personal injury claims for compensation is falling. Therefore, if you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t feel guilty about claiming for compensation.
If you’ve been injured and are interested in seeking compensation, you can call a trained legal advisor on 0800 234 6438, or fill in our online form to submit your claim.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.