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Claiming compensation

Over three million people are injured in accidents each year - at home, in their cars, at work, or outdoors. In many cases, someone else is at fault and the accident victims have a right to compensation.

Although personal injury law is complicated, with the help of a personal injury solicitor the process of making a claim can be quite straightforward. Many solicitors offer a free initial consultation and will be able to tell you if you have a justifiable claim. A solicitor will also be on your side in dealings with insurance companies to ensure that your individual circumstances are fully considered.

What your solicitor needs from you:

To establish the details of your case, a solicitor will need to know:

  • The date of the accident, where and how it happened
  • The contact details for any witnesses
  • The details of your injuries, medical diagnosis and treatment received
  • Whether you are a member of a trade union or you have legal expenses insurance policies, as this may entitle you to free or reduced-cost legal representation
  • The solicitor may also need to see:
  • Proof of your loss of earnings and other financial expenses that are due to your injury
  • Documents relating to any insurance policies you have (such as household or motor insurance) to check whether these will cover the legal costs of your claim
  • Any evidence that can be used to support your claim, including documents from before your accident or previous accidents in similar circumstances.

Going to court for your personal injury claim
  • If you decide to take the matter to court, your case will be passed to a judge. The court will let you know the date of your hearing, and your solicitor will tell you about any preparations you need to make.
  • The thought of going to court may be daunting, but it is important to remember that by this stage your solicitor will have prepared your case in detail and will have explained to you exactly what to expect. Then it's just a question of waiting to hear the judgment and finding out if you have won and have been awarded what you were claiming.

How your solicitor can help
Once you have explained the circumstances of your injury in detail, your solicitor will be able to judge:
  • How likely your case is to succeed
  • How much you might be able to claim in compensation.

They will also explain to you the legal processes involved in taking your claim further and how you will fund your case. You should ask your solicitor to send you a letter summarising the advice they have given you. This letter should confirm:

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