What you need to know when making a claim after suffering from serious injury
Serious injuries can be life-changing. Unlike more common personal injuries, serious injuries are prolonged and often result in permanent damage or disability. Given the complexity of serious injuries, you need the best possible advice before making a claim.
Claims take time
Serious injuries require specialist evaluation. They’re often contentious given the level of possible compensation involved. The process from raising a claim to obtaining compensation can take several years – we may be able to arrange for an award of a smaller sum in the meantime to help cover, for example, lost wages and the cost of home modifications, medical treatment and rehabilitation.
You need evidence
To make a successful serious injury claim, your solicitor needs to prove:
- You suffered an accident;
- The accident caused this injury;
- A person or business’ breach of their duty of care to you was the cause of the accident, and
- The consequences of your injury are what you say they are.
Evidence can include CCTV footage, witnesses and accident reports. Retain as much paperwork as you can, including costs of daily care and travelling expenses to and from medical appointments. If you need home modifications such as chair lifts installed, retain receipts or estimates from companies so your solicitor can consider these.
The more evidence available, the easier it is to make your case.
Medical evidence is crucial
You will need to be examined by a specialist doctor who can:
- Confirm your injury;
- Confirm what likely caused your injury;
- Your prospects of recovery and disability; and
- Whether or not you had any pre-existing conditions affected by this injury.
It is not unusual for the other side to argue against the severity of your injury, and so the opinion of an experienced medical professional is crucial. Without medical evidence, it will be incredibly difficult for your solicitor to value your claim – or to convince the other side they were at fault for any injury.
Your claim will need to be valued
Your solicitor will be experienced in valuing serious injury claims. They will value your claim for:
- Pain, suffering, and discomfort;
- Expenses incurred because of the injury e.g. travelling to appointments, public transportation; and
- Wage loss and loss of earning potential if you can no longer work, or if your job role must change because of this injury.
Your solicitor will then enter negotiations with the other side. The best outcome is that the insurers responsible for who caused your injury will admit liability and pay compensation. However, court action may be needed to obtain the fairest compensation possible if:
- Liability is disputed;
- The insurers believe you were partially to blame; or
- They believe your claim is valued too high.
Don’t worry, though – here at Keoghs Nicholls Lindsell & Harris LLP, we will guide you through this process, explaining everything every step of the way. Speak to our personal injury team for more information.
This document is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute personal legal advice. You should seek specific professional advice before acting on the information provided.