Personal injury claims allow a person to get their losses compensated if they have suffered due to someone else’s mistakes. Apparently, the stages of a personal injury claim seem very simple and straightforward; you’d make a claim, make all the efforts to agree a settlement, head to the court if need be, and ultimately get your compensation. However, the reality is a bit different as there are very stringent procedures for people looking to submit a personal injury claim along with a timetable to pursue it. Let’s shed light on all the different stages an individual has to go through in personal injury cases, what they mean and what impact they have on the settlement.
Hiring A Representative
The best idea of pursuing a personal injury claim is to get in touch with a professional personal injury lawyer. A great majority of people who pursue personal injury claims choose to get legal representation in order to make sure their case is represented in the right way. There are a plethora of reputable law firms and solicitors who specialise in this domain.
Moreover, in such situation, you might even receive cold calls from a law company who might have heard about your case and would proceed to discuss the issue in detail. It must be noted that you’re not bound to hire this representative just because they have approached you. It is entirely your choice who takes up your case. Moreover, you should also be considerate about taking random offers without investigation.
After you have hired a solicitor to represent you, the next part is to follow a set procedure, also known as “pre-action protocols”. A letter of claim is made once the third party has been identified. This letter outlines what happened to the person claiming their injuries, which includes both; mental and physical injuries.
The third party is given a maximum of 21 days to respond to this letter of claim. This response or acknowledgment can come directly from the individual or they can have their solicitors or the insurance company respond on their behalf. Most of the claims are given to the defendant’s insurers and they deal with the claim. After the first response, during this 21-day duration, the defendant is given a three-month period in which they can investigate the claim in more detail. Once this period comes to end, they will have to acknowledge if they accept or refuse the legal responsibility.
Collecting Comprehensive Evidence Of The Accident
In case the defendant refuses liability for the incident, then the time of evidence collection will start for the claimant. If this happens, the claimant will have to collect as much evidence as they possibly can to strengthen their case. This includes pictures, witness statements from people who were present at the scene, and other things. Since this evidence-gathering stage can go up to 3 months, it is very important to write down all the details when the incident occurred, so that no important detail is missed out or forgotten at a later date.
Putting Together Medical Evidence
If the defendant has accepted liability, there won’t be a need to gather detailed evidence, and the person can directly come to the stage of medical evidence. Although every case is different, medical evidence collection can include things like access to the GP, hospital records, or meeting the specialist in a particular field. Any report that is made to support the claim will be made available to the defendant regardless of them accepting or refusing liability.
Alongside the details of the accident, the claimant will also be expected to keep a note of how this accident has impacted their daily life.
Settling a Potential Settlement
At this pre-court stage, a potential settlement can be met between the two parties whether liability had previously been denied or accepted. Since all parties want to get done with the process and reduce the legal fees and court time, this settlement is likely to happen. While most of the personal injury claims are settled out of the court, but there’s still a significant amount of claims where agreement isn’t reached in the negotiating stage.