If you’ve been personally injured through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation through a personal injury claim. Any injury or illness can cause financial loss for yourself and your family, especially if the injuries or illnesses are severe. Financial compensation reimburses you for lost wages, medical bills, travel expenses, and pain and suffering. We at H McPartland & Sons will try to make the process as seamless as possible in order that a speedy resolution is reached, and we can advise you on your eligibility for legal aid. Take the worry out of wondering how to make a claim and follow our guide so that you know exactly what you need to do and what to expect along the way.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury, in legal terms, is when an injury is caused to someone’s person, either physically or mentally, as opposed to their property.
A personal injury can occur as a result of road accidents, accidents in the workplace, exposure to harmful substances or medical negligence. They can also be caused by assaults, slips and trips in public places or even faulty goods and dangerous equipment. A personal injury can also include psychological injury or illness.
- Seek medical attention
The first step to making a personal injury claim is to seek medical treatment.
The hospitals and doctors will be required to provide detailed information about your treatments, diagnoses, and prognosis to support your claim and provide evidence in relation to injuries sustained. If it has been some time since your accident, it is always a good idea to share photographs you have which show your injuries, especially where they might have resulted in permanent scarring.
- Have your facts ready
You can help your compensation claim move more quickly by having all the relevant information prepared when you arrive. How you record the details will depend upon what caused the injury or illness. Regardless of how or where the accident or illness occurred, you need to document details about the situation.
You should contact:
- the police to file a report and contact your insurance company as well if the injury occurred as a result of a motor accident
- record the accident information in the accident book if it occurred as a result of a workplace injury
- notify the person in charge of the event if you were injured when participating in a sports activity
- contact the business owners or the homeowners if you were injured on someone’s property
If you have photographs of the accident scene and of your injuries this will help you establish both negligence and the extent of your injuries. Document what happened, to the best of your recollection. This includes everything from dates and specific details about your accident, how the accident happened, where it occurred, witnesses, what injuries you have sustained as a result of the accident, what kind of treatment you are receiving and any doctor’s notes you have since the accident.
The more information you have available to support your claim, the better. Having detailed information also gives your solicitor an opportunity to assess the facts of your claim.
- Consult a solicitor
The next step after seeking medical attention and reporting the accident to the proper authorities is to consult with a personal injury solicitor. We at H McPartland & Sons will ask some questions and find out more about you. During the conversation we’ll go through how long your case is likely to take and what you can expect to receive at the outcome. We’ll also go through our fees too so that you have total transparency.
Your solicitor is your best ally in proving your claim for financial compensation. Your second-best ally is your records, and we will help you organise your records to support your claim.
We know that being in accident can be very distressing, so our friendly team are here to listen, and to help. If you decide not to go ahead with the claim, that’s entirely up to you – we’re just here to advise.
If you choose to move forward, we can start to progress your case. We’ll send a letter of claim to the defendant (or, who you are holding responsible for your accident) outlining the specific elements of the claim. An acknowledgement of this letter is due within 21 days, and the defendant will have 3 months to investigate. Our solicitors will ensure that everything is done to move things forward towards a speedy resolution.
- Response from the defendant
The defendant will either choose to accept or deny liability for your accident after receiving the letter. If they accept, then we’ll move straight to working on your settlement to ensure you get the money owed to you as quickly as possible. However, in some cases, the defendant does not admit liability and the case may have to go to court. Our expert team of solicitors have lots of experience in this area and can confidently defend you to ensure you get you what you are owed.
- Time limits
There are different time limits within which you must begin legal action in a personal injury claim. The most common claim in a personal injury case is negligence and the time limit for this is 3 years. This means that court proceedings must be issued within 3 years of you first being aware that you have suffered an injury.
- Receiving your compensation
The final stage of the process is receiving your compensation, which should also cover any losses you have incurred as a result of the accident – medical fees, loss of earnings due to time off work or even vehicle damage if your claim was as a result of a road traffic accident.
We know that after an accident you will naturally be upset and will have other more pressing issues on your mind, so use our helpful guide to how to make a personal injury claim or contact one of our experienced team at our offices in Lurgan or Lisburn to discuss your claim in a professional and friendly manner.