Personal injury claims can be a bit of a minefield with different people telling you different things, so to help filter through all the different pieces of advice you may hear, we thought we would give you our top 10 tips for bringing a personal injury claim:
- Keep your receipts
This is John James’ top tip – keep your receipts. This is something people often don’t think to do, but expenses can quickly add up. For example, if you have to take public transport, or have to buy any painkillers, prescriptions, mobility aids, e.g. a wheelchair, you may be able to recover these as part of your claim.
- Gather evidence at the start
John James advises that the best thing you can do to help your claim after an accident is to gather evidence right from the start. Get names, addresses and contact details of the other parties and witnesses, take photos of where the accident took place and any defects which may have caused the accident.
- Don’t listen to Tom down the pub
This is my top tip – everyone’s claim is different and you shouldn’t compare your claim to someone else’s. Medical evidence plays a huge part in assessing the value of the claim as can loss of earnings and both of these can vary drastically from person to person.
- Know your time limits
There are strict time limits for personal injury claims which you should make sure you diarise. For the majority of claims this is 3 years from the date of the accident, but in some cases it can be 3 years from the date of knowledge of injury.
- Go to your GP or hospital
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you should go to either the hospital or your GP to report your injuries and to obtain treatment / advice. You have a duty to mitigate your losses after an accident, i.e. take all necessary steps to reduce the effect, extent of the damage you have sustained, including your injuries – so it is important that you see a medical specialist as soon as possible to show that you have tried to help yourself.
- Tell the doctor everything – and keep them up to date
Don’t just suffer in silence, if you are in pain, let the doctor know, it doesn’t matter if you think it will just go away by itself. If you aren’t recovering as quickly as expected – let your doctor know.
- Report the accident to your employer
If you are injured in an accident at work, make sure that you report this to your employer and document it in the accident log book. We would also suggest making sure that the entry in the log book is accurate – employers sometimes try to play down an incident or trivialise the injuries to try and reduce the extent of their liability.
- Document your progress
Keep a record for yourself about what happened and when and how you recover. Personal injury cases can last for over a year and it can be hard to remember exactly what happened and when; if you have documented it, you can easily review this later.
- Request interim payments
Personal injury claims can take a while to come to a conclusion and during this time you may be unable to work. Interim payments can be requested from the other side to assist you in your every day to day expenses or any medical treatment you may need, especially if the injuries are preventing you from working and earning money.
- And finally – instruct a specialist solicitor
Personal injury cases can be time consuming and confusing, as can the cost. Make sure that you instruct a specialist who can help you at every stage of the process, be clear in their charges (e.g. do they charge a success fee?) and what it means to your claim, and who can obtain the maximum amount of compensation for you.
If you have been injured in an accident and you want to find out if you can claim compensation, call our specialist personal injury solicitors in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Manchester and London on 01924 692125 or fill out our online claim form.