Accident Compensation Claims
How to Make Accident Compensation Claims
Accident compensation claims can result from a variety of causes. You can get injured in the workplace, your local mall or whilst crossing the road. When claiming for accident compensation all you have to prove is that someone was negligent and that you suffered loss or injury as a result. You can claim compensation from an individual, an employer or an institution such as a school or local authority.
It is important to consider the likelihood of receiving payment before proceeding with a claim. In a road accident the insurers should be able to pay and in a school the local authority should also have insurance to cover them in the event of a claim. However if an individual injures you then you might not get anything. For example if a cyclist hurts you then you might have to sue them personally and they might not have funds to pay you. Some people have personal home insurance that covers them in the event of an accident and you can sometimes go through this.
Once you have decided to go ahead with lodging an accident compensation claim then you must prove negligence. Hopefully you should have collected evidence from eyewitnesses and visited a doctor to corroborate your story. Now you need to contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Local Law Centre or call an attorney who will advise you on the next step. If it’s a large claim then you will need a lawyer to act for you. The next step is for you (or the lawyer) to write a letter of claim stating the facts of claim, the allegations of negligence and the damages suffered (i.e. the details of the injury and any resulting financial loss).
The defendant has 21 days to acknowledge this letter and three months to respond. If they deny liability then it is up to you or your attorney to prepare the case and issue court proceedings. Once court papers have been issued the case will be ‘in the pipeline’ and will be heard at some future date (often a year or so in the future). The case might settle before the final hearing with an offer of a sum of money. You, with your lawyer can decide whether you think this is reasonable or continue with legal proceedings. If the defendant admits liability but the amount of the accident compensation claim is in dispute then the judge will usually use the trial date to assess how much they should pay.