Do I have an injury claim?
Oddly after 15 years of taking calls and responding to requests people still struggle with this fundamental question. Do i have an injury claim? The clue is in the question. Unless you have actually suffered an injury that required some sort of medical attention then the answer is no.
The injury however can be either physical or mental. But as above if it is a mental injury then some specific and relevant counselling needs to have been taken.
Yes i know there are often people in the press who have got thousands of £ from a scratch. But those are the exception and are trotted out to fuel the non existent compensation culture.
So an injury needs to have at least one visit to your GP. But preferably a visit to a hospital.Sadly the more visits the better it is for your claim.
So now we have that out of the way what next?
A third party to claim against?
You need to have someone to claim against (in most cases). However the real answer is the person you want to claim against needs to have insurance. Without insurance most solicitors will not touch your claim.
If you are reading this then it is likely too late. But you need as much information about the party that caused your injury. Who, where, date and time. Photos (of the person at the scene is great) and that all important insurance details.
Now if it is a car accident then most people know their insurers. If it is a work accident then most employers display a certificate. A trip or slip needs to be narrowed down to who the local authority is. A shop slip or trip needs to be a multiple retailer or large independent. Its not to say that small independent corner shop wont but it is unlikely.
Its all about the liability, why they are at fault?
It is not enough just to say X did that to Y so there? Thankfully under UK law for personal injury claims you only have to prove ‘on the balance of probability’ what you say happened. In real terms you still need to be injured. Sort medical attention and have some insurance details. A witness or two to have a straight forward claim.
To me though when looking at a claim the test i apply is this. When asked do i have an injury claim? Could the accident have been easily avoided with some common sense and consideration. If the answer is if the third party had followed the rules and could have avoided the accident then lets get this claim moving.
I have bags of time don’t I?
Yes and No. Technically you have 3 years from the date of the accident or from your 18th Birthday. The reality though is like anything the further you get away from the date of the accident the colder the trail goes and the harder it is to win your claim.
My best advice is don’t delay starting your claim. If you are thinking do i have an injury claim? It could still drag on for many years (if complicated). But at least if you start it when fresh you and your solicitor have the best chance of establishing certain facts.