If you have suffered an accident or injury which you feel was the fault of someone else, you may be able to claim compensation to help with your recovery. The first thing you need to do, though, is work out if your injury falls under the umbrella of ‘personal injury’, in legal terms.
Physical – any injury which has caused serious or life-changing results, an illness caused by negligence (such as asbestos poisoning from building work), or anything which requires long-term treatment or rehabilitation.
Psychological – any severe stress, upset or mental illness caused by traumatic events (such as road accident or criminal assault)
- Most personal injuries will fit under one of the following categories:
- Injuries at work. These can be because of lack of training, equipment that doesn’t work properly or negligence by an employer or coworker.
- Medical malpractice. Physical injuries or the worsening of physical ailments caused by accidents in hospital, doctors missing symptoms, being prescribed the wrong medication etc.
- Slip and fall accidents. Caused by wet floors without signs, broken pavements which haven’t been fixed etc.
- Road accidents. You can be a driver, passenger or even a cyclist or pedestrian who has been hit by a car to claim.
- Product liability. This is when you have been injured by a faulty or dangerous product.
How to claim compensation
You need to begin making your claim before it has been exactly three years since your accident. In rare cases, this can be extended, but only in exceptional circumstances (such as if the accident left you in a coma or otherwise unable to claim). If you have had any accident or injury in the past three years and are sure that it wasn’t your fault, you should think about getting legal advice, even if you aren’t sure what evidence you have.
Some other things you can do are:
Make a complaint
If you can get the other party to admit fault in the form of an apology or offer of compensation this will greatly help your case. Make a written complaint, sign and date it and keep a copy.
Record accident in an accident book (if at work)
Any workplace accident should be recorded in the accident book, as this will be your strongest evidence that the accident took place, when it took place and what happened.
Report accident (road accident)
If you had a road accident, you should have spoken to the police or at least reported the accident to your insurance claim.
Contact insurance company
Wherever you are in the process, getting advice from a professional is always a good call. Mackrell & Thomas Solicitors are always available to call and discuss your personal injury with you and can help you to decide whether or not you are a good candidate for personal injury compensation. Solicitors can also get your claim started as soon as possible so you don’t miss the three year cut off period.