Am I Eligible to Make a Claim?
If you have been injured in an accident and believe that somebody else was to blame, an injury solicitor can help to assess your claim for compensation. To be eligible to make a personal injury claim there are certain criteria that your injury lawyer will need to assess. This includes the following:
Was somebody else at fault for your accident?
To be entitled to make a personal injury claim, it is essential that somebody else was at fault for your accident. If nobody else’s negligence were responsible for the injuries you have suffered, you would not be entitled to compensation.
Were you injured as a result of this accident?
During your claim assessment, the solicitors will need to ask you some questions about the injury or injuries you have suffered due to the accident. A personal injury can be a physical injury, such as whiplash, a fractured wrist or a laceration, or a psychological injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder. If you were lucky to escape without suffering any type of injury, you would not be eligible to claim. Near misses or close shaves are not grounds for compensation under personal injury law.
Did the accident happen within the time limit?
In most cases you have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim for compensation. For this reason, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure your legal right to compensation doesn’t become time-barred.
There are a few exceptions to this three-year time limit, such as accidents involving children and some industrial injury claims. You can find out more about these exceptions in our guide to the time limits for making an accident claim.
I’m not sure who was to blame. Can I still make a claim?
The law is a complex subject, so don’t worry if you are not sure who was to blame for your accident. An experienced personal injury solicitor can assess the circumstances of your accident to determine if somebody else’s negligence was at fault.
Can I still claim compensation if I was partly at fault for my accident?
If you were partly at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, this is known as contributory negligence. You may still be entitled to make an injury claim, but any compensation awarded would be reduced to take into account the level of blame that can be attributed to your own actions.
An example of contributory negligence is where a car driver is involved in an accident while not wearing a seatbelt. Although the accident was another person’s fault, the injuries sustained by the driver were exacerbated due to them not wearing a seatbelt.
What evidence do I need to back up my claim?
The type of evidence you can gather to back up your compensation claim will usually depend on the kind of accident you have had. Evidence to support your claim could include photographs, witness statements, police reports or correspondence with the third party at fault for the accident.
Don’t worry if you feel there is not enough evidence to support your claim, as this is something that your solicitor will be able to assess for you. If they feel you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim, they will be able to investigate the accident in detail and help to gather evidence to create a strong case.