You will be extremely lucky if you go through life without experiencing incidents where you consider a possible personal injury claim. In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to take in what has happened, who is to blame and whether indeed you may have a valid claim. There are also others who do not believe in personal injury claims even if there may be negligence by a third party. So, how do you decide whether you have a valid personal injury claim?
Important Factors To Consider In A Personal Injury Claim
There is no one rule fits all for personal injury claims but there are some factors which are common right across the board. These include:-
Negligence By A Third Party
In many ways this factor is the crux of any personal injury claim because to be successful you need to prove that a person or company has been negligent. There are some personal injury claims which appear to be perfectly valid on the surface which may have occurred through no fault of anyone. So, the first hurdle in pursuing a personal injury claim is to prove negligence by a third party.
This is an interesting area of the claims process because many people automatically assume you have to have a “serious” life-threatening injury to make a claim. While your medical records will obviously play a major role in any case, and you should see a doctor immediately after an incident, you do not necessarily need to be hospitalised to have a claim.
Obviously if you were detained in hospital for a prolonged period of time this would strengthen your case but there are also situations where you may need regular medical attention in the future because of an injury caused by a negligent third party. In many ways this is considered to be the “lifestyle test” because if an injury has significantly changed your lifestyle then this could be a central argument for your claim.
Were Your Injuries The Result Of Negligence?
While in many ways this goes hand-in-hand with your medical prognosis, there is a need to prove that the injuries you have suffered were as a direct result of negligence.
There may be underlying conditions which have been exacerbated by an accident and this may reduce any potential compensation. The more direct the association between your injuries and perceived negligence by a third party the stronger your case. A party could in theory be found negligent but pay little or no compensation because their negligence may not necessarily have directly caused any medical trauma. Bizarre but true….
This is the area which is sometimes more difficult to understand. If an incident exacerbated an existing medical condition then surely any negligent parties should be liable? This is not always the case and lawyers will argue that there was already an underlying condition and any potential claim should reflect this. Is this fair? Sometimes what we see as morally indefensible can be defensible in a court of law on a purely legal technicality.
We often see heartbreaking stories in the press of people involved in life changing incidents through no fault of their own. Some people may be paralysed and set to incur significant medical expenses going forward. The subject of medical expenses is a critical factor when taking into account the compensation paid out in the event of a successful personal injury claim.
Judges will request details of medical treatment and medical expenses and more often than not these costs will be passed to the negligent third parties in the event of a successful prosecution. So, if you are involved in some kind of accident which is not your fault it is vital that you keep track of your medical expenses and ensure these are put forward as part of your case.
Let’s not forget, some people in serious accidents will require potentially expensive medical attention for many years to come.
As with any court case where there is considerable doubt surrounding evidence from an individual or a company the strength of the testimony can be reduced. Time and time again we hear about individuals involved in accidents which are the result of potential negligence only for limited eyewitness accounts to be made available. Put yourself in this situation, you have been involved in an accident with a third party. You may be in shock, you may have concussion or you may be unconscious therefore recalling the incident in a court case months down the line might be difficult. Even though the vast majority of those involved in personal injury claims are often reluctant to involve bystanders, any eyewitness accounts which backup your claim are invaluable.
Even if it ends up only being a minor claim you should ensure you take the details of all eyewitnesses and make them available to the police and legal representatives. The testimony of unbiased third-party eyewitnesses are literally worth their weight in gold because they have no reason to favour one party or another. In some instances they could tip the argument in your favour……
Let The Experts Decide
If you believe you have a valid personal injury claim you should contact experts in this particular field to discuss your situation, such as ourselves. We will be able to tell you fairly quickly whether you have a valid personal injury claim and advise you how to take your case forward. This is why you should never admit any negligence or dismiss any potential claim in the immediate aftermath of an incident. It is almost impossible to think straight in this situation and there may be underlying circumstances which could strengthen the case on your behalf – things you might not be aware of. The fact is you should let the experts do our work, review your case and give you an unbiased opinion.
You should also take into account the fact that any potential personal injury claim could have ramifications for others in the future. If a potentially negligent third party is not pulled up at the earliest opportunity and made aware of safety issues there is every chance history could repeat itself. How would you feel if someone else suffered a more serious injury in a similar incident to yours which may have happened because you did not pursue a claim?
Can I Make A Personal Injury Claim
The validity of a personal injury claim should be determined by the experts. If you are involved in some kind of incident where a third party has been potentially negligent do not immediately dismiss pursing a claim. Even with minor incidents it can be difficult to think straight, so the advice is to say nothing at the scene, take contact details of eyewitnesses and the potential negligent third party, so you can review the situation when you have “calmed down”.
Some people may find it morally or financially difficult to pursue a personal injury claim but remember, such incidents may happen again and again in the future and others may not be as lucky as perhaps you were.
Contact our expert personal injury solicitors today and we’ll provide you with the answers you need, with no charge and no obligations.