Each year, many people will decide not to file a personal injury claim for various reasons. In some cases, it’s because the injured party believes that their claim isn’t strong enough but, in our experience, that’s not always true. So, we’ve written this article to explain how to strengthen a personal injury claim. We’ll also review the types of information and proof that can be used to make your claim stronger.
Rather than dismissing your chances of being compensated, why not call us for a free review of your claim? We’ll provide no-obligation legal advice about your options so that you can decide what to do next. If your claim does appear to be strong enough, you could receive legal representation from a personal injury solicitor on our panel. They work on a No Win, No Fee basis so there’s no need for any upfront payment of legal fees.
To find out if you have a strong personal injury claim, please call 0800 652 1345. Alternatively, read on to find out what you can do to strengthen your claim.
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
Our personal injury solicitors always assess whether there’s a realistic chance of success before agreeing to take on a claim. Some of the things they’ll check to see if you have a valid personal injury claim are:
- Whether the other party involved (the defendant) owed you a duty of care; and
- Whether you were involved in an accident caused by the defendant’s negligence; and
- Whether you sustained an injury or injuries during that accident.
To strengthen a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove all of the above. Firstly, you’ll need to establish a legal duty of care existed. This is actually not very difficult and it will be true in many circumstances such as while you’re working, walking down the street, shopping and driving. Your solicitor will quickly verify this so it’s not something to be too concerned about.
However, proving that the defendant caused an accident and the extent of any injuries is vital if you’re to be properly compensated. For this reason, we’ll review the types of proof that can strengthen your case, shortly.
What types of accidents or injuries can I claim compensation for?
Essentially, any type of accident caused by someone else could result in a personal injury claim. Some of the most common claims include:
- Car accident claims.
- Work injury claims.
- Back injury claims.
- Slip and trip claims.
- Council compensation claims.
- Cycling injury claims.
No matter the type of personal injury you’re dealing with, it’s always worth calling us for a free consultation to check if you could be entitled to claim compensation for any suffering you’ve endured.
What evidence will strengthen a personal injury claim?
To try and ensure that you are compensated for your injuries, your solicitor will try to present as much supporting proof as possible. This can include:
During the claims process, you’ll be asked to explain how the accident happened. It can be quite a challenge to remember the exact details so we’d always suggest taking pictures at the accident scene on your phone.
Firstly, if there’s an obvious root cause of your accident, you should take pictures of it. For example, if you cut yourself on a damaged chair in an accident in a restaurant, take pictures of the damage, and your injury.
For road traffic collisions, pictures of any damage to each vehicle involved can help to clarify how the accident occurred. For example, if there’s damage to the back of your car and the front of another, it’s quite clear that you’ve been hit from behind. Having photographs will make that fact hard to deny.
Ideally, photographs should be taken at the scene of the accident before anything is moved, replaced or repaired.
The fact that you sustained injuries in an accident is something that can be contested in personal injury claims. Some insurers might say you already had the injury or they could argue that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say.
So, to strengthen your case, your solicitor will request copies of any medical notes, X-rays, scans or test results if you sought medical attention after your accident. These can be from a hospital, GP surgery or minor injuries unit.
It’s a great idea to keep a record of all of your medical appointments during your recovery as these can show the amount of inconvenience you suffered because of your injuries.
If you’re claiming for injuries caused by an accident at work, it may be prudent to request copies of work records to substantiate your claim. For example, if you contest that your injuries were caused by a lack of training, your solicitor might ask your employer for a copy of your training records. This could strengthen your case even if the records show that you were initially trained some years ago but you hadn’t received refresher training.
In this day and age, many accidents are captured on cameras. So, if yours was recorded by a mobile phone, CCTV camera, body-worn camera or dashcam, you should try to secure a copy of the footage.
It’s important to note that video footage from CCTV cameras is not usually stored for too long and dashcams will eventually record over any footage that’s not been saved. For these reasons, you should act quickly. Even if the camera is owned by the defendant, you are entitled to ask for a copy of any footage of your accident.
Accident report form
Many organisations are legally obliged to keep records about accidents on their premises. This usually involves an accident report book or a similar online system. Legally, you are entitled to a copy of the form so you or your solicitor can ask for a copy if one wasn’t provided at the time of the accident.
The accident report form should provide details of the date and time of the accident. It will also have your personal details on it plus details of any injuries you sustained and any first aid that was provided.
Having a copy of your accident report form should make it impossible for the defendant to claim that the accident didn’t happen.
Any type of personal injury can leave you out of pocket. However, if you win a compensation claim, it’s sometimes possible to recoup any financial losses. To do this, you will need to provide proof of every penny you wish to claim back. As such, to strengthen your personal injury claim you should retain:
- Wage slips to help prove any earnings you’ve lost because of your injuries.
- Bank statements.
- Receipts for any personal items that you’ve replaced because they were damaged in the accident.
- Invoices for any medical treatment such as physiotherapy.
- Other records to show the cost of making changes to your home to help you deal with an ongoing disability.
Before committing to any costs, it’s a good idea to check with your solicitor. With their experience of the personal injury claims process, they’ll probably have a good idea of what you can or can’t claim back.
A personal diary
It’s a good idea to write down how you’ve been affected by your injuries so that it’s easier to recall when discussing your claim with your solicitor. The diary you keep could include details of:
- When your injuries prevented you from working.
- The dates that you had to miss out on family or social events.
- When you couldn’t participate in your normal hobbies because of your injuries.
Additionally, you could record information about any psychological suffering you’ve endured. For example, you could write down when you had sleep problems caused by nightmares and flashbacks or the dates you felt depressed because of the effect of your injuries.
Additional ways to strengthen a personal injury claim
As you can see, there is a lot of evidence that can be used to make a personal injury claim stronger. However, all of the above focus on suffering that’s already occurred. As you can only make one successful claim for a particular accident, you must also consider any suffering that could occur in the future.
This is something your solicitor can help with in several ways including:
Independent medical assessments
Personal injury claims generally require a report from an independent medical expert. This is an important part of the process that can strengthen your claim because the specialist will provide details of any suffering you’ve endured but will also provide a prognosis for the future. For example, they will provide details of any care you’re likely to need going forward or any pain and suffering you’ll continue to endure even after your treatment has ended.
Impact on future earnings
Some injuries can have a negative impact on your ability to earn in the future. For example, if your hand was crushed in an accident it could stop you from carrying on as a scaffolder, bricklayer, or computer programmer etc, in the future. This might mean your income in the future will be greatly reduced and so this would need to be factored into your claim. In these cases, your solicitor would look at your age, job prospects and current salary to try and determine a fair settlement.
How a solicitor can help strengthen a personal injury claim
We believe that having a specialist solicitor on your side will make a personal injury claim stronger. The fact that your solicitor is trained on how to manage the claims process should simplify things and, we believe, could mean you’ll receive the correct level of compensation if your claim is successful.
You don’t need to worry about footing the bill for your solicitor upfront if you work with those on our panel. That’s because they work on a No Win, No Fee basis for all accepted claims.
If your claim is strong enough and accepted by a solicitor on our panel, they’ll send a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you to read and sign. The CFA will show that you:
- Will not be asked for legal fees upfront.
- Won’t have to pay any legal fees at all if the personal injury claim is lost.
- Will have a success fee deducted from any compensation you’re awarded to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work.
Your success fee will be listed in the CFA as a percentage of any damages you receive. Legally, for a CFA, this cannot exceed 25 per cent of your compensation.
After you have returned a signed CFA, your solicitor main goals are to:
- Start working to find the proof and medical records required to support your claim.
- Write to the defendant and inform them that you are going to claim.
- Deal with the defendant’s insurance provider on your behalf.
- Argue your case and try to dismiss any arguments or objections raised.
- Keep you up to date throughout the claims process.
Your solicitor won’t simply accept the first settlement offer received so that they can say they’ve won the case. Instead, they’ll review any offer with you and check that it’s fair and covers all of your suffering. If it doesn’t, they’ll go back and try to negotiate the maximum compensation possible.
Start a personal injury compensation claim today
As we said at the beginning of this article, we offer free legal advice which could help to strengthen your personal injury claim. If you’d like a free initial consultation to discuss your options, please call 0800 652 1345 today.
After we’ve reviewed your case and provided legal advice, you’re free to choose what to do next. If you’d like a personal injury lawyer from our panel to represent you, they’ll review your case in more detail to see if it’s strong enough to proceed. If it is, you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions about strengthening a personal injury claim, or arrange your free consultation here.