Considering a Personal Injury Claim? 5 Things You Should Know

Any personal injury is a grave injustice and in the face of any injustice it’s only natural to seek retribution.

Personal injuries are, by definition, not our fault and yet they can have far-reaching and damaging effects on our day to day lives. They can cause us to take financially damaging time off work and erode our sense of worth and personal identity. They can cause us emotional stress which can cause discord between us and our friends and family.

And that’s without going into the pain, discomfort and psychological trauma of the injury itself.

Yes, it’s safe to say that in the event of personal injury that it’s only natural that a victim should seek justice through the proper legal channels. But, as with anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Here are 5 things you should know if you’re considering submitting a claim…

You should act sooner rather than later

While you absolutely shouldn’t act rashly or out of panic or anger, it is important that you take steps as quickly as you feel able. Whether your injury was the result of medical malpractice, negligence at work, a slip, a fall, a road traffic collision or even as a result of a faulty product you need to strike while the iron is hot.

The longer you wait to act decisively, the greater risk of evidence being lost or harder to collect and the more the strength of your case may be diminished. There is also an inherent time limitation (usually 3 years) on personal injury claims.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? 5 Things You Should Know - law books image

Image credit

Once you have made the decision to act, you need to find a legal representative to assist you. While you could make the claim yourself we would advise against it as you will be in a vulnerable position and may not be able to present the best possible case for a claim.

Personal Injury Law is a huge market and it can be difficult to know who to choose when there is so much competition out there. Look for someone with a proven track record who is open and upfront about what your expectations should be. You can use this Online tool that checks if you have a no win no fee claim but whomever you choose to represent you, make sure that they work on a no-win-no-fee basis and that they will ensure that you get the maximum award owed to you.

You need to be open and honest with your representation

It may be tempting to exaggerate the details of what happened or omit details of your medical history (such as previous injury) from them out of fear that they may harm your claim. While this impulse is understandable, it can seriously harm your claim if you are not open and honest with your legal counsel. Dishonesty can lead your solicitor to make unfair or inaccurate judgements on the strength of your case and when any lies are found out it can seriously damage the integrity of your claim.

You need to take care of yourself

It may be tempting to assume that you should not look after yourself or make efforts to help your injury heal out of fear that it may harm your claim. Rest assured, legal professionals expect human bodies to heal so you should absolutely seek medical assistance and follow any medical advice given to you by your doctor.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? 5 Things You Should Know - injury claim form image

Image by Flickr

You will be expected to take any medication prescribed to you and attend all appointments, lab tests, therapy sessions, referrals and check-ups throughout the claim’s progression. Exacerbating your injuries through deliberate negligence will aid absolutely no-one. In fact, it will damage your claim as the opposing legal counsel may try to imply that any symptoms you experience will be a result of your own poor self-care rather than of the incident itself.

Keeping on top of your treatments, eating well and getting plenty of rest can only ever help your case.

Be aware, you may be watched

Depending on your circumstances, it’s not unheard of (though it is rare) for the defence to monitor your personal activities through a private investigator. Any documentation of strenuous activity on your part can give the defense grounds to question your honesty and this can seriously damage your claim.

For this reason you should avoid long walks, running, lifting heavy objects or going to the gym until you are advised by a medical professional that it is safe to do so.

You should keep your head down on social media

While many of your friends may feel the need to record everything they do on social media, you should avoid this at all costs. Claims adjusters or private investigators can access this information and use evidence of your activities to harm your claim. Even an image of you picking up a friend’s baby could be seriously damaging. Avoid posting on social media and turning your privacy settings up to their maximum just to be on the safe side.   

Leave a Reply