Making a personal injury claim is something that many of us need never think about. Like many things, you only need to learn about the process when it suddenly becomes apparent you may need to make your own claim.
The personal injury claim settlement process in the UK is generally straightforward but can be lengthy.
The personal injury claim settlement process
Contacting a solicitor
Before any claim can get underway, the claimant should seek impartial advice from a qualified personal injury solicitor.
This is an important first step as it means you can gain an objective opinion on whether you have a viable case that can be won. If your solicitor thinks the case is feasible, they will likely offer to represent you and take it on.
Once you’ve appointed a solicitor and are happy to proceed, your practitioner will begin gathering more information and looking into your case on a deeper level.
This investigation allows them to understand the case fully, including the details of what happened to you, how it occurred, and what changes it has made to your health and wellbeing.
They will also take the details of any evidence that supports the claim, such as evidence of the defending party’s negligence or medical evidence of your injuries.
Once your solicitor is satisfied they have the all the necessary context and information to get started, the pre-action protocol stage can begin.
This is where the case ‘officially’ starts, wherein your solicitor fills out a Claim Notification Form (CNF) and sends it to the defending party or their insurance company. This formally signals intent to sue for damages, and outlines what happened to the claimant and why they feel they’re entitled to compensation.
The solicitor must allow around 21 days for the defendant to respond and acknowledge receipt of the CNF. They then have three months in which they can investigate the claim and prepare a response as to whether they accept or reject liability for the claim.
What happens then?
If liability is accepted, then this is the easiest course of action for everybody involved. Your solicitor can set about negotiating your settlement, and court action can be avoided if both sides can come to an agreement over the amount of compensation paid. If not, the solicitor may need to apply to a court for a judge’s impartial decision.
If liability is rejected, then the solicitor has the much larger task of preparing to fight the case in court and again take the matter before a judge. This is will involve careful gathering of any evidence that backs up or strengthens the claim, including medical reports, CCTV footage, eyewitness statements, and more.
How to get a personal injury settlement
Of course, the personal injury claim settlement process in the UK is much easier than having to fight in court, but a good solicitor will help your case through to the end regardless of either route.
Mark Reynolds Solicitors are qualified personal injury solicitors who can help you with a claim and see your case through to completion.
For help with a personal injury claim, contact us today.