At Direct2Compensation, we’re all about making sure that our injury compensation claimants see the full benefit of instructing us and our expert solicitors when they decide to make a claim for personal injury compensation. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get a better outcome with your claim if you choose to use the services of a solicitor than if you choose to deal with a 3rd party insurer on your own without specialist legal support.
Whilst we’ve worked really hard to make the claims process hassle free for our claimants, it should be remembered that claiming personal injury compensation can be a complex and difficult process, especially in cases with severe injuries or long term medical treatment plans in place.
At Direct2Compensation you can be sure that we’ll work hard and that our specialist expert injury compensation solicitors will leave no stone unturned when it comes to processing your claim. However, don’t forget that there is much you, the claimant, can do to make sure your claim is settled as quickly as possible and that all of your costs and losses are included in your final settlement value.
How to maximise your injury claim value
Although the hard work will be done by solicitors, claimants who are pro-active, helpful and retain a keen interest in what is happening will stand the best chance of getting their claim settled more quickly and for a larger amount. Importantly, their final settlement value will fairly match the full extent of their injuries, the pain and distress caused, and any losses or costs incurred as a result of the accident.
Claimants who fail to interact properly with their solicitor, don’t answer queries in a timely manner, fail to provide useful information and fail to report things to the correct parties, stand a higher chance of their claim taking a longer time to settle or even failing. A little assistance from someone claiming injury compensation can make all the difference. We’ve previously covered how you can help your solicitor to settle your claim more quickly, but we thought it would be useful to list the top 5 things you can do to give your claim the best prospects of success.
Record and report your accident and injuries
Make sure that the cause of your accident and your injuries are properly reported and recorded with the relevant parties. This could mean that in the case of a slip or trip on a public footpath, that you need to contact the local authority responsible for the maintenance of the path to report that you’ve fallen. They will probably send you a form to fill in or give you a log reference number, but this means that you’ve put them on notice of a problem and the incident. Of course, there are other ways you can report accidents and record injuries – such as in accident books in workplaces, or public venues like shops and restaurants. There are also things you can do if there is no accident book or your employer will not let you use one.
Seek professional medical attention as soon as you notice an injury
It would seem to be common sense that when you are injured, you seek medical attention. Of course, in cases of serious injury that tends to happen automatically as people call ambulances etc. However, often people struggle on – particularly after accidents at work, where they may be under pressure to complete a job or don’t want to miss out on overtime payments. It is really important that you do seek medical attention, as your personal injury solicitor will be using medical reports and evidence from your medical records in order to evaluate a fair compensation settlement for your claim.Don’t worry if you’ve not yet seen your doctor. You may have self-medicated for a month or even longer in the hope that a niggling pain would ease. If you’re finding that the symptoms of your injuries remain a problem you can still seek medical attention and once a diagnosis is made that links your accident to your health problem you can contact us and start your claim.
Cooperate fully with requests and queries from your solicitor
Clients are not asked to do much through the process of their claim for personal injury compensation. After giving initial instructions to us and the solicitor, you will be asked to sign and return official instructions for the solicitor to act on your behalf in a no win no fee claim for compensation. This document is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Your solicitor cannot commence working for you until they are in receipt of your instructions so don’t delay returning this document. If you have a question about it or are unsure, you can contact us or the solicitor. We’ll be only too happy to explain anything you don’t understand and give you the peace of mind you need to have the confidence to pursue your claim. Remember, the system in which we and our solicitors work is fully compliant with the law and protects you from costs should the claim fail.You may also be asked the odd question by your solicitor. They may call you or write to you asking who said what to who, where you received medical treatment, what training you’d had etc. If you get a call or receive a letter, the quicker you respond the quicker they can return to processing your compensation claim and this will speed up the process greatly. We really advocate keeping in touch with your solicitor on a regular basis. They like to hear from clients and don’t mind updating you as to what is happening. It helps to remember that if you delay your solicitor, you are delaying your claim.
Don’t suffer in silence
As with ensuring that the details of your accident are properly reported, it is also really important that any developments relating to your injuries, and the way symptoms impair your usual activities, are identified to both your GP and also your solicitor. You may feel that there is nothing the GP will be able to do to ease your problem – and this could be the case as sometimes the only healer is time. However, if you return to your GP they can make notes of your ongoing problems in your medical records. This identifies that the problem is not minor and remains ongoing. Your solicitor will be able to access your medical records and use the evidence of your repeated visits to show the 3rd party that the potential value of your claim settlement is greater than they otherwise would believe. If you don’t tell your GP, they won’t know. Your solicitor can’t then prove what you claim and you won’t receive a fair settlement, as the 3rd party will go on evidence and not anecdotal hearsay.Remember it doesn’t just have to be your GP that you see. You may decide to seek private osteopathy, massage treatments or physiotherapy. Which ever provider you see, ask them to record details of your problems and what they are doing and ALWAYS advise your solicitor as they can contact them to seek additional evidence to support your claim.
List losses, expenses and costs
Personal injury compensation settlement valuations can differ greatly dependent on the severity of an injury, the effects that they have on a claimants day-to-day life, and the costs that they incur. Read more on what a compensation settlement is made up of.Of course, you can exaggerate the severity of an injury and we would never advise that – in fact, we’d say unequivocally that you must not do that! Indeed, it is vital that you as a claimant act honestly at all times when making a claim for personal injury compensation.Apart from the injuries you sustain, you will probably incur costs as a result of your situation. Whether that be large obvious losses such as a loss of wages – which can cause real hardship, or more minor costs like a bus fare to the hospital or parking charges at the chemists, all of these costs can be claimed if you succeed and are known as special damages. We strongly advise that you keep a file listing any expense you incur – including receipts. The costs could seem irrelevant on an individual basis – such as a £4 bus fare, but if you had to repeatedly pay bus fares over a 6 month period and they added up to over £100, you can see how you shouldn’t miss out on claiming those costs back. Things you should list are as follows:
- Costs of travel to and from medical treatment appointments
- Parking charges whilst at hospital/GP or chemists
- Unused memberships – such as gyms, regular classes or activities you’ve paid for but cannot use.
- Distance of miles driven – if your husband/wife or friend drive you to appointments or take you shopping, because you can’t drive or walk due to your injuries, you can claim mileage fees back. Just jot down any journey and an estimated mileage.
- Time spent by friends and family doing things for you – whether that be getting some groceries, doing some cooking, cutting the grass or helping you to get dressed, all of these costs can be added to your claim.
- Additional clothes, products you have had to buy to enable you to live as normally as possible after your injuries – again, keep receipts.
- Alterations you have to make to your house (usually only in serious high value claims).
If you do make such a list, it will really help your solicitor to settle your claim at the maximum value that you should receive and in the most timely manner possible.
I really hope these tips offer you some guidance and help when negotiating your claim. The way I see it is that if you are left needing to claim compensation, it’s because you’ve suffered nasty and painful injuries. The costs you incur because of them are not your fault and you can only claim once for any incident and therefore, you should ensure that you receive the fullest and fairest settlement possible. There are lots of other useful nuggets of information on our website and I invite you to read more. You’ll see you can ask me a question or make a comment below any article I’ve written, and I’ll gladly respond to any point you raise.
Alternatively, call our offices on 01225 430285 or we can .