Three Things to Consider Before Making a Personal Injury Claim

By Swindon Link - 29 June 2022

Features

For the uninitiated, a personal injury claim is a civil process that seeks to hold an individual or institution responsible for the failures that led to an injury you may have suffered – whether cracked or loose paving in a public place or a hazard with no health and safety signage.

In these instances, when you suffer an injury due to no fault of your own, you may be in a position to file a personal injury claim.

Personal injury claims are often mistakenly thought of as a drawn-out court session – but in actual fact, the vast majority of claims are settled out of court, well before any proceedings are called. As such, personal injury claims are often much less stressful than they are made out to be. However, there are some essential things you should consider ahead of pursuing one.

Time Limits for Claims

Firstly, there are specific windows of time within which you retain the legal right to enter a civil claim. Personal injury represents a sub-section of a wider discipline, with different time limits for different kinds of claim; for example, a defamation claim must be entered within a ear of the defamatory act being aired or published, while contract breach claims bring a six-year limitation period.

For personal injury, though, the limitation period is three years from the date of injury, or from the date at which you learn of your injury. There are some caveats to this, particularly with personal injury of under-18s. If a claim isn’t entered on behalf of the under-18 by a guardian, the person who was injured has three years from their 18th birthday to submit a claim.

Collecting Evidence

For any chance of swift success in your personal injury claim, you will need to document and preserve evidence of the event and of your injury. These will be crucial in building your case, and should be collected before you speak to potential legal representatives. This way, prospective solicitors can better gauge the scope of your case, and give more targeted advice from the outset.

Evidence will naturally differ from case to case, but there are some common threads in the form of specific kinds of evidence. Photographs or documentation of the reason for your injury will be useful – for example, a photo of a slippery floor with no ‘wet floor sign’, or an admission of responsibility from the individual you are claiming against. Medical records are also useful, to document the severity of any injury suffered and the long-term effects of the incident.

Choosing the Right Solicitor

Lastly, choosing the right solicitor for your claim is vital for giving you the best possible chance of success. There are many practising solicitors in the UK, but not all specialise in the same things. You should endeavour to seek out a solicitor with experience in personal injury law, and perhaps even prior experience with similar cases to yours.

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