We’re Here To Help With Your Highways Personal Injury Compensation Claim

Highways Claims - Claims Process

Generally speaking there are four or five steps in a personal injury claim, depending on whether you are able to settle your claim before Court action is required. The five steps and what is entailed in each one is shown below and an easy to understand visual representation can be seen in our Personal Injury Claims Flowchart.

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Five Steps To Making A Claim

First Step - Gathering Evidence About The Accident

We would always suggest speaking to a solicitor as soon after the accident as possible, who can advise you on what steps you should take. We provide initial advice for free and if you decide to use our services, to help you with your accident at work personal injury claim, we would normally offer to work under a conditional fee agreement which may be supported by Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI). Firstly we will find out as much detail about your accident as possible.

These are the types of question we will ask you:

  • When and how did the accident happen and what injuries did you suffer?
  • Was the accident logged or recorded in an Accident book or other document?
  • Were there any witnesses to the accident?
  • Did you discuss the accident with other people? If so who?
  • Have any similar accidents happened before in your workplace?
  • Do you have any photos or drawings of what happened?
  • Have you seen a doctor about your injuries?
  • Have any external agencies been involved (Health & Safety Executive, trade union etc)

If the accident was not recorded and there were no witnesses, it is vital you notify your employer as soon after the event as possible and if you are unable to, then ask another person to do it for you. It is also important to remember that in most cases you can only pursue a personal injury claim within 3 years of the accident or from the time you realised you had sustained injuries from the accident. In reality this means you must have “issued proceedings” with the court within 3 years to be allowed to pursue your claim. For Under 18’s who have suffered an injury, it must be done within 3 years of their 18th birthday. Only in exceptional circumstances can this time limitation be lifted and we would advise talking to us if this applies to you.

Second Step - Liability - Who is to blame?

All employers are legally responsible for the welfare and safety of their staff and any visitors to the workplace and they must conform to Health and Safety requirements and hold insurance (Employer’s Liability Insurance) to protect them. However, the regulations state employers must take “reasonable care” and the definition of this is typically vague. An employee must also take responsibility for following any company rules and procedures and be diligent in looking after themselves and others. This is where accident at work claims can become more complex and difficult to prove and an experienced solicitor is vital. Once the majority of evidence is gained, we would discuss with you what proportion of the blame can be attributed to your employer and how much to you (if any) and then we would take that forward to the relevant insurance companies to agree. This is then used in working out what percentage of your future damages you receive. For example, if the damages for your injuries are calculated to be £10,000 and it was decided that 10% of the liability for the accident was yours, then you will receive 90% of the damages, i.e. £9,000.

Third Step - Damages Calculation - Evidence of Losses due to the Injury

Depending on your injury, this step can take a varying amount of time, as the full extent of your injuries will need to be ascertained in order to establish the level of damages you can receive. Sometimes when the injury is a fairly minor one, it can be calculated quite quickly. However, in more serious accidents it can take a reasonably long period of time to find out the true implications of the injuries gained in the accident. You may have needed operations, physio therapy, after care treatment etc. Medical reports will need to be written and perhaps even accountants reports produced. Then a “quantum assessment” will be carried out which looks at the different areas of the claim - the personal injury itself, any loss of earnings and any future care costs. This is where it is even more vital to have an experienced solicitor, like Routh Clarke on your side, so we can make sure every possible angle is covered.

Fourth Step - Negotiation - Settle Claim or go to Court

Once the calculating is finished, it’s time for negotiating a settlement. The other side may make an offer, called a “Part 36 Offer to settle” or a “Calderbank Offer” and it’s up to you to decide whether you accept it or perhaps go back with a counter offer. For a Part 36 Offer to Settle, you are usually given 21 days from the date of the offer to make your decision. With a Calderbak Offer the time to decide can vary enormously. Sometimes, when it is a very complex case, we may recommend a second opinion from an experienced personal injury barrister . They will produce an independent quantum report stating what they think your claim is worth. You will then have more confidence in your decision to accept or reject the offer. If you decide to settle, you will receive your damages and the costs of your case are paid by the other side. However, please be aware that if you accepted the offer outside of the timeframe given, you may be liable for the costs of the other side and your solicitor from the end of the offer time frame until the date you accept the offer. If it is not possible to negotiate an acceptable offer, your case will have to go to court.

Fifth Step - Court

If an offer is rejected, or no offer to settle is received, your case now goes to court. To understand what happens at this stage please see our Personal Injury Court Proceedings Flowchart. This process can take a while, particularly if the judge requires more information or more steps to be taken. Settlement can take place at any point and often does, however, if it does not, your case will proceed to trial whereby the judge will decide whether a settlement should be made and how much should be awarded. If you have previously received a Part 36 Offer to Settle and rejected it, and the judge awards compensation which is lower than that offer, you may be liable for the costs of the other side from 21 days after the offer was made. However, this potential costs liability may be covered by any Legal Expenses Insurance cover you may have. You may also be liable for your own solicitor’s costs if they advised you to accept the offer. This whole process can become quite confusing, so we would advise talking to your solicitor about all the implications of offers when they are made, so you understand all the risks and can make an informed decision when any offer is made. If you have any questions about any of this, we are here to help and guide you.