When people think of personal injury, they often think first about injuries at work where the right equipment wasn’t provided. Many workplace injuries happen as a result of bad instruction, poor equipment or a lack of effective PPE.
Injuries in public places are often the responsibility of the property owner. You might need to contact the local authority, an individual or a company. You could claim compensation if the property owner was negligent.
But, a large number of personal injuries happen outside of the workplace. You might be injured walking down the street, driving on public roads or in someone else’s business premises.
Read on to learn more about what to do if you’re injured outside of work.
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As soon as you’re injured, there are several things you should do. First, if it’s needed, seek immediate medical help. This should come before everything else, though many injuries don’t need treatment straight away and you can choose to take other action first.
Look around for witnesses. Some people might continue to walk past, but witnesses are vital if those responsible don’t admit to their negligence. The contact details of those that saw the incident should be kept safe in case they’re needed.
Write a few notes about what happened. You can expand on these later. Include the date, time and location of the incident that led to your injury.
Take photographs. Photograph your injuries as soon as you can, as well as getting pictures of the scene of the incident including and objects that caused the injury.
Next, report the injury. If you’re in commercial premises, the owners have an obligation to record and report what happened. Together with staff, fill in an accident report form and sign it. If you’re in a public place like on the street or a road, get in touch with the council when you can. Public roads and pavements are usually the responsibility of the local authority.
Sometimes, injuries just happen. It’s not always the case that somebody needs to be blamed. A moment of distraction can lead to someone getting hurt. That said, there’s often a cause. People rarely trip over nothing, so even a loose paving slab means that somebody’s to blame.
People are responsible for keeping their property in a safe and usable condition, so someone’s to blame if something’s badly maintained and you’ve been injured as a result.
If you’re injured outside of work, check who’s responsible for the location you’re injured in. The responsibility might be an individual, a private company or the local authority.
If you are injured whilst working but you aren’t in the workplace – whether you’re on a business trip, or have been sent to purchase supplies for example – then you should inform your employer as soon as possible and follow the normal accident procedure.
If the injury is in any way the fault of your employer – the company car is poorly maintained, or you are asked to carry supplies that are too heavy – you may have a claim against them.
If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, you might be able to claim compensation. Don’t start with a legal claim, but begin by making contact with the responsible party. Provide information about the incident and the injury you’ve suffered, to see if they agree to make an out-of-court settlement or find another way to make things right. Only if you’re unhappy with the initial response should you make a move to take your claim further.
Compensation claims aren’t always successful, though your chances rise if you took some of those important first steps. The more evidence you’ve got, along with witness statements, the more chance you have of proving someone’s negligence.
Serious or longer-lasting injuries must go to the county or high courts for you to get compensation. This can be a costly and lengthy process, though you can make a claim for repaid legal fees if your compensation claim is successful. Ideally, work with a legal professional if you’re going down this route.
Smaller injuries might be better within a week or a month. These don’t leave lasting marks or have a long-term impact, so compensation values will be smaller. You can claim compensation on your own, through the small claims court, to a maximum £1,000 value.
To claim compensation, start by filing an N1 form for compensation claims. Be sure to provide as much evidence as possible. You are likely to attend a court hearing before any decision is made.
Personal injury court fees for the small claims court are typically no more than £70. You’ll need to pay these fees regardless of the result, though you can ask the court – if your claim is successful – to add them to what the defendant owes.
You can’t claim back other legal fees for the small claims court, which is why it’s only worth going down this route if you’re happy to take action on your own.
It’s always a good idea to report an injury outside of work. Even if you have no intention of claiming any money, reporting an incident means that any oversights won’t go unnoticed for long. Reporting incidents provides those responsible with a chance to set things right, whether they need to make some repairs or change the processes they have in place.
Whether you’re reporting with a plan to claim compensation, or just to make those in charge aware, it’s very important to keep a record of any back-and-forth communication. The paper trail’s important if you later decide that you want to make a compensation claim. It’s also important if someone else gets hurt and those responsible claim they weren’t aware of existing problems.
If you’ve been injured outside of work, your employment might still be affected. You might need to take time off work, or might need some temporary changes to the role that you do. Speak to your employer so they can take action to make sure that they’ve got the staff they need, or to give them a chance to make changes to their plans so that you can keep doing your job.
Seeking medical advice helps you to get the evidence you may need to show to your employer. If you need some time off work, you might also need documents to claim Statutory Sick Pay. If you’re self-employed, you can’t claim SSP, but may be able to get some money in the form of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Small injuries may not be life-changing, but shouldn’t just be brushed off as an accident. Often there’s something that needs to be fixed, to avoid the same thing happening again. Don’t be afraid that you’re causing a fuss if you feel that you should make a report.
Even smaller injuries can take you out of action for a few days. You might also find that your property is damaged in the incident that caused you to be injured. Personal injury often has a financial cost that you’ll need to deal with.
In theory, there is a three-year window of opportunity from the time you are diagnosed with an injury/condition. In the majority of cases, this is the day of the accident, although some medical conditions may not present themselves until further down the line.
Those who are not diagnosed until further down the line will see the three-year window of opportunity begin on the date of diagnosis.
Many people do choose to make compensation claims themselves rather than using claims management companies. Research shows that personal injury claims management companies, who are experts in this area, tend to negotiate significantly higher compensation. Many companies will also work on a “no win no fee” arrangement.
The first thing to recognise is that you need to prove negligence on behalf of one or more third parties to claim compensation. Once you have proved negligence, then you can look at the subject of compensation. The evidence will vary from case to case but may include any of the following:-
This is by no means the full list, but it does give you an idea of the type of information required. In reality, the more information you can provide when pursuing your case, the better your chances of success.
Once you have gathered your evidence, it is time to approach a claims management company about your case. They will review the evidence and details of your case. Where they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer to pursue your case on a “no win no fee” arrangement.
This means that you will be indemnified from the personal injury claims management company’s expenses when pursuing your case. However, in exchange, they will look to negotiate a “success fee”.
In exchange for pursuing your case on a “no win no fee” arrangement, the claims management company will request a percentage of any compensation awarded. On average, this tends to be around 25% but can vary from case to case.
By far and away, the vast majority of personal injury compensation claims are settled out of court. Those who are proven beyond a reasonable doubt will lead to negotiated settlements. Those where there is insufficient evidence will likely fall by the wayside.
Where there is a dispute over negligence and/or compensation, there is every chance you may be asked to attend court. However, it is important to remember that you are not on trial and you are simply giving details of the accident, injuries and impact on your life.
There are two types of damages, general damages and special damages. General damages relate directly to pain and suffering as a consequence of the accident. Special damages relate to financial recompense, costs incurred as a consequence of the accident.
They can take in the cost of future medical treatment, loss of income, special needs, property renovations and much more.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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Consumer Credit Justice Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Reference 834486. We are regulated by the FCA in respect to claims management activities.
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