Making a Personal Injury Claim
Many people in Northern Ireland are injured in accidents each year – at home, in their cars, at work, or outdoors. In many cases, someone else or something else is at fault and the accident victims have a right to compensation.
Although personal injury law is complicated, with the help of a solicitor the process of making a claim can be quite straightforward. At a free initial consultation we may be able to tell you if you have a justifiable claim.
If you have suffered a personal injury or illness, you may find that your life has been completely transformed. We may be able to help you not only to claim personal injury compensation but also to access the right rehabilitation, medical care and support you and your family may need.
Our solicitors have over the years helped many hundreds of people claim compensation in a range of circumstances, including:
- Clinical negligence/accident
- Road traffic accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Workplace accidents and illnesses
- Accidents in other public places
We will put you, your family and your best interests first.
What your solicitor needs from you
To establish the details of your case, a solicitor will need to know:
- The date of the accident and where and how it happened;
- The contact details for any witnesses;
- The details of your injuries, medical diagnosis and treatment
The solicitor may also need to see:
- Proof of your loss of earnings and other financial expenses which are the result of your injury;
- Documents relating to any insurance policies you have, and
- Any documents that can be used to support your claim, including documents from before your accident or any evidence of previous accidents in similar circumstances.
How your solicitor can help
Once you have explained the circumstances of your injury in detail, your solicitor should be able to judge:
- How likely your case is to succeed; and
- How much you might be able to claim in compensation.
We will also explain the legal processes involved in taking your claim further. We will discuss with you exactly how you will fund your case and discuss the possibility of applying for legal aid.
Making your claim
The person you are holding responsible for your accident is the defendant. The first step your solicitor will take is to send a claim letter to the defendant. This sets out the details of your injury and the circumstances in which it took place. The defendant then has to investigate and reply to the letter. If they accept liability, your solicitor will try to settle the matter out of court. If you need an expert opinion to support your claim – from a doctor, for example – your solicitor will suggest a relevant specialist.
Your solicitor or barrister will tell you what they think the value of your claim is.
Countdown to court
Unless otherwise instructed or advised then in the absence of an acceptable offer of compensation we will issue proceedings and do our best to get the matter before a court as soon as is appropriate or possible. The thought of going to court may be daunting, but it is important to remember that by this stage your solicitor will have prepared your case in detail and will have explained to you exactly what to expect.
Your solicitor may ask you to pay their expenses to support your case as it progresses (for example, the cost of medical evidence). These expenses are known as ‘disbursements’.
There is now fairly limited availability of legal aid for personal injury cases in Northern Ireland. But if your case is successful, the other side should pay most, if not all , of your legal costs. The so called ‘no win no fee’ agreement so talked about in England and Wales is not legal in Northern Ireland but there are some other options available to make sure that you can cover your costs if you are unsuccessful.
What You Can Expect From Our Solicitors
- You will deal with straight talking and professional lawyers
- You will benefit from our expert knowledge of compensation claims
- We will immediately start to investigate who was responsible for your injury or illness
- We will give you clear advice on financial issues, state benefits and dealing with your employer where necessary
- You can meet us to discuss your compensation claim at a time and place that suits you
We know that making a personal injury claim can seem daunting. Our solicitors through their experience and training will help you understand the process of making a claim and will explain what is happening in simple terms.