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Sustaining a personal injury can be a traumatic and life-altering event. Beyond the immediate pain and inconvenience, such situations often result in financial burden, emotional distress and long-term health issues. For residents of the UK who find themselves in such unfortunate circumstances, understanding the procedure for making a personal injury claim can help to secure the necessary treatment and support.

In the following guide, the personal injury claims experts at Ramsdens walk you through the steps involved in making a compensation claim, to help ensure you receive the compensation you rightly deserve.

Step 1: Seek medical attention

Your health should be your primary concern. After sustaining an injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only is this essential for your wellbeing, but your medical records will serve as crucial evidence if you decide to make a claim. These records can be used to substantiate the extent of your injuries and could be pivotal in determining the amount of compensation you may receive.

Step 2: Gather initial evidence

While it might not be your top priority, gathering evidence directly after your accident can significantly help to substantiate your claim. This evidence can come in various forms, such as photographs of the scene, CCTV footage or witness statements. Try to gather contact information from anyone who saw what happened. Keep a record of events and any correspondence or an account of conversations related to the incident, as these could prove useful later on.

Step 3: Consult a solicitor

As soon as you are able, you should speak to a solicitor experienced in personal injury cases - such as those at Ramsdens. Our team is made up of experts in various areas of personal injury, such as workplace accidents, road traffic accidents and occupiers liability accident claims. When you contact a solicitor, you will have an initial consultation, during which the solicitor will assess the details of your case, provide the information you need, answer any questions you may have and guide you on how to proceed.

Step 4: File the Claim

The next step is to formally file your claim. Your solicitor will help you present your claim to the responsible party, outlining the specifics of your case, details of your injuries and out of pocket expenses. Your solicitor will handle all communications with any other individuals and parties involved on your behalf.

Step 5: Compiling the evidence

Having presented details of your claim to the responsible party or their insurer, it is necessary to then obtain medical evidence in support of the injuries that you have sustained. This can be in the form of an expert medical report from a GP, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, neurologist or psychological expert. The nature of injuries sustained will dictate the appropriate medical expert from whom a medical report is required. This will often involve you being examined by the relevant medical expert.

In addition to obtaining medical expert reports, it is also necessary to obtain and present evidence to the defendant in support of your expenses. For example, this may be a letter from your employer setting out your lost earnings or receipts in respect of private medical treatment that you have received.

Step 6: Negotiation and settlement

Once the claim has been made, the other party will respond. Your evidence will be sent to the defendant or their insurers to begin settlement negotiations. We will aim to settle the claim without the need for court proceedings. Many personal injury claims are resolved at this stage, especially if the evidence is strong and both parties are keen to avoid the time and expense of a trial.

Step 7: Court proceedings

Should negotiations fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion, the case may go to court. At this stage, it's important to prepare for a lengthier and more complex process. Your solicitor will guide you through each stage, ensuring that you present the strongest possible case.

Step 8: Receiving compensation

Once the court has reached a verdict, or if a settlement is achieved beforehand, you will receive your compensation. The amount can vary greatly depending on the specifics of your case and may cover things like medical expenses, loss of earnings, emotional distress, and other damages.

Why is it important to make a compensation claim?

Compensation can help you to cover the financial burden of your injuries. This could include medical bills, rehabilitation costs and travel expenses to and from medical appointments. In more severe cases, long-term care might be required, and you may suffer from loss of earnings due to an inability to work.

Beyond the financial aspects, receiving compensation can provide emotional and psychological relief. A successful claim vindicates you, acknowledging that you were wronged and providing a sense of justice. This can be invaluable in the recovery process, particularly in cases of severe trauma.

Making a claim will hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. In doing so, you may help to prevent similar negligent behaviour in the future, thereby potentially preventing others from suffering in the same way.

It's important to remember that you have a legal right to claim compensation if you've been injured due to someone else's negligence. Failing to exercise this right essentially means you are shouldering the burden of someone else's mistake, both financially and emotionally.

Ramsdens can help

Our team of personal injury solicitors has helped many people to claim compensation for injuries that were not their fault. We understand the pressure such accidents can put you though, and we can make the process as stress-free as possible.

For expert advice on how to make a personal injury claim, speak to our personal injury compensation solicitors today by calling 01484 821 500. Alternatively, fill out an online contact form and we'll be in touch at a time suitable for you.