How to claim compensation

Should you claim compensation?

Putting in a compensation claim is not something that anyone would naturally expect to do in their time – but accidents do happen, and you find yourself injured as a result of an accident in the workplace, a car-related incident or even criminal activity, you may well find it necessary to do so. As such, it is wise for you to know the ins and outs of claiming – here is a brief guide to claiming compensation.

Do you have a claim?

The first step in the process is to discern whether or not you have a case for a compensation claim, to begin with. Put some time into researching your claim, and the surrounding laws with regard to liability and injury. One core tenet involves being able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that any injury or damages incurred were not your fault – and that fault can be established elsewhere. Whether the potential basis for your claim is in a criminal injury, workplace injury, car accident or rooted in medical negligence, make sure to collect as much evidence and witness testimony as possible. This important data gathering will save you important time in the long run, and give you the strongest chance for a case further down the line.

Finding a solicitor

The next step, and perhaps the most important, is to find the right solicitor for you. Often the best option is to find a no win no fee solicitor – meaning that if your case is, for whatever reason, unsuccessful, you won’t be liable to pay any fees to your solicitor. You would only have to pay your solicitor’s legal fees in the event of a victory in court – whether or not any compensation was paid to you. You’ll know if a solicitor is right for you after having spoken to them – any solicitor who can help you understand your claim and the process involved, and give you confidence in said process, will be suitable for your case.

The process

Once you’ve ascertained whether or not you have a robust enough case, and retained the right solicitor for you, the claims process can begin properly. The first part of this process is a ‘Letter of Claim’, sent from your solicitor to the party against whom you’re claiming. Most compensation claims more or less end with the response from the third party; where guilt is easily proven, many parties would rather avoid the costly court process and settle your claim before that happens. Your solicitor can negotiate this settlement on your behalf, with your input.

If your claim does go to court, you may need to expect a few days of litigation before a decision is made – though, as new evidence is provided to the court, the party against which you’re claiming may decide to settle before judgement. Otherwise, your claim and its value will be decided by the court.