Following a road traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by the crash. These could include general damages for pain and suffering as well as special damages covering costs, such as physiotherapy and adaptions to your home.
The ‘Guide to Making a Claim’ has been designed to support claimants using the Portal. It explains the key terms and procedures in the Pre-Action Protocol and the underlying legislation.
1. Contact a Solicitor
The first step in claiming compensation for your injuries is to get in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor. Your solicitor will be able to assess your claim, discuss your options and answer any questions you may have. It is important to find a specialist in this area of law, rather than someone who is not, as they will be more familiar with the nuances of personal injury law and will have the best chance of maximising your compensation.
Once your solicitor has taken on your case, they will inform the person responsible for your accident that you wish to begin legal proceedings. They will also request copies of any medical records, receipts for financial losses and other documentation that you feel would support your claim.
In the majority of cases, a personal injury claim will be based on the pain and suffering endured by you (general damages) and any impact your injuries have had on your daily life (special damages). Your solicitor will calculate your damages using various forms of evidence including medical reports and receipts for financial loss.
In some instances, insurers will respond with an offer to settle your claim – often without seeing any medical evidence of your injuries. Your lawyer will review the offer and advise if they believe it is appropriate. If not, they will negotiate on your behalf to increase the offer.
2. Gather Evidence
Immediately after the accident, it’s important to preserve evidence. Take photos if possible and speak to witnesses while you still can. Witness statements will be key to proving how the accident occurred, and that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal during your recovery. This will help you to remember the impact the injuries have had on your life, and will be a valuable tool for supporting your case.
A solicitor will explain the steps involved to start a claim and answer any questions you may have. They will also advise you if your claim is suitable for the Official Injury Claim (OIC) service, or whether it is better to go to court.
The OIC is a service to support RTA related personal injury claims that can be made via the Ministry of Justice portal. It was introduced to help people without a solicitor make and settle their claims, and to avoid or reduce the need for them to go to court. Claims that cannot be settled through the OIC process will remain subject to the underlying small claims procedure rules, including the RTA Small Claims Pre-Action Protocol.
When a claim is submitted, PIAB will inform the person you hold responsible for your RTA of the claim and ask them to respond within 90 days. At this stage, the claimant will describe their injuries on the Portal and send details of any medical experts instructed to provide a report on those injuries.
3. Schedule a Consultation
There are a number of steps that must take place before you can make your claim, including an in-depth medical examination and assessment of the impact the accident has had on your life. This includes any physical, emotional and financial impacts, such as loss of earnings due to your injury and the cost of any physiotherapy or rehabilitation you have needed.
If you have been injured in a RTA related personal injury as a result of the actions or inaction of another person, you may be entitled to compensation under the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is important that you speak to an experienced solicitor as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that all the facts are gathered and your case is put together with the best chance of success.
On 31 May 2021, the government introduced reforms to the process of claiming for low-value RTA related personal injury claims (most of which are whiplash claims). These changes have resulted in the use of the Official Injury Claim service which has been designed to offer a digital and user-friendly system supported by guidance. You can also refer to the ‘Guide to Making a Claim’ if you need further information about the underlying legislation.
If your injuries are more serious, it is likely that you will need to make a court case to obtain the compensation you deserve. It is advisable to speak with an experienced solicitor as soon as possible after the crash, when it will be easier to recall the details of what happened.
4. Make a Claim
If you are a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian involved in a road traffic accident which was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation for injuries sustained. Claims can also be made against employers and public authorities for injuries suffered at work, such as falls from ladders, scaffolding or other equipment, and injuries caused by dangerous or defective machinery.
We can help you make your RTA injury claim by working to obtain maximum compensation for all losses arising from the accident. Your claim may include compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and ongoing care. We will also ensure that you receive the right rehabilitation, support and therapy to enable you to return to a full lifestyle as quickly as possible.
In the past, RTA personal injury claims were usually settled through the Small Claims Track of the Courts. However, recent reforms have changed this. The Small Claims Track limit has been increased to PS5,000 and as a result most RTA cases will now be processed through the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal. It is important that you are provided with expert guidance throughout this process from a qualified solicitor.
Once you have provided all the information required for your claim, your solicitor will prepare a Demand Package and submit it to the compensator. If the Demand Package includes a medical report, you will be entitled to challenge the factual accuracy of the report in accordance with the ‘Guide to Making a Claim’.
Visit the link to learn more: https://mrbusinestech.com/rta-injury-claims/