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Accident Claims

If you have been injured or suffered from an accident and you think someone else is to blame and you are wondering if you could claim compensation for the damages, you might be interested to read this helpful article, which has been written by a solicitor:


There are over 700,000 accident claims every year in the UK and most people are involved in an incident causing personal injury that is the fault of a third party at some time in their lives. If the accident was caused by someone else and it can be proved that they were negligent then it may be appropriate for that person to pay the victim damages. To show that there has been negligence it is necessary for the person being blamed to have failed to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would have used under similar circumstances. It must also be shown that any injury was caused as a direct result of the negligence.

If the accident was partly the fault of the injured person then it may still be possible to claim compensation against a third party who was also partly to blame. In these cases the doctrine of ‘contributory negligence’ is applied and damages that would otherwise be awarded on a full liability basis are reduced by a percentage to take into account the injured persons contribution to their own injury.

Once liability has been established either on full liability or on a contributory liability basis it is necessary to calculate the compensation to be paid. Compensation calculations in accident claims can be particularly difficult especially for items that have no real value such as ‘pain and suffering’. Items that have a monetary value attached to them such as damaged property or loss of wages are relatively simple to calculate. If a settlement is made prior to court proceedings then the lawyer and insurance company will negotiate the compensation figures based on their experience and on previously decided cases. If the parties cannot agree on liability or damages then it may be necessary for legal proceedings to be issued in a court of law. A Judge will then decide on the liability issues following representations from the party’s lawyers and after hearing any witnesses including the parties directly involved in the claim. If liability is proved or admitted the Judge will then make an award based on financial representations put to him by the parties' lawyers tempered with his own experience, previously decided cases and guidelines issued by the Judicial Studies Board.

In general terms the loser usually has to pay the winner's costs in addition to the sum awarded for damages and to prevent a claimant suffering financially in the event of an unexpected loss in court. Most solicitors will insure their client against this eventuality.

It is most important in accident claims that the injured party consults a lawyer at the first opportunity after the incident causing injury. There are two reasons for this; the first one being that gathering evidence and taking statements from witnesses is much easier if it occurs shortly after the event. The second reason relates to the fact that under UK law there are time limits on when a claim for damages must be made. If a claim has not been settled or legal proceedings have not been issued within three years of the date of the event causing injury then the claim will become statute barred under The Limitation Act and the opportunity to claim damages may have been lost forever. There are certain exceptions to this rule particularly in regards to children where the three year period does not start running until the eighteenth birthday and in regards to those who are mentally ill or mentally disabled.

How about that for free legal advice about accident claims?! Now, if you would like to pursue this further, and see about trying to recover money from whoever it is who's to blame for your present predicament, on a no-win no-fee basis, a good contact to know is First Class Legal, whose solicitors may be interested to hear from you and might take on your case.