Personal injury is a component of civil law. A victim of an accident or social wrongs, such as character defamation, can file a personal injury claim. Also, personal injury can be defined as any mental or physical harm caused to someone through no fault of their own. As the injured person, you are the plaintiff, while the person being sued is the defendant. Where the accident results in death, the representative of the deceased person’s estate becomes the plaintiff. The defendant is the individual whose negligence led to the death or injury of the victim.
Many people know that they can file a personal injury claim when they are injured in accidents brought about by other people’s negligence. However, many people are held back by their likelihood of winning a personal injury case.
What do you Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?
For your injury claim to be successful, you have to prove the following:
- Your injuries are a result of the said accident
- The accident occurred because of another person’s mistake or negligence
Although the two stipulations sound simple, proving them in court is challenging. If you want to succeed and receive compensation for your injuries, you must prove that the defendant is responsible for the accident and the injuries suffered. A person with little or no legal knowledge cannot lodge a personal injury claim successfully: you require the services of a solicitor.
Some of the things you need to build your case include:
- Scene of accident photos
- Up-close photos of your injuries
- A police report for road accident claims
- A logbook report if the accident happened at work
- A medical report from the attending doctor including copies of tests and treatments administered
- Statements from eyewitnesses of the accident
Why a Solicitor is Essential for a Personal Injury Claim?
Some people decide to handle all the work and stress involving making a personal injury claim. You do not have to hire a solicitor, but there are high chances of not getting what is rightly yours in compensation. If you want to get proper and full compensation for your injuries, you have to hire a solicitor. Your solicitor will ensure you receive compensation for financial losses, future financial losses, future worsening of your condition, or future complications arising from the injury. It is advisable to have a solicitor handle your case if you care about all these things.
In most cases, the defendant will hire a solicitor once a personal injury case has been filed against them. For example, if you obtained your injuries from a road accident, you will be up against the insurer’s lawyer and not the driver. If you got the injuries at work, you would be against an experienced lawyer or the company’s legal department. Unless you are knowledgeable in personal injury law and know how to argue in court, you have slim chances of winning a claim.
You have to file your case within three years after the accident. This might seem like a lot of time, but it is sometimes not enough to collect all the necessary documents and information to prove your case. This is especially the case when you are working without the help of a solicitor.
The most outstanding advantage of having a personal injury solicitor is the benefit of having access to legal expertise without paying upfront fees. Most law firms provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that they will compile the case and represent you in court without paying anything in advance. However, you should be aware that solicitors agree to this arrangement if they believe you have a strong case. Once you succeed in your case and the court awards you compensation, a certain percentage of the award amount will be paid as legal fees.
Legal Features of Personal injury
One legal issue that emerges from a personal injury case is a liability. This happens when the plaintiff is seen to be partially responsible for the accident or injuries: contributory negligence. A defendant arguing contributory negligence has to prove their case just as the plaintiff has to prove their claim. Solicitors for the defendant or insurance companies can argue contributory negligence as a tactic to make the plaintiff drop the claim.
Burden of Proof
Since personal injury cases focus on compensating the plaintiff for their injuries or losses, the burden of proof is low compared to criminal cases. To succeed, the plaintiff has to prove the defendant’s negligence leading to the accident or injuries.
If you think you have a solid personal injury claim, contact a trusted personal injury solicitor to start the process as soon as you can. The right solicitor will increase your chances of getting compensation for your injuries.