Top 3 Questions Asked by Personal Injury Clients
If you've suffered a personal injury and you're starting a claim for compensation, you're going to have many questions that need answering. It's unlikely to be something you've had to deal with before; and this can be daunting.
Our Personal Injury expert Jonathan Thursby has many years' experience supporting clients with this kind of case. Jonathan, who is based in our Manchester office, answers the top 3 questions he's asked by clients
1. How long will my claim take?
All claims are different so it is impossible to give a definitive answer. Even in cases where the injuries are minor, many steps need to be taken to reach a position at which a claim can be settled, for instance:
- We will need to establish whether the defendant admits or denies liability. The defendant may have up to 3 months to investigate the claim and provide a response on liability.
- To properly value a claim it is necessary to obtain a medical report from a medical expert and to also investigate any financial losses such as lost earnings. It may be necessary to obtain more than one medical report, perhaps from a range of medical experts.
- Once a claim is valued we will then look to reach a negotiated settlement with the Defendant. If a settlement cannot be agreed, perhaps because liability is denied or because damages can’t be agreed between the parties, we may need to issue court proceedings and proceed to a trial.
2. How much is my claim worth?
A claim consists of both general and special damages.
In basic terms, general damages relate to the pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages relate to your financial losses. To properly value general damages a report by a medical expert is needed.
Obviously, we don't have the expert’s prognosis until a report is obtained. Investigations may need to be taken to value special damages, for example, payslips need to be obtained. For the above reasons, it is not possible to accurately value a claim from the outset.
3. Should I reject my opponent’s first offer?
Not necessarily. Sometimes the other side will make a reasonable first offer (it does happen!). In addition, the Court Rules allow a defendant to make offers in such a way that there are costs implications if they fail to match or beat the offer at trial. For this reason, some defendant’s will make finely balanced offers designed to put you at risk of not beating the offer at trial.
Your solicitor will consider each offer carefully and advise you whether the offer is reasonable or not.
Simpson Millar Can Help
If you're thinking about making a claim for personal injury compensation, you're going to want to be fully clued up - every step of the way.Our personal injury team at Simpson Millar hope to make the process as simple as possible for you, by breaking down legal terms and answering any of your questions, no matter how small.