If you are injured in an accident, you may be able to obtain DAMAGES – that is, financial compensation for any loss, which you suffer as a result. Ordinarily you will have to prove that another party was guilty of negligence to establish the grounds upon which you are entitled to damages.
Only a small minority of accident compensation claims are actually decided by the Courts. In most cases the parties concerned reach a compromise settlement either without Court proceedings having to be raised at all, or by a negotiated settlement reached after a Court Action has been raised but before a Court Hearing takes place. In many cases there is considerable uncertainty about the precise amount of compensation that you may receive. For example, the possibility of your claim not being upheld at all if a Court Hearing did take place, and the possibility of your being found partly to blame and having your damages reduced because of your ‘contributory negligence’ are complicating factors, which may have to be taken into account when deciding what the level of compensation should be.
It can often be difficult to assess the level of damages because of uncertainty about how your injuries might develop in the future and therefore about how your enjoyment of life and employment prospects might be affected. There are legal rules and established criteria for working out the damages payable. What you ultimately receive in damages may depend greatly on the negotiating skills of your Solicitor and on his or her ability to assess correctly the value of your claim. Accordingly, you should always seek expert advice from a Solicitor when you decide to make a claim for damages.
The following are some examples of circumstances in which a claim for damages may arise: -
A claim for damages will often comprise a number of separate elements such as compensation for: -
Your Solicitor at Boyds Law will keep you fully advised of the complicated rules applying to legal expenses in claims and shall advise you of the steps which you may be able to take to protect or insure against your being liable for substantial legal expenses.
How you can help
Remember the prospects of your succeeding with your claim will partly depend on the quantity and quality of the evidence you are able to provide. It is therefore important that you are careful to ensure that you gather as much evidence as possible. If there are any witnesses try to get their names and addresses. Take photographs of the scene of the accident and of your injuries. Where applicable, try to get details of the other party’s insurers including insurance company and policy number. In most road traffic accidents, we recommend that the Police are contacted. The Police will attend at the location of the accident and will take personal details from all of the parties involved. The independent Police Report may in due course prove a very useful source of evidence. Remember the burden of proof is on you and the more evidence you gather the better chance Boyds Law will have of proving your case.