Personal Injury Claims 101

The Department of Transport’s 2011 statistics reveal that there were more than 200,000 casualties as a result of road accidents in the past year. A majority of the victims were eligible for road traffic accident compensation claims.

If you have suffered a road accident, the blame for which lies squarely on someone else’s shoulders, you are entitled to compensation. Here’s a look at a few important things with regard to filing your compensation claim.

You have to establish personal injury

Before making your claim, you need to establish that you have indeed suffered injury. This could be physical or psychological. It cannot be a ‘near miss’ case where there is no adequate evidence to point to either type of trauma, regardless of how criminally negligent the other party was.

You have to establish negligence

Unless you can demonstrate that the accident was a consequence of someone’s fault, you don’t have a case. For instance, if you feel that your injury was caused as a result of the other party’s negligence, you can build your case easily. However, in some cases, this may be challenging. An example would be a multiple vehicle collision – here, establishing liability is not as straightforward.

Contributory negligence

Contributory negligence can apply when you – the injured party – may have contributed to your injury by ignoring known and obvious risks. Negligence is assigned to the involved parties as a percentage contribution established by the legal representatives of the respective parties. For instance, if you have been deemed to have contributed to the extent of 30 per cent, such as by failing to wear a seat belt, then the compensation you would receive will be cut by this percentage amount.

Health and safety best practices following a road accident

It is important that you seek immediate medical attention after you have been injured in a road accident. Your safety and health takes precedence over everything else. Report to the nearest hospital or make a same-day appointment with your general practitioner. You may feel that your injury is not big enough to fuss about, but in an event where you have suffered a whiplash injury, the symptoms may become noticeable only a couple of hours after the accident, and worsen over the next few days. Also keep in mind that by visiting a hospital/doctor, you can present your medical records to support your compensation claim.

Avoid early settlements by car insurance companies

It is possible that the negligent driver in question admits his/her liability, and offers an early settlement. In this case, you will be contacted by the driver’s car insurance company to settle the case instead of making a road accident compensation claim. More often than not, the offers are much below the level of compensation you stand to receive from a case negotiated by a good solicitor. In any case, it is a smart idea to consult a legal professional when you have been the victim of a road traffic accident, and believe that you are entitled to suitable compensation.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.

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