Having been involved in a road traffic accident myself, I am aware of how worrying a time it can be. It was advantageous that I worked for a firm of solicitors. I knew I was represented by a firm who are experts in pursuing compensation for motorists who have been involved in road traffic accidents.
There was a recent “Tonight” programme, which dealt with those motorists who pursued ‘crash for cash’. In the current climate, I often feel the victims of road traffic accidents are left wondering, to whom they may turn. For me, It was important that I was represented by a firm who were able to understand my situation, who could give direction, who sympathised, but whose conduct remained professional, throughout. This was important not just to me but also to my family. Often forgotten, is that the injuries suffered may also have a detrimental effect upon other family members. For example the injured party may not be able to work, hence a lack of income to the household. A sympathetic ear may not make the situation better, but, in my experience it did make the journey a little easier to endure.
If you instruct me or one of the team at Jackson Boyd to deal with your personal injury claim, we will keep you advised of developments, at every step of the way, but what follows is a useful summary of the various steps that will require to be carried out on your behalf.
Investigating the Claim
Investigating the accident circumstances and obtaining all of the relevant information, at the very start of the claim is imperative, whilst all the facts are still clear in your mind.
One of our experienced First Response Team members will speak with you and request all pertinent facts relating to the road traffic accident. This will allow us to determine if we can successfully pursue a claim for compensation on your behalf. It is essential that we determine if we have jurisdiction to act. Did the accident happen in Scotland, or does the other driver reside in Scotland? We will also require details of the parties involved, the vehicles involved, and their insurance details, if available. It may go without saying but we also need detailed information as to how the accident occurred? Can we prove negligence, i.e. is the other driver at fault?
Fault for an accident is not always clear cut, therefore establishing if there is any Independent evidence is important. Did the emergency services attend, Police, Fire Brigade or Ambulance? Were there any other witnesses, independent bystanders or even passengers in your vehicle?
Basic principles apply when we, as a firm pursue compensation for clients who have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident. There are time limitations when pursuing a claim for compensation for injuries and losses. As a general rule you will have a period of three years from the date of your accident to either settle the claim or raise a court action. We will consider the individual circumstances of your case and the losses you have sustained. We will require full details of the injuries sustained and if medical attention was sought. We will consider the possible treatment needs and how we may assist. If your injuries are ongoing we can arrange for private rehabilitation to assist with your recovery.
Once we have collated all the evidence, you will immediately be assigned your own case handler, who will be your recognised point of contact at Jackson Boyd.
Intimating the Claim
Once we have taken details from you regarding the accident circumstances and the losses you have suffered we will intimate your claim to the insurers of the responsible party. They will require to acknowledge the claim and thereafter have a 3 month period to investigate the claim.
We will correspond with all parties associated with your claim including your own Insurers, the Third Party Insurers and all witnesses. We will ensure that all parties involved are aware that we represent you, which should assist you, in keeping the ‘hassle’ to a minimum. We will make all necessary liability enquiries, ensuring you are updated regularly on our progress. For ease, we prefer to correspond by email and telephone.
Once we have investigated liability and are satisfied that we have sufficient evidence to prove your case, we will obtain medical evidence in order to document the claim for personal injury. This will involve a consultation with an independent medical expert. The role of the expert will be to examine you and thereafter provide us with a medical report.
‘One cap’ does not fit all. We must consider the nature of the injuries you have sustained. This will determine which independent expert we instruct. Depending upon the severity of your injuries we may require to instruct more than one expert. A soft tissue injury to the neck or back may warrant the instruction of an orthopaedic specialist. We may also would deem it appropriate to arrange a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist, if you were suffering with, say, an anxiety disorder.
Once we are in receipt of the medical report, we would forward this to you for approval. The medical evidence will hopefully provide us with sufficient information to value your claim.
Valuing the Claim
We will make sure that you are satisfied with the medical evidence obtained before releasing it to the Third Party Insurers. The case handler or solicitor, who will handle your claim will be experienced. In order to value the claim correctly, we will review current literature, case law, and reference sources, which is recognised in the industry. That point aside, in order to value your claim correctly, and with a view to maximising your compensation, we would always ensure we adjust our assessment of your claim to take your specific injuries and restrictions into consideration.
As mentioned previously, you may have suffered other losses as a result of your car accident. Right from the start of the claim we will obtain the evidence to support all of these losses. There may be losses arising directly from the injury. A claim for services can be pursued where family members are required to attend to additional duties on your behalf, or even assist you with your day to day activities. Have you suffered a loss of earnings? If so, we will ensure we obtain all relevant documents from your employer allowing us to calculate any loss of income stemming from the accident.
You may have suffered other minor losses following the accident and we will deal with these as efficiently as possible.
Once we have obtained all of the relevant evidence we will forward this to the responsible driver’s insurers and seek a settlement offer. We would expect to receive an offer within 5 weeks. If, however, we did not receive an offer within a reasonable period of time or, the offer was not within the expected scale, we would consider litigating on your behalf. Please be assured that we will advise you fully as to whether or not you should be accepting an offer as soon as it is received.
If you did instruct us to raise a court action, in order to better an offer, we would ensure that you were kept informed throughout. The majority of cases are settled without the need to go to a full court hearing, albeit if there was a requirement to proceed to an evidential hearing, one of our solicitors would be there to support and represent you.
If, like me, you find yourself in an accident caused by another party then it is imperative that you instruct a firm who will recover more than just compensation on your behalf. At Jackson Boyd, we will guide you through the claim process, be available by phone or by person throughout the claim and help get your life back on track. Our aim is to make sure that your journey is free from turbulence! For more information on how to pursue a personal injury claim please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.
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