Some basic elements need to exist for a successful accident compensation claim to be made. The most common types of accident claims are a road accident claim or an accident at work claim.
To succeed in an accident compensation claim, the accident must have happened because someone was at fault and the victim suffered an injury. The other party must have been aware that their actions (or lack of action) could cause injury, and which is commonly the situation when they are either another road user or an employer.
Incidents on the road caused by reckless or negligent drivers often result in a road accident claim being made by the innocent victim.
Similarly, incidents often happen while carrying out your job and which can lead to an accident at work claim. Employers have to comply with significant legislation, but many fail to do so and as a result put their workforce at risk. Employers must provide a safe working environment, and ensure there is sufficient and appropriate equipment available, as well as training, to allow employees to carry out their jobs. Employers are also responsible for the actions of all their workers while carrying out their jobs.
Any road accident claim or accident at work claim will include compensation for the injury suffered. Claims can also be made for financial losses suffered or expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident. Lost wages can be a major item of financial loss, and if the injuries are serious and the accident victim is unable to return to work for a significant time, this element of the claim can run into £1,000s. Travelling costs to attend medical appointments and the payment of prescription charges can also be included. The ultimate aim of an accident compensation claim is to put the injured person back in the position they would have been in had the accident not happened.
After a formal letter of claim has been sent to the negligent party, the matter is almost always put in the hands of their insurers, who investigate the allegations and decide whether they will accept responsibility for the road accident claim or accident at work claim. There is a set protocol that must be followed, requiring all parties to act in an open and reasonable way, and provides a timetable for the insurers to reach their decision. It is normally possible to bring an accident compensation claim to a conclusion within 9 to 12 months, unless the medical position is complicated or the insurers firmly deny responsibility, in which case the Court may need to become involved.
There is a time limit of 3 years to make an accident compensation claim, but this is extended if the accident victim is under 18. It is always best to take advice from experienced claims solicitors, who can usually offer a free, no win no fee service.