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Claiming for car accidents

Suing for compensation for an accident or other injury should usually be fairly straightforward but there are a number of points to be careful about. Firstly, the personal injury solicitors do not work for nothing and they will quite rightly require a fee for their services. Whilst the common conception is that 'the bill is paid by the other side" most claims are settled by negotiation and a large fee for the solicitor could lead to a smaller payout for the claimant. Also: many claims companies and solicitors advertise a 'no win, no fee' service but some claims can be complex and the final result uncertain and in this event some companies may well ask you to pay in advance into an insurance policy which would settle their fees in the event of your claim failing. There is another argument of course; a small fee can mean that the person who represents you is not quite the best negotiator, and therefore will not get you the best award! The message from all this is that you may wish to make sure that the company you pick to represent you is highly experienced in the type of claim you are making and has a good track record of success. You need to check carefully just what their fees will be, and how they would be paid, particularly in the event (unlikely though it may seem at first) that your claim is turned down. Secondly, you will have to provide evidence that you have suffered one or more of the following: pain, loss of earnings, or disability, either permanent or temporary, and you will need your proof before you can even start the claims process. A minor injury that has caused neither a great deal of pain and which healed up very quickly without affecting you financially would be unlikely to net you any compensation at all. You would need to visit an injuries specialist such as a doctor and this person will still expect to be paid whether your claim is successful or not. The system is designed to help people who have been genuinely adversely affected either physically, emotionally or financially by an accident which was the responsibility of someone else and you may well end up out of pocket if your case is a frivolous one. Tripping over a loose manhole cover which results in a broken leg and three months off work would usually mean a genuine claim against the person who left it loose - but if you skinned your knee, stuck a plaster on it and went about your business you would be very unlikely to see a penny in compensation and you could find it very difficult to persuade a solicitor to take your case on.

 

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