Is it Necessary to Hire Personal Injury Solicitors?
While it is not legally mandatory to hire personal injury solicitors when applying for an Injuries Board Assessment – where the vast majority of personal injury compensation claims must begin – it is highly recommended that you do so. Aside from the fact that a personal injury solicitor would be far more familiar with the process, he or she would be able to compile a comprehensive application for assessment to include all aspects of their client’s case. Additionally, an expert solicitor would be able to meet with the negligent party’s insurance company in an attempt to negotiate a satisfactory compensation settlement and, if necessary, would be able to represent their client if the case went to court.
If you have suffered an injury in an accident for which you were not completely responsible and wish to know more about whether or not you would qualify for personal injury compensation, you are highly recommended to seek the assistance of a personal injury solicitor. Solicitors who are experienced in personal injury cases will focus as much on the effects of an injury as on the physical injury itself, and this can make a significant difference to the amount of compensation you receive.
Advantages of Hiring a Solicitor
A recent Millward Brown survey that was conducted on behalf of the UK Department for Constitutional Affairs – which has been found to be equally as relevant in the Republic of Ireland – highlighted people’s concerns about making a compensation claim to personal injury solicitors. The resulting statistics revealed that 120 people interviewed who had sustained injuries in the previous three years for which they were eligible to claim compensation had not done so. Included in the top answers why they had failed to claim were:
- They believed there would be too much hassle involved
- They were worried about lack of proof
- They did not believe that anything could be done
- They did not want to claim against the party responsible
- They did not know how to initiate a personal injury claim
It is important to realise that solicitors who specialise in personal injury claims understand your situation and why you may be apprehensive about pursuing a compensation claim. All of the reasons mentioned above are rational concerns, but they should be discussed with your solicitor to dispel any fears you may have.
Further Advantages of Hiring a Solicitor
Personal injury solicitors will always consider the secondary victims of a personal injury for example:
- The son or daughter who has to reorganise their lives to assist an elderly parent who has lost their partner
- The wife who has to give up their job to care for her injured husband
- The parent who has to take time off work to collect children from school
Therefore, all of the implications of a personal injury will be considered when you hire a solicitor with expertise in personal injury claims.
It is worth noting that no two personal injury claims for compensation are ever exactly the same – even when the injuries suffered are. A solicitor experienced in personal injuries cases will, therefore, not only consider the physical injuries that you have sustained, but how they have prevented you from participating in your usual social or leisure activities and what the emotional impact of a physical accident has meant to you, in the days immediately after the accident and when the physical evidence of your injuries have long ceased to be apparent.
Some potential plaintiffs are concerned over the cost of hiring a personal injury compensation solicitor so it is worth noting that in many cases, solicitors will offer their initial evaluation of your claim without charge, and depending on the circumstances of your accident and injury, there is a possibility that you will be reimbursed for any legal expenses that you incur during the course of your claim in your case’s settlement agreement. You would be recommended to discuss the cost of a solicitor during the initial consultation.
A Doctor’s Connection
In all cases, personal injury solicitors will need to see your medical records. If, for example, you are in continuous pain, your solicitor would most likely want to see your records of visiting your doctor for pain treatment and whether you have been taking your pain medication regularly and have prescriptions as proof.
You will always need to be able to adequately and honestly describe your injuries to your doctor and solicitor and you will also need to describe the impact of the injuries on your employment and day to day life. The main reason for understanding and documenting your injuries is to assist your doctor in managing your continuing treatment and recovery.
Accident victims are sometimes uncertain over whether their answers to the questions asked by their doctors and solicitors are “right”. There is, however, no real reason for concern over this matter as the fact is that you are simply required to tell the truth.
Your solicitor may also request that you visit a specialist doctor in order to prepare a special report evaluating your personal injuries in the context of a compensation claim.
Conclusion: Personal Injury Solicitors
Personal injury solicitors would be more familiar with the “personal” factor of personal injury cases and they would take the time to determine what impact the injury has had on their client’s quality of life and those around them. Whether it is assisting in the preparation of the application for the Injuries Board assessment, negotiating on behalf of their client with the negligent party’s insurance company or formulating a case for litigation in the High Court, you can depend on a solicitor with experience in personal injury claims to be thorough and to keep you up to date with your claim’s progress.
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault and feel that you may have a viable claim, you would be well advised to consult an experienced solicitor as soon as practically possible following your injury’s treatment. As mentioned above, no two cases are identical and your potential claim should be evaluated on the basis of its individual merits. Your solicitor would be able to expertly assess your case and determine whether it is worth pursuing.