The following is produced as a guide with the top 8 dos and don'ts for claiming for personal injury in Scotland. Making a compensation claim can be a stressful experience and below are some of the pitfalls to be avoided to ensure that you maximise your claim potential.
The medical report is the basis on which any valuation of your claim is made. Remember to tell the doctor all relevant information about your medical condition. If you have had a back injury DO remember to tell the doctor that you have had previous difficulties with your back. Let him sort out whether or not these problems are relevant to your current position. The doctor will have access to all of your medical records. If you deny that you have had back problems and the doctor then finds out that you have this could seriously affect what he says in your report about the impact of your accident.
When we come to settle your claim DON'T pay attention to the old wives tail that you should only accept the third offer from insurers and knock back the first two. We will advise on whether we think an offer is reasonable. Very often insurers' first offer is better than the level of compensation a court might award and rejecting the offer may result in you having to accept a smaller figure. This can and does happen.
DON'T make up your own figure of compensation for the injuries you suffered or listen to what a friend to what a friend, newspapers or a member of the family suggest. The amount you receive depends on either recent court awards for similar types of injuries or the sums set out in the current 'Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases'.
DO attend your medical appointment. We will have chosen an expert suitable for your type of injury; if the medical appointment is cancelled due to your non-attendance a cancellation fee will be sent which we will deduct from your compensation unless the appointment has been re-arranged beforehand. Remember medical specialists are extremely busy and we often will be able to arrange an appointment for you quicker than you would obtain a referral through the NHS. The doctor will only comment on your accident injuries. He can't arrange directly for treatment but will able to recommend this if appropriate.
DO keep a record of your pay slips and P60's after the accident (and keep previous ones if you have these). This is to allow us to check wage loss if appropriate. We recover you loss of take home pay. Also keep any vouchers or receipts for items damaged in the accident so that we can recover your loss.
If you have had a work accident (or have an industrial disease) that may have ongoing consequences do apply to the DSS for industrial disablement benefit (Telephone 0845 608 8967)
Time limited - Don't forget that there is a three year time limit for your claim. Unless the claim is settled by insurers within three years of the date of the accident date the claim is likely to become legally time barred unless you start court proceedings during the three year period. If this is done the time limit doesn't apply (in disease cases the time limit will usually run from the date you were aware that your condition was work related).
Identity of the person responsible for your accident: DO check the identity of the person responsible for your accident.
If you have a road traffic accident please obtain details of the person responsible including their name, address, insurance company, and insurance policy and registration number. We can check insurance company details from the registration number but you should obtain the details from them directly (and they should give this information).
If the claim is against your employers please let us have their correct name and address. Often this is a limited company i.e. John Smith Limited and if so we need to know the correct company name because if they are taken to court and the name is wrong this could seriously affect the claim, especially if issues regarding the three year time limit.
We are recognised in Scotland as expert personal injury solicitors and can help you on a no win no fee basis. We can help you claim 100% compensation if you have suffered an accident or injury that was not your fault.
Contact us now on 01312255214.