Essential information for making a compensation claim
Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland is committed to ensuring our clients achieve the best possible outcomes when claiming compensation for serious, catastrophic or fatal injuries in an incident caused by another party's actions or negligence.
In order to ensure your personal injury claim is resolved in the appropriate way, we will need to be armed with all the details relevant to your circumstances, so that we can progress in the right manner.
We are likely to require some or all of the following:
- The accident report - completed by an employer or site manager.
- The police report (if relevant).
- Witness statements.
- Medical records.
- Proof of lost earnings.
- Proof of medical expenses.
Furthermore, if you are claiming for the tragic loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, we are likely to also require proof of death (death certificate) as well as details of the ruling of any Fatal Accident Inquiry.
Questions – essential to filling in the whole picture
When you make a serious or fatal accident claim, your personal injury solicitor will inevitably ask numerous questions in order to achieve an in-depth understanding of your accident and injuries; the more we know the stronger our case is likely to be and the greater the likelihood of ensuring it reaches the best possible conclusion.
We understand it might be difficult and traumatic to talk about your accident, but our solicitors are sensitive and empathetic and can carry out this sort of contact in a place of your choosing.
The better we understand the circumstances of the incident, the stronger and more confidently we can proceed with your claim for compensation. Details are important to help us understand and to evaluate the chances of success for your claim.
In catastrophic injury claims it will be necessary for us to know as much as possible about the nature of the injuries and how they were sustained. We understand how difficult this can be following a traumatic injury, but we will be sensitive, and our experience of these types of claims means we can assist you pragmatically and confidently.
When did it happen?
It is essential for your accident claim solicitor to know when the incident that caused your injury occurred. Not only can this help us collate witness statements and understand the full circumstances of the accident, it can also help us determine whether you are able to make a claim. This is because if the claim falls outside of the time limit, it may be 'time barred' under the Limitation Act 1980.
Generally, you will need to start your claim within three years of the date of the incident. However, there are some exceptions. Talk to Thompsons today and we can help you determine whether you can make a claim.
Where did it happen?
The location of your accident could play a crucial part in determining whether you are able to claim, how much compensation you are likely to receive, who the defendant might be, and the rules and regulations applicable to your claim.
For instance, if the incident occurred in the workplace, a different set of laws and regulations will apply than if the incident was a road traffic accident or if the injuries occurred in the home. Similarly, if the accident happened abroad, the laws relating to claims in the country in question may differ from our own and it will be necessary to ensure that your solicitor understands the full implications.
Are you making the claim for yourself or someone else?
If you have suffered an illness or injury and you are able to make the claim for yourself you will have "title to sue".
In the event of a fatal accident, an accident to a child, or if the injured person does not have mental capacity, an executor (in a fatal injury claim) or a parent or other trusted adult will act on behalf of the claimant as a "litigation friend".
Compensation will always be awarded to the person who has suffered the injury, but if this person is a child or does not have mental capacity, a trust will need to be established to ensure the award sums are managed in such way that the long-term interests of the injured party will be looked after.
Who suffered the illness or personal injury?
It is essential that we have full details of the injured person's identity. A person's pre-accident age, job, lifestyle and more can have a profound impact on the eventual settlement so it is vital that we know as much as possible about the person who is making the claim.
For example, if you earned a large salary pre-accident and are no longer able to carry on in that role following your accident, this will impact the size of your compensation award.
Who caused the illness or personal injury?
It is essential to prove that your injuries were caused by the actions or negligence of another party before we can make a claim for compensation. We also need to consider whether multiple parties might be to blame or whether you might be partially responsible for your injuries ('contributory negligence').
In certain claims, when someone has died as a result of an illness caused by another party's negligence, possibly following exposure to a hazardous substance for instance, it may be difficult to know where the exposure came from and who was liable for the exposure.
In all cases, the more details made available to our solicitors the better so that we can pursue compensation on your behalf or on behalf of the deceased person's family.
What types of loss have occurred
Personal injury compensation awards usually include components of damages for all and any financial losses incurred as a result of the injury. This might include sums for:
- Pain and suffering – known as solatium, relating to the physical injuries you have suffered.
- Lost wages – to include all past earnings and projected future earnings.
- Services – such as costs incurred paying for care or if your family members have lost out financially while looking after you, for instance in having to take time off work.
- Other financial losses – additional expenses such as paying for specialist treatment, equipment, modifications to your home or car, and any other type of expense which has occurred as a direct result of your injuries.
Do any special regulations apply to your case?
All personal injury claims are governed by specific legislation. There are general rules and regulations (for example, the Health and Safety Work etc Act 1974) as well as more specific instruments (for example, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) that may apply to your claim. Special regulations may apply in the following accident claims:
- construction accident claims
- offshore compensation claims
- criminal injuries compensation
- agricultural accident claims
- accidents on an aircraft
- accidents abroad
- defective product claims
The more we understand about your circumstances, the better able we will be to identify all the relevant rules and regulations.
Thompsons Solicitors – leaders in complex claims
Thompsons is widely regarded as the leading firm in Scotland for securing high value personal injury settlements for serious and fatal accidents.
Furthermore, we may be able to offer you our No Win No Fee package to help you stay protected from all financial risk associated with your accident claim.