30th March 2021
Sustaining an injury due to negligence or an accident can cause a great deal of stress. You may have significant pain as a result of your physical injuries and you might be in shock or suffering from poor mental health, all whilst trying to get your life back together.
Personal Injury claims are usually complex. There is a strict process to follow, deadlines to meet and lots of paperwork and evidence to compile. Making a claim is definitely not a ‘tick-box’ exercise, there is lots of communication, negotiation and litigation involved, which most people do not have the necessary skills or expertise to deal with. Managing the paperwork and legal process can also be tiresome and time consuming.
In this blog, we look at some of the common pitfalls when representing yourself with an injury claim and explain how you can minimise stress and actually maximise your compensation by instructing a lawyer.
As previously mentioned, arguing a case for personal injury relies on some specialist skills which litigation lawyers excel in. Some of these skills are natural traits and some are learned over time. Putting forward a strong case will require excellent communication skills, negotiation skills, the art of persuasion and reasoning. It is important to not only know your case well, but also to understand other similar cases which have been successful or unsuccessful in order to be able to argue your case successfully. Personal Injury lawyers have experience to draw on, as well as access to research tools and JC Guidelines which are commonly used to assess and value claims.
An injury lawyer will be able to assess your case over the telephone and indicate how strong your claim may be. It would be incredibly stressful to spend months building your case and to waste time and energy on a claim that will not make it in front of the courts. It is not uncommon for people to believe that they have a solid personal injury case, without realising that it does not meet the criteria.
Many people will underestimate the value of their claim or fail to consider the extent of their injuries and what they could mean in the long-term, rather than just the here and now. Lawyers have extensive knowledge of valuing claims and negotiating larger settlements. It is important to remember that even if you have recovered from your injuries, you may not know the full physical and psychological impact of your injuries until later down the line. Injured parties representing themselves will often settle for lower amounts than they deserve due to not understanding what their claim is worth or being eager to end the case sooner rather than fight for more compensation and what they are fully entitled to.
As with many industries, the legal industry is full of acronyms, jargon and terms that you might not be familiar with. This can lead to lack of understanding, delays and even mistakes being made. When you are represented by a lawyer, there is no need to get your head around every term, and if there is anything that you are not sure of, your lawyer can explain it to you in layman’s terms.
If you are representing yourself, you may feel lost or unsupported. Injury Lawyers can call upon the advice of their colleagues and get second opinions, input and backing from specialist medical professionals and Barristers.
Keeping up with deadlines and waiting patiently for each timeframe and step on the ladder can be stressful and tiresome resulting in many people giving up on their claim altogether. Not understanding the paperwork or being overwhelmed by questions you need to respond to or evidence you need to provide can make some people feel like giving up. Litigation lawyers are tenacious when it comes to seeing a claim through from beginning to end. They also understand the process inside out so will not be phased by some of the hoops that you are required to jump through to see your claim through to the end.
There is a financial risk in representing yourself. Not only on the amount you stand to lose out on by aborting your claim or accepting a lower settlement, but the expenses of specialist advice, obtaining reports, postage, phone calls and court fees, all of which can add up. Using a firm of solicitors, such as Lamb Brooks, would mean that your claim is dealt with on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. Your lawyers will front all the costs required to manage the process, whilst providing you with expert claims advice, without asking for any fees upfront.
People who use a personal injury lawyer are more likely to achieve a higher settlement or larger compensation pay out than those that represent themselves. A ‘full and final’ settlement means no going back for more compensation at a later date, so it is important that you fully understand how much your claim is worth and what is fair and reasonable. If years down the line your injuries mean you are unable to work or you require specialist care, your settlement may not have been sufficient to fund the costs that you face, but there is no option to amend or make a new claim if your claim has already settled.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury which was not their fault, then please contact our specialist Personal Injury Lawyers who will be happy to talk through your circumstances and quickly determine if you have a claim to take forward.
You can call our office on 01256 844888, email email@example.com or speak to our online chat assistant at any time of day.
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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
Lamb Brooks LLP
Victoria House 39 Winchester Street Basingstoke Hampshire RG21 7EQ
f: 01256 330 933
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