Articles

  • September 2020
    Personal injury claims


    Accidents and personal injuries can happen when least expected and in many different ways. However your injury occurred, your Jackamans’ lawyer will assess whether a claim is feasible and if so, will be happy to guide you through the process.

    On starting a claim for a client injured in an accident, I am often asked how much will be recovered, and will it be as much as the friend from the pub with a similar injury.

    Usually all I can comment is that “you should be put in the same position as if the accident had not occurred”. I add that any payment is in “full and final satisfaction”, meaning it is not possible to accept money based on a particular assumption but then ask for more at a later stage. (There are mechanisms for obtaining money on account and conditional payments in certain cases).  I then expand that as follows.

    Firstly, I need a doctor’s report identifying the injuries. Has there been a full recovery, or will there be within a specified time, or will the injuries be permanent?  In many cases, a doctor cannot give this “prognosis” for some time after the accident or after treatment has taken place.

    Of course, we cannot wave a magic wand to return a person into the same position to the pre-injured state. Therefore, we will claim for “pain, injury and loss of amenity” based on sums previously thought appropriate by the Court for people with similar injuries. After the doctor reports, a solicitor can research how Courts have previously valued the claim of a person in the client’s position. Whilst a client and his mate in the pub may have similar injuries, the impact on their day to day activities is likely to differ and so different values would apply.

    The second element is actual financial loss. We look at money a client has paid out or sums they have not received, especially if unable to work. That is obviously highly specific to an individual’s position so a client and his chum are likely to have completely different losses.

    So, at any first appointment with a solicitor, a precise figure as to what your claim might be worth cannot be given. However, it is likely to be different from the chap in the pub with whom you were swopping details of injuries.

    For further information please contact Paul McGrath on 01394 279636 or email paul.mcgrath@jackamans.co.uk.

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