Can I claim?
This is usually the first question people ask, and can be the toughest to answer. We can help you answer not only this question, but also many of the others we know people have when they are thinking about claiming.
We've listed below the most common questions we are asked when people are considering making a claim. If we haven't answered your question here, contact us on 0800 4346 339 and we will help you.
Can I make a claim?
Trying to work out if you have a claim can be tricky. The questions you need to consider can be hard to measure - like who was at fault or how serious is your injury? To help, we have put together this quick guide to help get you started.
- Any accident you want to claim for needs to have happened in the last three years (there are some exceptions, see below) and needs to have been caused at least partly by someone else.
- There aren't any strict rules on what kind of accident you can claim for, nor how serious it is. Even a minor injury can result in real losses.
- It is important that we have some medical evidence for your claim. This can be easily provided by the doctor who treated you, so make sure you get examined as soon as you can.
- Witness statements or photos can all be really helpful for your claim. We appreciate that this may be the last thing on your mind when you have had an accident but if you can get someone to help you with it as early as possible it could make it easier for you further down the line.
If you are unsure about any of the above, our legally trained advisors will be able to help you decide whether you are eligible to make a no win no fee claim.
Does it matter what type of injury I have?
No matter what type of injury you have or how serious your injury is, as long as the accident was at least partly someone else's fault, you may well be entitled to compensation. You can even make a claim if your injury happened outside the UK.
The most common claims are made for accidents which happened at work or on the road. However, there are many other things - from medical misdiagnoses to dog attacks - which can also result in successful claims.
The best way to find out if you can claim for your accident is to call our friendly advisors for a free, no obligation chat to help you make up your mind.
Paul Jones, 25, Yorkshire, received £1,700 when he was injured as a passenger:
"I injured my neck when the car I was a passenger in went into the back of another car. When I called the number on the TV advert an advisor listened to my circumstances and arranged for a local lawyer to take things forward."
Are there any exceptions?
To make a claim, the accident must have happened in the last three years, and must have been at least partly someone else's fault. But there is the odd exception to the three year rule. For example, if the accident happened before your 18th birthday, or if you are suffering from certain diseases such as asbestosis, where symptoms can appear many years after exposure. Our legally trained advisors help thousands of people find out if they're eligible to claim every day, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you are unsure.
Why should I make a compensation claim?
If you've had an accident and have an injury, you may have experienced pain, had to pay for treatment costs or lost some of your earnings because of time off work.
Making a compensation claim can help with any financial difficulties caused by the injury and help you get things back on track. It can also help prevent others from being injured in the same way in the future, because the other side ought to make sure it doesn't happen again.
What will people think of me for claiming?
There is no reason to feel ashamed about making a claim if you are injured because of someone else. Claiming compensation is actually more common than you might think - thousands of claims are made in the UK each year. Also, claiming is not just about the compensation - your claim will draw attention to the cause of your injury so it could also stop the same thing from happening to somebody else.
When someone, such as your employer, your local council or your doctor has failed to take care of you as they should have done, you have a right to claim compensation. There is no reason for you to feel like the underdog or suffer in silence, nor would anyone expect you to - and your friends and family in particular will not want you to lose out because of someone else's negligence
And if you don't want anyone to know about your claim, you don't have to worry because National Accident Helpline keeps all claims confidential.
Should I be concerned about the ‘compensation culture’?
'Compensation culture' is the misconception that there are increasing numbers of unnecessary claims being made. While we're aware that we can't stop people trying to make false claims, we pride ourselves on only helping people who genuinely have a claim. Our focus is always to give a clear path of justice to people who need it, not to those who are taking advantage of the system.
Facts & Figures
Approximately 2.5 million accidents which are eligible for a claim happen in the UK each year (Citizens Advice Bureau, ROSPA, H&S Exec)
Despite what the media says the number of claims made every year is not rising (H&S Exec)
National Accident Helpline helped over 50,000 people in 2009
Around 43% of accident sufferers are unable to work as a result of their accident (independent research 2010 on 1000 accident victims)
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