Accident Claim Solicitor: How to decide when to use a specialist UK lawyer to make your compensation claim
Accident claim solicitor: Find out in a question and answer session all you need to know to decide when to use an accident claim solicitor to make your compensation claim following an accident.
When should you use an accident claim solicitor to make your compensation claim?
The best way to answer this question is by relating a conversation I recently had with a friend, called John, who was hit by a car whilst cycling in Manchester, England. The driver’s insurer offered a few hundred pounds compensation which the accident victim accepted without involving an accident claim solicitor.
Road traffic accident victim question
A couple of years ago I was cycling along in Manchester when a car pulled out of a side road hitting my bicycle and knocking me to the ground. My bicycle was new and damaged beyond repair – I also suffered bruising and deep grazing to my arms and legs and some clothing damage.
I exchanged details with the driver, wrote to him asking for compensation and sent a copy of the receipt for my bicycle purchase at £199.95. I quickly received a reply from his insurance company offering me compensation of £200 in total.
I accepted the offer. I did not speak to an accident claim solicitor as I knew it would cost me a lot of money in legal fees and I thought it best to get some form of compensation than none at all.
Did I do the right thing in this situation?
Accident claim solicitor response
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may initially seem. I would always advise that a personal injury specialist solicitor be contacted to make a compensation claim.
As your accident happened in England – if your personal injury compensation was worth over £1000 the legal costs in pursuing your claim would be paid for by the guilty driver in addition to your compensation.
Property damage does not count towards the £1000. This figure is only for the physical and psychological injuries which is known by the term “personal injury”.
The property damage and expenses are easy to estimate. You have said your bike was new and worth £199.95. There was also the damage to your clothing, travel expenses to the hospital or GP, any lost income for time off work and pain killer or prescription expenses etc. These alone are worth over £200 and are easy to prove through receipts, photographs etc.
You injuries however are slightly more complicated to assess. You described that you suffered deep grazes and bruising to your arms and legs. Valuation would depend on how bad these grazes were and also whether any scarring was left on your body. If you banged your head during the accident – it is possible that you may have suffered some form of concussion.
Also, an accident of this nature can be quite traumatic. You may have incurred some form of psychological injury. For example, since your accident you may be nervous on roads, suffer flashbacks, sleepless nights, mood swings etc.
RTA victim question
I am definitely a nervous cyclist since the accident and pretty reluctant now to cycle on the road. I had some sleepless nights and my girl friend told me that I was impossible to live with for a few weeks.
I do have some red marks still where the grazing was on my arms – they are quite faint and mainly stand out in the cold or when I have a tan. I am a little conscious of them in summer and tend to cover them up.
I did not bang my head so I did not suffer concussion.
RTA solicitor response
With these injuries it would seem to me that the compensation for your personal injuries alone would have been worth over a £1000 so you could have instructed a personal injury solicitor safe in the knowledge that your legal fees would have been paid for by the guilty driver.
The exact valuation of your injuries could only be made with the help of a medical report, but for the purpose of ensuring that your legal costs are paid by the guilty driver your solicitor need only assess the approximate value of your claim to be over the £1000 critical figure.
Accident victim comment
Had I know this at the time of my accident I certainly would have used an accident solicitor and I am sure I would have received a much greater sum of compensation.
Summary of when to use an accident claim solicitor in the UK
On this page you have seen why it is important to contact a specialist accident claim solicitor following an accident before you decide to accept an offer of compensation.
Click personal injury lawyer to find out why is is important to choose a specialist accident claim solicitor to handle your road traffic accident claim.