Serious injuries can change everything.
They're relatively rare, but they do happen; so if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, it’s very unlikely that you’ve ever been in such a situation before.
There is lot to deal with at such a traumatic time, so you may not know where to begin.
At first, your immediate recovery (or that of a loved one) is of paramount importance, but there will come a time when you need some outside help with getting your life back on track.
In many cases, this means enlisting the services of a specialist serious injury law firm.
With over two decades’ experience in the field of personal injury, and serious injury in particular, we at Serious Law LLP have the experience and expertise to understand your situation, whatever it may be.
Here we provide you with five little-known facts about serious personal injury claims:
For the majority of personal injury cases, there is just a three year window for you to start legal proceedings for your claim.
A notable exception to this is when the injured person is a child. In such cases, a claim can be made straight away, but the three years do not begin until their 18th birthday.
Whilst three years may seem like a lot, it is actually a relatively short period of time, particularly for those who have experienced a serious injury.
The impact of a serious injury cannot be underestimated as it is often followed by long periods of recovery, as well as requiring the need to partake in extensive rehabilitation programs.
It may also take some time for you and your loved ones to adapt to your new circumstances, and this could take over as your main focus.
As a result you may be well aware that you need to make a personal injury claim, but you may not yet be ready to appoint a lawyer.
In the worst case scenario, you may wait too long. The three year window may then close before you’ve even realised it, and you may be prevented from making your claim.
For this reason, you must always remain aware of the time limit.
Once you are ready, it is important that you find a law firm that is suitable to your individual needs, and one that has experience of dealing with the issues that you’re facing.
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough.
Currently, there are a huge number of law firms operating throughout the UK, and this can make finding the right lawyer to be a difficult challenge.
Some larger firms provide a very wide range of legal services, whereas others have just one niche area of expertise.
You are likely to find some law firms that are dedicated to the field of personal injury. However, what is not commonly known is that even then, not all personal injury law firms offer the same services.
Therefore, it is important to differentiate the between the services offered by a serious injury lawyer and those provided by a general personal injury lawyer.
There is a vast amount of difference between the two. Whilst they both operate in the field of personal injury, a good serious injury lawyer’s services go way beyond simply securing compensation on behalf of their client.
Much more than this, they will look to build caring and long-lasting relationships with their clients so that they can provide them with the help that they need for the rest of their lives.
This can include co-ordinating long term rehabilitation schemes; implementing aids and adaptations at home or in a new property; assisting with property purchases; finding assistive technology solutions; providing welfare and financial assistance and more.
Therefore, if you have experienced a serious injury, consideration must be given to appointing a dedicated serious injury lawyer.
When choosing your law firm, reputation is hugely important, as too is experience. It is crucial to appoint a law firm well-acquainted with your situation and condition, and one that has past history of successes.
Don’t settle for the first law firm that you find. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
Put in the work to finding the right lawyer because appointing the wrong one may jeopardise your claim and your recovery.
You may be in the position where you feel that you have instructed the wrong law firm to act on your behalf.
It’s an unfortunate truth that sometimes, not all appointments work out, and this can happen for many reasons.
Following on from fact number 2 in this list, it could be that you have appointed a personal injury law firm when a serious injury law firm would have been more appropriate.
It may be that their inexperience in complex serious injury cases like yours means that they no longer believe that they will succeed, or it could be that under-qualified staff members have been appointed to handle your case.
To be put in such a position is unacceptable.
You have the power to fix the situation by changing your law firm.
It’s not often known by clients, but rather than staying put while your case makes little or no progress, all you or your loved ones have to do is simply seek a second opinion.
You can then appoint a new law firm that is completely dedicated to giving you the help that you deserve.
They will then make all the arrangements on your behalf to transfer your case over and take it under their control.
Personal injury cases can be incredibly complex, and it’s not unknown for them to take a very long time to complete; with some cases taking two, three or even more years to reach settlement.
Every single case, injury and person is different. Some may be very swift whereas others take much longer – serious injury cases in particular.
A good lawyer should keep you updated at every stage of your claim, so if you feel that things are not progressing, don’t be afraid to ask them for an update.
Your lawyer’s duty is to represent your best interests, so they should be happy to provide you with this information.
As a result, you will benefit from receiving the facts of the situation and it will help to put your mind at rest.
Be careful to ensure that the long term consequences of your injuries are fully appreciated before you conclude your case.
If you’ve been seriously injured, remember that your compensation is to support you for the rest of your life.
Should you not receive the correct level of damages, then you may face difficulties in the future.
Few people look forward to the prospect of attending court.
There may be concern about the possibility of having to provide evidence, or anxiety about the pressure of being put under scrutiny in front of other people.
Cases go to court when there is a dispute between both sides which cannot be resolved through negotiation. Your lawyer should soon be able to tell you about the chances of this happening.
Both sides may disagree on who is to blame for the accident, or how the blame should be apportioned between them.
Alternatively, a disagreement may arise concerning the level of damages that should be awarded to the claimant to compensate their physical and financial losses.
However, the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before they reach the courtroom.
After a serious injury, extra care must be taken to ensure that the settlement is the right one and that all the future costs are catered for, whether this means going to court or not.
If you do need to go to court, do not worry - your lawyer is there to support and represent you at all times, be it inside or outside of the courtroom.
If you’ve been injured and are looking for help with your recovery and personal injury claim, please contact us at Serious Law LLP for completely free, confidential and understanding advice.