Injury Claims: Why you should instruct your solicitor sooner rather than later

Any experienced personal injury solicitor will tell you that talking through an accident is often part of the healing process for an injured party, and it always helps to clarify the details, which can otherwise remain vague. Sometimes accident victims are reluctant to claim because they somehow feel partly responsible and don’t want to “cause more trouble”. A Solicitor will help you clarify who is responsible and what you are rightfully entitled to claim for – something PIAB will never do!

Most people know that they have 2 years from the date of an accident to make a claim pursuant to the Statute of Limitations Act.

We find that a significant number of clients decide not to proceed with their injury claim immediately after their accident as they know that they have a reasonable period of time in which to do so. But that is not always the best way forwards for a number of reasons:

Fading Memory

Everybody’s memory fades with time. Clients and witnesses may forget key facts that are crucial to establishing liability for an accident such as exactly where they tripped over, the speed a car was driving at, the time of the accident, who did what afterwards and who witnessed it.

Repairs

The street defect that caused their injury may have changed in size or been repaired. In one case, our engineer visited the scene of an accident 5 days after it happened only to find that someone else had reported it to the Council which had repaired it so we could not take any measurements. This makes the success of a claim more difficult.

Tracking down witnesses

Witnesses may be harder to contact. They may change their phone numbers or email address, move house, change job, change their name or otherwise lose contact with the injured person.

Going out of business

If the claim is against a business or employer, it may close down, move away, go into administration, close down or become very difficult to trace.

Removal of machinery

The machinery which caused the accident may be sold, scrapped or altered (as happened in a recent case of ours) so an expert engineer will be unable to examine it properly if liability is denied.

Discarded CCTV

CCTV of the accident may no longer be available as it is usually kept for a month at the most. CCTV is often vital evidence in establishing liability for an accident.

Changes to the law

The law changes on a regular basis and if you delay seeing a solicitor, it might change to effectively deny you the right to claim or reduce your prospects of succeeding.

Our advice is to instruct a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident. If you are hesitant about pursuing a claim, for example if it is against your employer, then the solicitor will be able to deal with many of the issues raised above, advise you fully and then you will be able to  make an informed decision on whether to take the matter further. We often see injured people who sensibly give us all the information we need to proceed with their claim and then, at their request, agree with them to write to the opponent at a later date. That often happens where the claim is against an employer and the client is in the process of changing jobs.

We strongly recommend you get independent legal advice from an experienced claims solicitor and that you do this sooner rather than later.

It all starts with a conversation. So call us for a confidential chat on 1890 252467 or tell us what happened so that we can best advise and guide you.

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