Personal Injury Claims – Everything you need to know – Guest Post

Personal Injury Claims

Court proceedings and lawsuits resulting from personal injury claims are extremely common. This guide details everything that is usually involved in this type of lawsuit.

Many people will begin personal injury claims without any clear idea of the procedures they will be required to follow. While a good law firm will ensure that claimants are kept informed at each step of the way, it is still important to have an understanding of the core elements of most claims.

Does your injury warrant action?

The first step is to establish whether an injury meets the criteria for raising an action. Not all injuries will qualify; in order to do so, there must be reasonable grounds that a third party is accountable for a claimant’s injury. Common causes of accountability include:

  • Negligence
  • Slips and trips
  • Traffic accidents
  • Premises liability

For a claim to stand up, it must be provable that the defendant breached his legal obligations and, in doing so, was wholly or partially responsible for the injury.

Most common types of Personal Injury claims

Any injury sustained as a result of a defendant’s actions or inactions may warrant a claim being raised. Most commonly, these are:

  • Road Traffic Accidents – These could include whiplash claims, other injuries from car or cycling accidents, and pedestrian injuries
  • Workplace – Repetitive strain injuries, safety regulation breaches, and handling or lifting injuries
  • Falls in public places – This includes falls due to inadequate signage, hazards left inappropriate public areas, raised paving stones

These are the most common types of claim, but any type of accident that meets the criteria noted above could qualify.

Partial responsibility does not mean there is no case

Although the circumstances of each case need to be considered on its own merits, partial responsibility does not necessarily equate to there being no case to answer to.

In many instances, the level of personal responsibility that can be attributed to the claimant is taken into account at the settlement stage. As an example, if the circumstances show that a claimant was 5% at fault for the accident, then the final settlement will be reduced by this figure. In effect, a €100,000 settlement will be reduced to €95,000.

The stages involved in a Personal Injury Claim

While this can vary from country to country and even region to region, for the most part, all Personal Injury Claims follow a similar path as detailed below:

  1. Legal Representation – This is not a requirement, but it is certainly highly recommended that the first stage of any Personal Injury Claim is to appoint reputable legal representation.
  2. Letter of Claim – This stage involves the issuing of a letter of claim. This details an account of the accident and the injuries sustained. The defendant will have a legal obligation to reply within a set time. The time allowed is dependant on local legislation.
  3. Evidence – Where the defendant has denied liability, then the process of gathering detailed evidence will be needed. This can be both evidence regarding the circumstances of the incident and medical evidence to support the details of the injury.
  4. Settlement – It is in neither party’s interest for the claim to go as far as court proceedings. For this reason, most personal injury claims don’t go as far as the courtroom and will usually conclude with an out-court settlement that is fair to both parties.
  5. Court Proceedings – In cases where no settlement can be reached, then the final stage is for the case to go to court. It is not uncommon for out of court settlements to be reached in the run-up to the court hearing.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are involved in such a high percentage of personal injury claims that any guide to the subject should discuss the part that they play.

Insurance companies have an obvious and vested interest in ensuring that claim settlements are kept as low as possible. It is these that companies that are going to bear the brunt of the costs and pay-outs.

It is quite common for this vested injury to result in unfair settlement offers. This is one reason that anyone raising a personal injury claim should seek legal representation when doing so.

Proper legal representation won’t just guide a claimant through the legal labyrinth of the claim process but will help to ensure that the settlement is fair and just.


For the most part, the process of seeking compensation in a personal injury claim seems simple enough. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of pitfalls to stop a claim in its tracks.

Even when the case can seem clearcut, clever lawyers with the backing of insurance companies are experts at finding loopholes. The best advice for anyone seeking to make such a claim is to employ the services of a reputable and specialised law firm to ensure the highest possible chance of success.

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