Useful Scottish personal injury claims law blog post from injury lawyers Lawford Kidd outlining the top 10 tips for making an accident claim in Scotland to allow you to claim maximum compensation and avoid a stressful experience. If you need confidential/impartial legal advice contact this site’s editor Gavin here.
1. DO Provide your doctor with all appropriate information about your injuries
Given the importance of your medical report in calculating likely levels of compensation due to you, it is vital that you provide your doctor with as much relevant information as possible. If you have had any pre-existing conditions which you don’t disclose and which your doctor later discovers, this may significantly affect the medical report produced and consequently could have an impact on the damages you receive from your claim.
2. DON’T pay attention to myths about accepting the third offer from insurers; DO determine your best compensation offer
There is common delusion that your third offer from your insurers will be the best one, so you should reject the first two offers. This is misleading. While the third (or fourth or fifth) offer may be the best one, it is not necessarily the best in all circumstances. You should take advice from your personal injury lawyers on what they think is a reasonable offer for you. In many cases, the first amount offered by an insurance company can be higher than any award by a Scottish court.
3. DON’T choose a compensation amount based on what family or friends suggest
You should not choose a compensation figure in respect of your injuries based on what a friend or family member has told you is a reasonable amount. In Scotland, the amount of compensation you are likely to receive is based on precedents in the Scottish courts, for instance in Sheriff Courts or Court of Session (Outer House and Inner House) decisions, or based on sums outlined in the most recent ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases’.
4. DO attend your medical appointment(s)
You should attend your medical appointment(s). Often, your personal injury solicitors will arrange an appointment with an expert who is a specialist with your types of injuries e.g. an orthopaedic surgeon for bone injuries. Such medical experts are extremely busy and any missed appointments could result in an additional fee being deducted from your compensation (unless you have re-arranged the appointment). In addition, missing an appointment may add on a great deal of time before your next examination and, thus, the amount of time before your receive your expert independent medical report which could be crucial to your claim.
5. DO Keep employment records to check wage loss
DO maintain records of any wage slips and/or P60s after your accident and keep any ones received prior to your accident. This is significant in helping your accident claims lawyer to check how much compensation you could be due in terms of loss of take home pay.
6. DO Make an application for industrial disablement benefit if appropriate
Industrial disablement benefit should be considered if you have suffered from an accident at work or have an industrial disease and which has ongoing consequences for you. The telephone number for this is 0845 608 8967.
7. DON’T forget the time limit for raising your claim
DON’T forget that there is a time limit for raising your compensation claim. In Scotland this is generally three years from the date of your accident. In disease cases, the three year period usually starts from the date on which you were aware of, or were reasonably aware of, your illness. If the three year time period lapses and you haven’t raised a claim, you may be time barred from raising a claim at all. The lesson here is that you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and make sure they have raised your claim within three years from the date of your injury.
8. DO identify the company or person who is responsible for your injuries
DO identify for your lawyers as soon as possible the person or company who caused your accident.
With claims against your employer, the relevant name and address of the company and relevant personnel can be important, as can the company name, address and company number (available from Companies House) at the time of the accident.
If you raise your claim against the wrong person or company, this could have serious consequences on your claim, particularly if you are nearing the three year time limit.
9. DO Choose your personal injury law firm carefully
It can be tempting to choose your personal injury lawyers to represent you based on how high up they appear in Google searches, how influential they are on social media channels, or based on recommendations from friends and colleagues. Nevertheless, you should always check the accreditations and specialisations of the key solicitors in the firm, consider their rankings in the Legal 500 and Chambers directories and check their recent client testimonials, which should hopefully be visible on their website. If you choose a claims management company rather than a law firm itself (think about all the TV ads you see for claim companies), that may provide you with some benefits but consider how having a reputable law firm itself pursue your claim could be in your better interests.
10. DON’T choose a solicitor based in any other jurisdiction than Scotland
The Scots Law of delict, of which a key part is negligence, comes into many personal injury claims in Scotland. If you choose a non-Scottish lawyer to act for you, you will be putting yourself at an inherent disadvantage and may even end up with a lawyer who doesn’t have rights of audience in the Scottish courts, in which case they may end up having to refer your case, potentially for an additional fee, to a solicitor in Scotland.
Contact no win no fee accident claims solicitors in Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the best law firms of personal injury solicitors in Edinburgh, Scotland is Lawford Kidd. They can help you on a no win no fee basis and can help you claim 100% of the compensation you may be owed if you have suffered an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault.
If you’d like advice on how to start a personal injury claim in Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Paisley, Ayrshire & Beyond), fill out Lawford Kidd’s online enquiry form or take a look at their injury claims calculator.
For further advice or info you can also get in touch with our editor via our contact form here.