Personal Injury Claims

legal updates

Your insurers will know exactly what to do to ensure the rules are followed, and therefore, the Claimant will not win on a technicality.

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Every so often we get asked to advise on either a Personal Injury (PI) claim that has been made against our members, or after an accident on their premises that might develop into a PI claim because of the nature of the injuries or something the victim said soon after the mishap.

First, it is worth stressing that PI is a specialist area that has its own court protocol, or rules, and it is important for all parties to follow the rules or else they can affect the claim further down the line. For that reason, when an accident does occur, the first thing you should do is report this as a potential or real claim to your public or employer’s liability insurers. A failure to do so, can result in them refusing indemnity and refusing to deal with the claim, thereby leaving you to foot the bill.

Your insurers will know exactly what to do to ensure the rules are followed, and therefore, the Claimant will not win on a technicality.

They will also have specialists who know exactly what they are looking for within the medical evidence, GP notes, and any other paperwork or evidence, to determine whether this is a claim to defend or to settle at the best possible figure.

Here is how you can help the process. If an accident occurs on your premises, you should take as many photos or videos as you can to help show exactly how the scene was when the accident occurred. This may include any signage, the area where the accident happened, the injured person whilst they are in the position the accident caused them to end up in, etc. It is better to take too many photos than not enough.

You should also collate any evidence you may have such as documentation to show health and safety requirements have been complied with, the equipment was checked in accordance with regulations, the relevant equipment was provided, etc.

The more information and documentation you are able to secure as evidence, the better the chances of defending such a claim, the less your insurers pay out, and hopefully, the less your premiums will increase.

If this article has not made you think about how to react to such a scenario, then in a former life as a PI lawyer for claimants and defendants, I once had a claim where the insurers were keen to settle at about £1,500. However, once I had medical evidence, I was able to identify a long term back injury, deafness and tinnitus, an impact on the person’s working life, and psychological injury too. The case settled for in excess of £30,000 plus my costs, so even the most minimal claim, as you may consider it, has the potential to mushroom into something much bigger. It is better to report all minor injuries to your insurers and be proved correct at a future date, than to not report them and end up responsible for paying the claim.

We are always here to discuss such claims in the first instance, but we will almost always recommend that you refer the matter to your insurers as part of our advice.

Wearewood Services LtdMotor Trade Web Specialists

We offer an all-encompassing web, digital & design service specially tailored to the Motor Industry.

Darren FletcherLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

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