While the all-important ‘do’s’ relating to PI claims are well documented, the ‘don’ts’, don’t always receive the same level of attention. Until now.
Mistakes can make a significant difference to an individual’s chances of personal injury claim success. Yet not everyone is aware of the most common faults that might impact negatively and potentially derail the entire process.
Every key element counts when you’re pursuing a PI claim, as every part will be gone over with a fine-toothed comb to enable all parties to establish the facts. Facts which ultimately determine the authenticity of a claim for personal injury, and subsequently lead to financial recompense indicative of the suffering experienced by the claimant. Whether physical or psychological.
10. Don’t leave it too late to make your PI claim
While there might have been a ‘certain greatness to the lateness’ of Hugh Grant’s tardy character in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, in the very real world of PI claims, making a late show is not the done thing.
Time limits are a fundamental part of pursuing a claim for personal injuries sustained as a direct result of an accident. So, when an individual is involved in a road traffic accident – or one which plays out in a public place – the typically the cut-off duration for claims is 3 years.
Leaving it too late risks not only missing out but also risks crucial evidence being lost with the passing of too much time between the accident and the claim being started. Similarly, not giving a claims management company sufficient time to compile a strong case on an individual’s behalf can compromise positive outcomes.
9. Don’t forget to seek out medical treatment and evaluation
One of the core elements of a PI case – and what other far-reaching factors can hinge on – is the presentation of a comprehensive medical evaluation by clinical staff, in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Failure to seek out both medical treatment at the scene/quickly afterwards and progressive evaluation can impede smooth transitions between pursuing a personal injury claim and seeing it to fruition.
Dedicated medical reporting agencies provide expert panels who – on instruction – gather relevant medical information about claimants, when referred by claims management companies. The information they compile is pivotal to each case, effectively determining viability and probability of future successes.
8. Don’t leave out any of your symptoms or injuries.
It’s one thing opening up channels of communication with a medical reporting agency, yet if a claimant neglects to impart the full extent of their symptoms, then this in itself could have adverse effects on personal injury claims.
When a PI claims management company instructs a medical reporting agency to take on a claimant’s case, then not sharing the full range of symptoms with medical experts could have serious repercussions in terms of PI claim compensation amounts.
It’s unlikely that a claimant will be able to change the details of their medical report once it’s compiled, so it’s imperative to explain every symptom at the time. Because medical reports can go a long way to deciding outcomes, regarding prospects of rehabilitation and recovery, together with ascertaining PI compensation.
Claimants won’t be compensated for an injury or treatment, if insufficient symptom details and information is conveyed by them when being examined by, and in discussion with, medical experts.
7. Don’t keep any psychological/emotional effects/repercussions of an accident away from your PI claims management team
It’s understandable that after experiencing a physical or psychological injury, then an individual will inevitably act out of character. Be it suffering nightmares, turning to alcohol for comfort or escape, or perhaps seeing their personality alter. Experts agree that the psychological fall-out can often compromise someone’s life more than actual physical injuries.
It’s hugely important in a PI claims cycle to be open and frank about emotional changes and establish whether or not any psychological injuries are present. Essentially, psychological injuries should never be underestimated and are accounted for in compensation in relation to personal injury claims. A number of mental health charities exist, and to access various sources of information regarding this subject – and provided by these organisations – needs to be emphasised, irrespective of cause or effect.
6. Don’t accept a PI settlement figure too quickly
When a PI claimant isn’t at fault, then the likelihood is that representatives for other parties will try and offer a figure to bring about an early settlement to a case.
While this prospect might initially be tempting, it doesn’t always pay to accept any quick deals which might be on the table. Without seeking guidance from a claims management company, individuals could assume the financial proposition is attractive, but it would be short-sighted rushing into accepting a PI claims settlement figure.
5. Don’t confer with the other party’s insurer about your injury
Keep your cards close to your chest, and never be drawn into conversations with another party, other than your own PPI claims management company.
If approached to give more information about your injuries by their parties, you should contact your own team immediately.
4. Don’t overlook documenting all relevant and circumstantial evidence
Always document as much evidence, circumstantial and surrounding, ensuring that you present your best case.Failure to be in possession of the evidence documented beneath, may negatively impact your case and the compensation you could receive:
- Photographs of your injuries, damages and the environment
- Videos/CCTV/ dash-cam footage of the accident, your damages and your environment
- Medical reports
- Witness statements
- Diary entries
- Receipts of financial losses
- Broken equipment
Effectively, the greater the volume of evidence you have, the higher your personal injury claims pay-out could potentially be.
3. Don’t neglect to note any financial losses incurred in the aftermath of suffering your personal injury
Pain and suffering is accountable in various means tested ways when a claim for personal injury is set in motion. Not everyone realises that they can claim damages for more than just physical damages. And that individuals can also claim for ‘special damages’.
These are for your financial losses. These tend to cover travel fees, the cost of medication, therapies and time spent off work. However, it’s strongly advised to keep receipts for all transactions, as neglecting to do this might make it difficult to prove that you lost money because of these expenses, and time when you were unable to work.
2. Don’t discuss your PI case on social media
Self-explanatory in a sense. Oversharing on social media platforms can impact an individual’s personal injury claim, as posts can be brought to attention during the claim process.
And may not always work to the claimant’s advantage. Basically, it’s wise to steer clear of social media while pursuing claims.
1. Don’t ever think that a question is invalid or irrelevant, to the point you don’t ask it
This is your claim, so you need to know exactly what’s going on. And it’s not your day job to understand every aspect of the area of the law which governs personal injury claims. So, ask if in any doubt. And ask again to make doubly sure.
Personal injury law is complicated, and as such claimants should never be afraid of asking what they might consider, ‘silly questions’. Or indeed; ‘too many questions’.
On Which Note……..Don’t start a PI claim without the help of a personal injury claims management specialist
DIYPI is here to help guide you through the seeming maze, as it’s expected that you will have a lot of questions to ask, and we’re prepared – and experienced enough – to answer them.
Even those using the Ministry of Justice’s Official Injury Claims Portal after a whiplash injury are seeking the guidance of a personal injury claims management company like us.
Why not get in touch today to find out how DIYPI can ensure that you don’t commit any of the top 10 mistakes you could make in a personal injury claim.