There are many different reasons why you may need to make a claim for compensation. Perhaps you were injured in a road traffic accident and the other driver was to blame? Maybe you have been unfairly dismissed from work? No matter what applies, it is important to prepare carefully for your case. After all, you won’t get a second shot at securing compensation, and so it is important to get things right first time around so that you can secure the maximum payout you are entitled to. Read on for some top tips to help you get started.
- Gather all of the paperwork you will need – When making a claim, you will need paperwork to support your case. There are a number of pivotal pieces of paperwork that are important. Firstly, you need to have a medical report that your doctor has put together if you are claiming for an injury or illness that you have sustained. This report will detail your injuries, the prognosis, and the recommended course of treatment. This is used to determine how much compensation you could be entitled to, so it is a really important document. If you are not claiming for an injury or illness, make sure you gather any type of evidence that will help to support your claim. You will also need to keep a record of any financial expenses you have incurred as a direct consequence of your claim. You will be able to claim for these as special damages. This could be anything from loss of income to the cost of counselling to help you get over the trauma of what has happened. You will need to be able to prove these expenses, though, so hold onto any receipts or other documents you have.
- Assign someone to take control of your claim (if needed) – If you are not able to proceed with the case yourself, you should assign someone else to do this for you. This applies to those that are disabled and do not have the capacity to claim themselves. Moreover, if you are currently under the age of 18, you will need to wait until your 18th birthday to claim yourself, or you could get your parent to claim for you now if you don’t want to wait.
- Find a good legal firm – The importance of finding the right lawyer for your case cannot be ignored. After all, this person is largely going to have the outcome of the case in the palm of their hands. You need someone that is honest, transparent, easy to get in touch with, and has a good track record. Take the time to conduct research online, and read reviews that have been left by past clients to see what they have to say about their experience with the lawyer in question. The last thing you want to do is hire an amateur who does not put together a strong case. It is also important to find a law professional that has experience in your specific area of claiming – simply working in the industry for ‘x’ number of years is not enough. You want someone that has an impeccable track record for dealing with cases similar to yours. If you are seeking workers comp, for example, and you have a disability, you need a law firm that has secured workers compensation for many people in your position before. The same goes if you have been involved in a car crash, you wouldn’t choose an expert in workplace accident claims, would you?
- Don’t wait too long to claim – One of the biggest mistakes that people make is waiting too long to make a claim for compensation. A lot of people assume that they have all of the time in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The time limits in place do depend on the type of claim that you are making. Nonetheless, to give you an example, the general time limit for most personal injury cases is three years. This is three years from the date of your accident, and court proceedings must be issued within this time frame. However, there are exceptions to this rule, just to make matters confusing. After all, some injuries do not appear immediately after the accident – they can take years to surface. In which case, you will have three years from when the diagnosis was made instead. The best thing to do is to claim as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Plus, the sooner you claim, the easier the process will be. This is because it will be easy to gather critical evidence, including witness statements.
- Gather evidence – This leads onto the final point: gathering evidence. Don’t dismiss anything as insignificant – let your lawyer decide whether it is. Instead, gather as much evidence as you can that will support your case. This includes getting witness contact information, as well as taking photographs of the scene and photographs of your injuries if visible. If you are making a claim for unfair dismissal because you feel your employer has feared you without cause, make sure you have proof of this. For example, if they are accusing you of doing something you haven’t, look for various ways to prove this. If you are struggling to gather any evidence, don’t panic. Your lawyer will advise you on any necessary steps to take to build a stronger case.
So there you have it: some of the best ways you can prepare for a compensation case. Of course, your fate will largely rest in the hands of the lawyers you select, which is why you need to choose them with care. Nevertheless, you can also have an impact on your chances of success by gathering evidence and ensuring you make your claim in a timely manner.