If you’re looking at Haven Claims for a Car Accident or Personal Injury Claims, then read this review to find out more.
Haven Claims is a trading name of Haven Claims and is based in Gibraltar. The company specialises Haven Claims is an independent, privately owned insurance company and was founded in 2016. Haven is authorised and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, and operates under European legislation.
Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Claims
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful time, particularly if you are the victim in the situation, and are in no way at fault. Depending on the outcome of the accident, you may find yourself unable to work; which isn’t too terrible, if your insurance companies are willing to pay out on your claims.
In the case that you’re struggling to think of a clear course of action after a car accident, remember to remain calm. Read through out ultimate guide to car accident claims, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do during an undoubtedly difficult period.
If you’ve just been in an accident, read our guide to what to do when you’ve literially just had a car accident.
The days following the accident
There are quite a few items on your to-do list following an accident. Start simple by following up with the police that you spoke to on the scene. You should continue filing an accident report. Even if the accident that you were in was small and no one came out of it with any lasting damage, it was still a car accident. If you’re making an insurance claim, the company you’re with is going to want to see the report.
Though you may have been checked over by paramedics on the site of the accident, you should still have a check-up by your GP; especially if you have any aches or pains that have continued after the initial accident. Some injuries cannot be detected straight away, such as small hairline fractures or injuries to the brain.
Contact your insurance company
When you contact your insurance company, you should recall as many details from the accident as possible. Send over the evidence you have if they ask you to, and make sure that they stay in touch with you throughout your case.
If the police are involved in your case, direct your insurance company towards the officer or officers that are dealing with it or who were on the scene to help you after the accident occurred.
What to tell your insurance company
You should inform your insurance company of the following details:
- The name and current address of the other party involved in the accident.
- The registration number of the other party’s car.
- A current phone number for the other driver – where possible, both a mobile and a landline.
- The insurance details of the other party, including the company they’re insured with.
- The approximate time and the exact date of the accident.
- The weather conditions around the time of the accident.
- How the accident happened, from your point of view, and the exact actions you took prior to the accident.
In the case that the other party does not have insurance, you should contact the police. It’s against the law for any person to be out on the road without insurance, and they will need to take control of this part of the situation. Your own insurance company will be able to assist you through the process for these types of cases.
Remember that your insurance company doesn’t have any obligation to get involved if the cost of the damages fall below your insurance excess. In this situation, you will be expected to resolve the case yourself and come to an agreement with the other driver. Accident management companies
In cases where you want to protect your no-claims bonus or you are finding that process of making a claim difficult because of disputes coming from the other side, then using Haven Claims can be an appealing option.
Haven Claims will be able to take on your claim and manage the whole process from start to finish.
Basically, they will provide an end-to-end service and will handle your claim on your behalf so you don’t need to get involved in a drawn-out dispute or have to cope with the stress of keeping up with all the paperwork involved.
You should still report your accident to your car insurance company so that they can record it for information purposes. This will help to prevent your insurance policy becoming void should you fail to notify them of an accident.
Types of Car Accident Claims
There are a large number of claim types that an individual can make when it comes to being in a car or vehicle accident. From road traffic accidents to personal injury, you should be aware of exactly what you can and cannot claim for.
Road traffic accident claims
There are many reasons that road traffic accidents occur. Some of the most common causes of this type of claim are the following: inexperienced driving, driving under the influence, bad weather conditions, and vehicle malfunctions. Road traffic accidents, or RTAs, are a standard type of claim for drivers to make.
They occur when a vehicle that is in motion crashes into another vehicle or object on the road. A good example is when a driver loses control of their car and collides with a stationary or moving vehicle. These types of accident are also called traffic collisions.
Whiplash injury claims
Whiplash is an extremely common form of personal injury following a road traffic accident or traffic collision. Whiplash occurs when the head of a person is sharply jerked from excessive force around them. The jolt that a car experiences when it collides with another object typically causes such shock and force that the driver’s head and neck are injured.
Whiplash can be a minor or a more severe injury, depending on the force of the collision. Symptoms can last for a long amount of time, and can cause dizziness, restricted mobility, and headaches.
Passenger car accident claims
Despite popular belief, it is not only the driver who can make a car accident claim following a collision. The passengers have as much right to an injury claim case as the other parties involved in the incident. Passengers can only make a claim if they were injured during the car accident because of actions one of the drivers took to cause the incident.
For example, if the other driver was driving under the influence when they hit the vehicle the passenger was in, and that passenger sustained something like a whiplash injury, they would have the right to a claim.
Claims that involve a car and another mode of transport
Stepping away from the idea of car-on-car collisions, there are several other types of vehicle accident claim that can be made where one party was in a car, and the other was using an alternative mode of transport.
Cyclists who are injured by drivers have the right to make a claim against the driver in question. The same can be said for motorcyclists. Passengers on public transport can also make injury and passenger claims, where relevant.
Fatal road accident claims
Fatal road accidents are just as serious as they sound. In these collision cases, a victim has sadly passed away due to injury and/or excessive force. The stress that comes from these types of situations is not something that a family member wants to be put through, especially in the case that there were other people in the car with the person who has died.
Haven Claims can take away the strain of these cases for the parties involved by advising the effected individual(s) on exactly what they need to do. Fatal road accidents are horrific situations to be in, but there is help available when it is looked for.
Serious injury claims
Personal injury is one thing, but serious injury claims are made when the injury to the individual is life-changing or life-threatening. Common injuries include spinal injuries, head injuries, and even psychological injury where the person’s mentality has been affected following the accident.
A lot of the time, these cases can be resolved within typical road accident claims, but sometimes, an individual may need to make a serious injury claim instead. The best course of action any injured party can take is to ask for advice from Haven Claims or the insurance company; depending on where the person in question is in the process of claiming against the other party.
Compensation claim cases
Finally, the last type of claim we will list here is the compensation claim. These are made by persons whose lives have been changed due to an injury, accident, or even medical negligence (which can be its own claim, as well!). Drivers and passengers can make compensation claims.
Even injuries that aren’t major can mean that the injured person is losing money because they cannot work. A compensation claim will enable the injured person to regain the money that they would lose while they cannot work. These types of claims are especially crucial for more seriously injured parties, where the injury from an accident has caused disability or long-term injury that will stay with the injured person for a large period of their life.
How car accident management companies work
If you suffer an accident and think you would benefit from the help of an Haven Claims, then they will need to assess your accident details to make sure your case is worth taking on.
Should they be happy to take on your case then they will help you in the following ways:
- Haven Claims will collect all of the information and details of your accident
- They will provide you with a replacement vehicle to drive while your car is off the road
- Carry out a full inspection and damage assessment on the vehicle
- Record any personal injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident
- Arrange for repairs to be made to your car
- Recover all costs caused by the accident
- Deal with any legal fallout through the at-fault parties’ insurance provider
Would you benefit from using Haven Claims?
On the face of it, there are a lot of advantages to be gained from using Haven Claims to deal with your claim, especially if the accident has left you in a state that has made it difficult for you to pursue the case yourself.
If you have been badly injured as a result of the accident you may not feel up to making the insurance claim yourself. Sometimes the extra stress and trauma caused by an accident are enough to cope with, so passing the paperwork on to someone else to handle for you can be a great relief.
In a lot of cases where the opposing party are disputing the events of the accident or are trying to pass the blame on to yourself, it can help to have an experienced accident claim company like Haven Claims on your side to fight your battle for you.
The main advantages of using their services
The most obvious advantages of using a Haven Claims include:
Legal assistance can also be arranged should you need it. This can help with recovering any lost earning or expenses caused by the accident and even any personal injury sustained as a result.
- Eliminating the stress involved with making a claim for an accident that wasn’t your fault
- No need to claim your car insurance
- No loss of your no-claims bonus
- No dramatic increase in your car insurance renewal costs
- The reassurance of having a team of experienced legal professionals on your side
On top of these benefits, your Haven Claims will deliver an end-to-end service that means seeing to all the necessary repairs to your car and providing you with a replacement car to use while your car is off the road.
The main aim of their service is to provide their customers with a low-stress experience making the whole process much more comfortable.
The downside of choosing a Haven Claims
Just like most things in life, services such as these have their good points that can make them very valuable, but also carry a few negative downsides that you need to be aware of before you jump in and take up their help.
Hidden costs involved
While you may find the idea appealing that Haven Claims will recover all of the costs of the accident from the at-fault party, you need to make sure you read the small print to discover what hidden costs may be charged.
Haven Claims will need paying for their time and they will take a percentage of what they win for you as their service charge.
But what is sometimes hidden away in the small print on your agreement or contract with them are a few extra costs that can impact on the final amount of money you get back at the end of the process.
Choosing a trusted company
Like a lot of other specialist claims companies, there has been a rapid increase in the numbers of car accident management companies on the market. This makes choosing a credible and trustworthy one a more difficult task.
Never choose the first company that pops up at the top of an internet search. Just because they come out at the top of a search doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best company to go with. It can just mean that they are very good at their SEO.
Again, never choose a company that has the flashiest marketing approach. Take your time to look around and compare their service history and customer satisfaction ratings.
I personally recommend you take a look at ‘Personal Injury Assist’ as they have an almost perfect 9.9/10 on Trustpilot.
Using Haven Claims instead of your insurer – is it legal?
Choosing to use a Haven Claims instead of going through your car insurance company to make a claim may sound a bit daunting – or even like the wrong thing to do.
While it may seem like a strange idea not to make a claim on your car insurance following an accident, it is perfectly legal and above board to use a service like this.
Using services such as Haven Claims make it more manageable for you in a lot of cases, especially where the car accident wasn’t your fault.
If the car accident wasn’t your fault, you have the option of either claiming through your car insurance to get your vehicle repaired, or making a claim via Haven Claims.
If the car accident was your fault, then you have no other option open to you. You need to claim through your own car insurance.
No insurance limitations
An added benefit of not going through your car insurance company to make a claim following your accident is that in most cases you will not be subjected to the limitations imposed by your regular car insurance policy.
This means that you will not be liable to pay any excesses and exclusions listed on your insurance policy before you can get your car repaired, such as replacement windscreen costs, or the cost of paying for a hire car to use while your car is off the road.
Your no-claims discount should also remain unaffected when using the services of Haven Claims.
You are even given legal assistance as part of the service should you need it.
What about company car accident claims?
If you were driving a company car when you had an accident, there is little difference between claiming for a company vehicle or for your own car.
As long as the accident wasn’t your fault you can still use the services of Haven Claims to deal with your case.
There is no legal difference between claiming compensation for road accidents and injuries sustained as a result whether you own the car you were driving or not.
The driver at fault will be sued for compensation which will normally be covered by the driver’s insurance company.
Getting your car back on the road
Obviously, you will be anxious to get your car repaired and back on the road as soon as possible following your accident. However, sometimes car insurance companies can put all sorts of caveats or rules to follow into your policy.
This can include only having your car repaired at a specified car dealer garage, such as a registered BMW repair centre and only using genuine BMW replacement parts.
However, with Haven Claims it is your legal right to choose where you have your car repaired. So this means that if you know of a trusted local independent car repair centre that can perform your repairs, you have every right to choose their repair services.
A brief summary of car accident management company benefits
Just to make it easier for you, here is a summary of the benefits of using the services of a car accident management company:
- There is no need to claim on your car insurance: Costs will be recovered directly from the at-fault driver’s insurance
- You will have no excess to pay: Using an accident management company instead of your car insurer means you do not have to pay your insurance policy excess charges
- You will be given a replacement hire vehicle: You will get a replacement car to drive that is as near as possible a match to your own while yours is off the road being repaired
- Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs: Your car will be repaired in full to its pre-accident condition
- Legal Assistance if needed with any aspects of your claim: Recover any lost earnings and make injury compensation claims
- All paperwork and administration is handled: You don’t need to stress over endless paperwork or form filling to process your claim as this will be completed on your behalf
What about fees and charges?
Car accident management companies, just like other legitimate claims companies, will operate on a system where they will charge you a fee for their services.
Their fee may be paid through the company taking a small percentage of the final payout awarded to you at the end of the claims process, or through paying a flat fee that is agreed upon before using their service.
Sometimes the company fees can be a combination of both a small percentage combined with a flat fee, but in most cases, this usually works out as a very reasonable amount to pay when you consider the amount of work they will be doing on your behalf.
It is up to you to look around to compare prices and services to find the right company to represent you. Make sure you check the small print very carefully to find any hidden costs or charges that may apply further down the line that can often not be obvious at the beginning of your claim.
Car Accident Claim Do It Yourself
Car accidents can be a severe cause of injury, and many people feel that they have a right to claim compensation and sue for damages. In a sense, they are correct. People do have a right to seek out reparations for their injuries sustained over the course of a car accident.
However, deciding whether or not to represent yourself can be a challenge. There are a lot of different options for you to think about when picking the best course of action for your needs. Should you represent yourself? We’ll be taking a look.
The Short Answer
Okay, so the short answer is that yes, you can represent yourself if you need to. However, there are a few things that you need to make sure you do prior to this process beginning. First of all, you are going to want to make sure that you follow the Pre-Action Protocols. These are in place to make sure that all of the groundwork is in place for anyone who wants to begin to settle a claim. These are as follows:
Letter Before Claim/Claim Notification Form
This part of the process involves sending detailed information to the party that you think is at fault. Make sure that you include information about the claim, the accident, the costs and the injuries received as a result.
Submission of Evidence
When you have filled out a claim notification form, the representative for the other side, be it an insurance company or a solicitor, will then reply accepting fault or denying it. You may be asked to provide additional evidence to ensure that you can show proof of injury and losses. Invoices for vehicle repairs, costs for medical treatments and evidence that you’ve had time away from work to recuperate are all helpful.
So when you’ve managed to complete the first two steps, you need to speak to an expert. These are people who can help to prove your claim. They do so by creating a viable selection of evidence, which is something you will most likely pay for upfront.
An essential step in the process is to make sure that you assign your claim with a suitable monetary value. The amount you choose will encompass all of the losses you’ve suffered and will suffer in the future, as well as your pain and loss of amenity where applicable. This process is best done with the help of previous case law guidelines.
Proceedings in Court
In the event that you can not reach an agreement to settle or secure an admission of liability, the case will go to court. The civil procedure rules govern the steps required for this, and you will have to pay court fees when you submit your claim.
Going to Trial
Before you can go to trial, you need to make sure that you have prepared for the event. Being ready to enter a court environment involves preparing evidence, organising witnesses for the trial, and deciding whether you need a barrister or whether you can be a litigant in person.
Settling for your car accident claim is achieved either before or after the trial. The other side will pay you the compensation you’ve agreed on, as well as cover the costs for legitimate expenses which you’ve accrued during the trial. This is not always clear cut though – sometimes the court awards less compensation than the other side offered before a trial started or the people you’re suing dispute the expenses.
Losing Your Case
In the event that you lose a case, you’ll be required to pay all of the legal costs the other side picked up, as well as their expenses.
Understanding the Terminology – Litigant in Person
So, a litigant in person is what happens when someone goes to court to argue their case but doesn’t have the backing of a lawyer or a legal counsel. They defend or represent themselves, in essence. The Bar Council, which is the authority that represents barristers in England and Wales, has put together a guide to expressing yourself, which is comprehensive and helpful.
Should You Represent Yourself?
So let’s talk about whether you should represent yourself or not. There are advantages to this course of action. When it comes to explaining how your injuries and pain impacts your daily life, you will be the best qualified to talk about it.
You can also save money on legal fees by representing yourself. There will be no need to pay a lawyer or legal counsel, which is sometimes advantageous.
However, there are disadvantages to representing yourself that you need to think about. Not every claim will be easy. You can slip up and make mistakes without the help of a trained professional. The factors that you’ll want to consider are as follows:
There Will be a Risk-Free Claim
When you choose to work with a legal professional, you can ensure that the claim you make is a risk-free one. They are required to act in your best interest, and thus can not create a situation where you lose out. Losing a claim on your own can be a much more disadvantageous situation.
Assigning the Potentially Wrong Value
Giving your case value will depend on quite a few things. Chiefly among these is how much your claim is worth – knowledge you will have to gain via piecing it together from old files and with no experience. A legal professional will be able to give you a higher value, potentially one which is more than what you thought.
Working Without Specialist Knowledge
Here’s the thing about a trained professional. They offer you a wealth of different options for getting the most out of your claim, bringing all of their expert knowledge to help you win the case. To work without then will put you a distinct tactical disadvantage.
So, What’s The Best Way to Deal With Haven Claims?
It is true that if you need to, you can represent yourself in a car accident claim. However, it’s not the best choice for winning. I understand there will be reasons why you can’t work Haven Claims. But if you can, utilise their services. These are trained individuals. They have experience in the courtroom, and with negotiating for a settlement. If the objective is to win, you need the best chance of that. However, trying to go it alone can severely limit your likelihood of success. I recommend playing it safe and hiring Haven Claims, or my personal preference ‘Personal Injury Assist’. It’ll be a lot easier to play by the rules and come out on top.
Ultimate Guide to Personal Injury Claims
If you have ever suffered from an accident that has caused you a personal injury, you may want to look at making a personal injury claim for compensation.
Should your personal injury be so severe that it negatively affects your life in a major way and prevents you from performing your job, it will be perfectly understandable that you will be worried about your finances.
A lot of accident victims will automatically wonder how they are going to pay their mortgage or rent and household bills if they cannot work.
Making a claim for personal injury will in most cases provide you with enough money to cover your bills and allow you to focus on recovering from your accident without having any financial worries on your shoulders.
However, it is sad to say that most people that suffer from personal injuries don’t bother to make a claim. This is usually because they cannot afford the high costs of taking someone to court and paying for a solicitor to handle their case.
As long as the accident you suffered wasn’t your fault, you are allowed by law to file an accident claim against another party. Just about everyone will be familiar with TV and radio advertisements for personal injury claims companies and most of these will work on a ‘no win no fee’ model.
What is a no win no fee Claim?
The idea behind the implementation of the ‘no win no fee’ system for personal injury claims was to address the problem that a majority of people suffering an injury from an accident couldn’t afford to go to court to claim compensation.
With this new system in place for making personal injury claims, anyone that has had an accident that wasn’t their fault can have a good chance of winning compensation for the injuries they sustained.
Even if you don’t have any savings of your own to hire a solicitor to act on your behalf, you can still make a personal injury claim by using a ‘no win no fee’ claims company like Haven Claims.
Ultimately, it is just how it sounds – if Haven Claims doesn’t win your case, you do not have to pay them a single penny.
How does the personal injury claim system work?
What this means to you is that there are a very large number of personal injury claim companies that will have a team of professionally trained solicitors that are willing to work on your behalf.
The Haven Claims will listen to your personal injury experience and if they think that you have solid grounds to make a claim for compensation, they will take on your case.
Once you enter into an agreement with Haven Claims for a ‘no win no fee’ claim, your personal injury claim company has agreed to provide you with a fully comprehensive service where they will take care of all legal matters to do with your claim.
You should never be asked to pay a fee or deposit up-front, so if any personal injury claim company you talk to asks you for money, then you should look elsewhere for a more reputable firm.
How do personal injury claim companies get paid?
This is pretty much a gamble on the side of Haven Claims. They are the ones that are taking all of the risks by taking on your compensation claim.
Should Haven Claims fail to win your case, they will not be paid. This means that they will be out of pocket for not winning your case, but ultimately there will be no charge to you.
Should your claim be successful, then you will be expected to pay a certain per cent of your claim winnings – or a flat fee, depending on how the claims company works.
You should always make sure to read the small print of any no win no fee agreement that you sign up for because it will be written into the contract exactly what you are bound to pay the company should they win your case.
Check to see what percentage of your compensation will be taken in fees as rates may vary from company to company.
Paying the Haven Claims fees is made really easy because they will deduct their fees directly from the compensation that you will be awarded. So if you win your claim, you will receive your compensation payment, minus your legal fees.
What about no win no fee solicitors?
In the UK you can choose between using an personal injury claims company or going with a no win no fee solicitor.
A no win no fee solicitor will work in the same way as a no win no fee personal injury claim company in that you can hire them without paying an up-front fee to retain their services.
Again, you will have to look at the small print of any agreement you will be asked to sign to see what percentage your solicitor will take on winning your case. Using the services of a single solicitor may be more or less expensive than going with an personal injury claims company.
A solicitor taking on your case, in the same way, will also be taking on a bit of a gamble about winning or losing your case.
This is why they will carefully check all of the details of your personal injury to make sure they have a good chance of winning your case, and ultimately getting paid for their hard work at the end of it.
If you would prefer to go with a solo solicitor offering a ‘no win no fee’ service, check their track record with personal injury claim successes. Many solicitors operate across a broad range of legal services, so you will need to find a solicitor with a good history of successful claims.
On the other hand, you may feel better pursuing your compensation claim with a dedicated personal injury claim company that specialises in this field and have a proven track record.
How do I know if I have a claim?
If you have had an personal injury that you know in your mind wasn’t your fault, then you should talk to Haven Claims as quickly as possible following your accident.
Remember that you don’t need to pay Haven Claims anything up-front – not even for their initial advice. You can talk to any claims company for free to establish whether or not you have a strong claim for personal injury compensation.
However, you should be certain that you are an innocent victim of an personal injury and your claim should be based on hard evidence. Should you be unsure or vague about the cause of the accident then you claim may well be rejected, which would be a waste of your time.
What is the personal injury claim process?
When you have the right circumstances to make a strong personal injury compensation claim and you have chosen your ‘no win no fee’ claims company or solicitor, they will perform the following tasks on your behalf:
- Weigh up your case to determine whether or not it is worth claiming compensation
- Offer you expert advice on the best way forward with your claim
- Press your case for compensation and consult with experts to prove your claim
- Contact the opposing party through an official letter to inform them of your claim and detailing your reasons for making it
- Advise you on the response to your claim for compensation and advise on the way forward
- Legally represent you in court if needed
- Process your claim paperwork and secure your compensation payment minus their fees
What are the main benefits of using an personal injury claims company?
As already covered in the information above, there is zero risk of you being out of pocket by approaching an personal injury claims company to handle your compensation claim on your behalf.
- If you take the ‘no win no fee’ approach, you will not have to pay any money upfront to hire the services of a solicitor to make your claim and the associated administration costs.
- Everything is included in their services right from processing your claim, representing you in court (if necessary), to all communications, negotiations and the final settlement of your claim.
- If you chose to bypass the ‘no win no fee’ approach and hire your own legal help, you will not only have to pay up-front fees for their representation but you could be landed with very hefty charges and court expenses should your claim fail.
- Your legal team will do all the work for you. Should you win your case, your accident claim company will take their percentage as fees, and you get to walk away with the rest of the compensation payment.
- If you lose your claim, you will be protected from having to pay the claim costs and for your legal representation.
Depending on the depths of your personal injury and the complexities of making a successful claim, you may be advised to take out an insurance policy that will cover you for any extra miscellaneous costs or charges that may occur during the claims process.
What this means is that should your claim turn out to be long, arduous and heavily resisted by the other side, any extra costs arising from proving your claim will be covered by your insurance policy. This means that even if you lose, you will not have to pay for anything.
Will an Haven Claims do a professional job?
What is well worth bearing in mind if you want to make a claim for compensation is that a solicitor or personal injury claim company will only ever take on your case if they are extremely confident that they will succeed.
No claim company or solicitor in their right mind will take on your case knowing that they will probably lose – and therefore not get paid for their hard work!
One thing you can be sure of is that when your case gets taken up, your legal team will be working very hard to win you a favourable outcome.
You can also be assured that in England and Wales, all personal injury claim companies are very tightly regulated by law.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates all registered personal injury claims companies that handle personal injury claims, criminal injury and industrial injury claims.
Is the personal injury claims market very competitive?
Since the ‘no win no fee’ claims system has been brought in, there is no doubt that the personal injury claims market has become more competitive and aggressive.
There are many firms that are now competing for custom, so a lot of their focus will go on attracting new customers rather than being careful to choose clients with the best chances of winning their claim.
It is unfortunate that some firms will take on your case quickly without careful scrutiny only to pull out of the agreement at a later stage. This can leave a claimant high and dry possibly facing a court proceeding without any legal help.
This is why you should be very careful when choosing an personal injury claims company to represent you.
How long do I get to make a personal injury claim?
What a lot of people are unaware of is that for most cases of accidents resulting in personal injury, you will only have a three-year time limit to be able to make a claim.
This is why it will pay you not to delay making a claim for compensation for too long after your personal injury. Remember that you will not be charged a fee for seeking advice from a claims expert, so it is worth pursuing as soon as you are able following your accident.
Personal Injury Claim Do It Yourself
You’ll be happy to find out you can claim for personal injury yourself without a Lawyer.
We all have a right to access justice and pursue the personal injury claim ourselves.
When acted upon correctly this personal approach can be quite effective. There are however, rules and protocols to follow, and we are here to help!
You will need more than just a suit and court date. You must be aware of Pre Action Protocols before your case even reaches court.
These protocols are very helpful if you want to represent yourself as they do offer structure and guidance to this very often complex process.
The PAP also offer an opportunity for both sides to come to an agreement before you even step into a courtroom, again strengthening the opportunity to represent yourself.
Read on to consider some of the steps yourself before committing to self-representation.
Claim Notification Form
If you have the party at fault in sight then this form gives you a chance to outline your claim, the injuries, the losses and your version of events to get the legal ball rolling!
The other party, such as an insurance company or solicitor will then reply either accepting fault or denying liability which allows you to provide further evidence.
This is your opportunity to provide detailed evidence of losses, injuries in the form of employer forms for time off work, GP notes, vehicle repair bills, costs, witness accounts and so forth.
Then here come the experts. This evidence will all be taken over by an independent expert for scrutiny.
These experts include doctors, mechanics, engineers, physios and so on to add weight to your evidence in the form of vehicle repair checks, x-rays, physical examinations to name a few. This may come at a cost to you.
Value of Claim
Once your notification of claim has been put together, with evidence, you need to value it.
The value of the claim means placing a monetary cost to the overall claim. This includes past and future losses, compensation for bills, and damage to vehicles for example, as well as valuing your own pain and suffering.
You can use previous cases of personal injury claims as guidance in regards to potential court and injury costs you hope to cover.
Following the above procedure, if a settlement cannot be agreed then your case will be decided in court.
Your personal injury claim will then be placed under Civil Procedure Rules, where you must comply with strict processes and deadlines that the court demands. This process also includes fees that are paid by the representing party, i.e. you!
You must be well organised to gather your claim and case together, prepare evidence in your favour and arrange witness or expert accounts.
From here, even though you are representing yourself you still have the chance of a Barrister to argue your case on your behalf, with an additional fee of course.
Failing this, you can still continue alone as a litigant in person.
The settlement can still be reached before trial at this point. Whether a settlement is reached before or as a result of trial then the other party will pay you the agreed value of your claim, if successful.
Be sure to value your claim accurately, because even if successful the other party can still dispute the nature of your expenses, court costs and so forth. Again, the court may need to step in here to award compensation to either party where necessary.
If you have lost the case where you represent yourself then you are liable to pay their agreed claim value to the opposing party. That includes their considered expenses and fees.
Litigant in Person
If you decide to represent yourself through a personal injury claim in court without legal support then you are the litigant in person. Also termed as the complainant or accuser of the claim.
For further advice and guidance the Bar Council have provided a guide to representing yourself in court which provides details on a wide range of civil legal matters, such as personal injury.
You have a true first-hand account of what happened, your injuries and how this incident has affected your life.
Second hand information via legal support can lose validity or severity if the claim is made many months or years after an incident.
This is also a money saving approach as you can save money on appointing a solicitor for your personal injury claim.
Fees can be around 25% of the winning compensation, which is potentially a great saving. However, it must be considered that you have accurately valued your claim to cover all your personal costs, as well as being able to pay the fees to the other party if claim is unsuccessful.
This approach can be very stressful, time consuming and a complex process. Of course we are not all legal experts so learning on the job can have an impact on our health and wellbeing.
There are often associated risks, pitfalls, costs and fees to consider which you need to pay yourself, whether you win or lose.
‘No win, no fee’ agreements are often a good option for many who want to make a more risk-free claim.
Personal injury lawyers can act on your behalf as a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement places them in your best interest to be successful.
The value of your claim can be grossly miss-managed. When representing yourself you can become emotionally attached and place high financial value on your claim.
This can mean certain items that ‘mean’ more to you personally may be overestimated in value than they are worth in monetary terms.
Furthermore, under-estimating your claim is also a danger if you haven’t considered all possible loss of earnings. You could end up losing thousands if you don’t accurately assess all income and potential worth that’s been effected by injury.
This can even include for example, a £40 a month gym membership that you haven’t been able to use for many months, or not able to use in the future. Consider all possibilities before potentially under-settling yourself.
Lastly, when representing yourself you are placing yourself up against experts in the field.
You go up against lawyers, insurance companies and solicitors’ where their sole aim is to not accept liability on your personal injury claim.
Their full time job is to win the case, or at least settle for the lowest possible amount. This isn’t a level playing field.
Utilising legal support yourself can empower you to get your claim across whilst letting experts in the field take up all the stresses and strains of the process.
Their skills and knowledge of the injury claim procedure can go in your favour, especially if you agree to a ‘no win, no fee arrangement. What have you got to lose?
At present most claims are taken to court on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. This is drawn up through a conditional agreement where you pay a fee on the successful settlement of your compensation claim.
You may also be required to sign up for an ‘after-the-event’ insurance policy that protects you from having to pay out legal costs should you lose your case.
The claims system that is set up today is in the favour of the claimant because you can bring your case to court at zero financial risks to yourself.
As long as you are confident that the accident wasn’t your fault and you have the evidence to back your claim up, it is very worth making a claim for compensation, whether it be yourself, with Haven Claims or my personal preference: ‘Personal Injury Assist’.