Is there a valid claim
Following a serious injury, the first step is for the injured person and his or her family, to find out whether there is any chance of obtaining compensation. In order to succeed, it is necessary to prove that the accident which led to the injury was caused by the fault of another. This is called 'assessing and confirming liability'.
Generally, serious injuries are caused in a road traffic accidents, mishaps at work, leisure disasters, accidents in the home or through medical negligence. In each case it is essential for the injured person to establish that someone else was at fault, either partly or entirely. An initial assessment of the validity of a claim would normally take place at a first meeting with a solicitor.
Many people assume that there is no valid claim, and do nothing for years, but then discover that it is, or may be possible to bring an action, at which stage it is far more difficult because so much time has passed. In general, you have three years from the date of an accident within which to bring a claim. After that, although it is not impossible to start the ball rolling, there are hurdles you have to overcome.
Generally, it is important to investigate the circumstances of the accident as soon as possible, for a number of reasons. Very often, there are witnesses of what happened and their memories will be at their best in the weeks or months after the event. Also, if enquiries are not made early there may be significant changes: for example, the road layout or the factory machinery might be altered, or a defect might be repaired so that it cannot be examined. It is sometimes worthwhile arranging for a family member, or friend, to take photographs immediately after the accident.