Q: I was recently badly injured in an accident whilst riding pillion on a motorcycle. The surgeons were unable to save the lower half of my leg and it had to be amputated. Afterwards I suffered serious depression and still get nightmares and flashbacks. Now I am trying to deal with things, especially planning for the long term. Yesterday I phoned the Citizens Advice Bureau who advised that I have a high value claim and need to see a solicitor. I am concerned what will actually be involved in making a claim, please can you outline the procedure?
A: The first stage in any claim is to confirm the circumstances of the accident and the potential liability. You need to contact a specialist personal injury solicitor such as ourselves who will be able to advise you in relation to your specific claim and obtain statements from you and any witnesses as well as obtaining the police report. As you were the passenger, liability will be proven against one of the drivers.
Once you are on the road to recovery your solicitor will instruct one or more medical experts who will examine you, discuss the accident with you and then prepare a report on your injuries. In these circumstances the experts instructed would be a limb specialist and a psychologist.
Throughout this process your solicitor will assess any rehabilitation needs you may have and the defendant may have to pay for the costs of rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, counselling and even future operations. During the claim any losses you incurred will also be assessed. In addition to damages for the injury itself you can claim for loss of earnings or for costs of care for example.
Only when your case is ready should your solicitor enter into negotiations with the defendant to obtain the maximum compensation for you.