This is definitely a topic that many people have never really delved into, or thankfully, had to delve into. When you have an accident that isn't your fault, naturally you must feel incredibly angry, firstly that someone has done this to you and you had nothing to do with the event, and that it has happened to you. It is often seen as being a problem to claim compensation and that it is not the right thing to do and that injuries cannot be proven. Of course some people do try to cheat the system but many don’t. If you have a disabled relative, would you just sit back and let them not claim? Vulnerable people may believe they do not have the right to do this or may not even know about the claims so it’s important that you educate them as much as you can to help them make the right decision. You should never force them but you can at least give them the option to do so because it’s certainly going to be important that someone is there to help them.
Let’s just say your cousin or sister, who is also disabled, was caught up in a car bump and car sadly had to be written off, is that OK for her to claim compensation if a lot of time and money was wasted on an accident that was not her fault. It can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety as well as pain so surely that’s OK. If the person with them was not disabled however, do they still have the right to claim? Of course it’s subjective but any injury that wasn’t caused by you should pave the way for you to be able to claim some type of compensation, especially if the other driver has been reckless.
We know that claiming compensation can have a stigma attached to it, people believe that you can use personal injury lawyers for all the wrong reasons, and this is true, but what about the people who genuinely have had a terrible experience, and really do need someone to listen, and fight their corner. Many people didn't make a claim because of "compensation culture", meaning they missed out on something because of the way that personal injury claims can be looked down upon, and to me that's really sad. Nobody should let a minority of dishonest and deceitful people stop you from claiming something you are entitled to - there are some incredible solicitors who would be more than happy to fight for you 100%! Some of the things that may occur to you before you claim anything could be:
- "It's too much time and effort" - It doesn't have to be. Choose the right lawyer to do the leg work for you and you do not have to worry about having any difficulties.
- "I may have to pay a lot of money" - Most companies do offer a 'no win no fee' policy, which really means you have nothing to lose and it is worth looking into if the situation was out of your control.
- "It may be pricey for a consultation" - Some companies offer a free consultation, so you can get good quality advice over the phone for no fee but shop around and get advice from a lawyer if needs be.
- "I'll be OK, I don't need to get anyone involved" - Why shouldn't you? If you have suffered an injury that's causing discomfort, or any physical/mental issues created by something that wasn't your fault, then it's more than right for you to get some compensation especially if you have had to take time off work or pay out for other things.
- “Maybe it was just as much my fault as theirs?” - the police and witness statements can assist you with this; you should never second guess yourself if you know what happened and the driver was in the wrong.
- “Will people think I’m greedy and abusing the system?” - any legitimate accident is a terrible occurrence and your friends and family should appreciate what has happened and want you to claim. Any friends or colleagues who may not agree do not have to know so do not be swayed if you know you were in the right.
- “I might not get much money anyway” - this depends on many factors but getting the right advice will allow you to find out exactly how much you could claim based on your injury, state of your car and the circumstances that are involved also.
If something has happened to you recently, whether you think it's big or small, and it's related to an event that was not your fault, then getting a consultation is an easy and affordable way to find out whether or not you have a claim and how they can help. If you feel uncomfortable telling friends and family then that is OK too, but it is something that you should consider, without thinking about the judging comments of others. Most websites offer really quick and easy to navigate pages with friendly and helpful advice. If you have suffered a type of accident, it’s OK to remember that you may feel tired, anxious, stressed or even depressed. It can take months of recovery from such a difficult event and you should never pressure yourself to feel back on it straight away. Get the support you need if you need it and don’t suffer in silence.
You may need to get statements from the other drivers and also you may need to get back ups from the police to solidify your claim. The types of injuries depend upon how much compensation you can get but the payout may be a few thousand; which you can use to buy a new car or to get the treatment you need. The choice is yours but it’s vital that you give yourself that choice. Plenty of people choose to take this option and if the options are there then don’t limit yourself.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.