Personal Injury and Damages

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Know your rights in personal injury and damages lawsuits in

In some insurers may be quick to contact claimants directly to make an early offer to settle a personal injury claim. This is a procedure known as 'third party capture'.

Access to Justice in

A key tenet to any smoothly functioning legal system is the principle of access to justice. This principle is as important in the world of personal injury claims as it is in anywhere else.

It is important that potential claimants are able to obtain independent legal advice and guidance to help them navigate the system.

People need to know that there is nothing wrong in an injured person receiving appropriate accident compensation for injuries, loss of earnings or rehabilitation bills, all of which can mount up if a person is injured in an accident that was not their fault.

Again, it is important that they have the chance to speak to a legal representative who can assure them - and reassure them - of their rights.

The majority of insurers, like the majority of personal injury lawyers, are completely responsible. Some, however, are not - and they will attempt to get to an accident victim before that person has a chance to gather their thoughts and assess their rights.

In these situations, it is not unlikely that an offer may be made - an out of court settlement - that will no doubt feel attractive.

Money in the hand can seem like the easy, more convenient option - but can also be difficult for someone with no legal experience to know that they are not being 'under-settled'.

Under-settling is the danger to victims of third party capture. If an insurer swoops in and offers money, an accident victim must have the chance to speak to an independent legal professional to make sure that the compensation is correct.

This is not a case of being greedy - if a person does face mounting hospital bills or a long spell out of work, they need to know how much help they are entitled to.

Likewise, it is not for the insurers of businesses who have lapsed in their health and safety responsibilities to negotiate a better deal for these companies. An aspect of compensation is that it is punitive and sends a message to other employers or businesses that they will be hit in the pocket if they fail to protect their staff, or others in their care.

Again, that is wholly appropriate - right and fair.

To ensure proper access to justice, anyone who is considering making a compensation claim should speak to a legal expert. Even if they arrange to meet an insurer - that insurer is obliged to inform them that they have every right to legal representation. They should always avail themselves of that right.

People who have suffered personal injury through no fault of their own need to be aware of their rights. They should be able to claim the fuull amount they are entitled to as a result of their injury, and it is important that they know what to do to access that compensation, and that this information is not hidden from them.

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