Category Archives: Personal injury

How dangerous is a fall from height?

Workplaces can be dangerous.

When it comes to accidents at work, there is an almost endless number of ways you can get injured. But there’s one type of accident in particular that can cause major injuries, from life-changing to fatalities.

A fall from height is the biggest killer in the workplace. In 2018/19, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 40 people lost their lives at work after a fall from a height.

The World Health Organization has also found that falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths globally.

The most dangerous industries

Falls from height are more common in certain industries. You’re far less likely to suffer such an accident if you work in an office than if you work on construction sites, for example. However, regardless of industry, you will likely find that a fall from height causes more damage than another type of accident.

The most dangerous industries in the UK in terms of fatalities is agriculture, forestry and fishing. This sector saw 32 deaths in 2018/19. Construction saw the second highest number of deaths, at 30, while manufacturing saw 26.

Since places of work involving heights are common within these industries, it is unsurprising that such a high number of fatalities was seen. It is expected that employees within these sectors will work on ladders, scaffolding, roofs, machinery, platforms and racking, among other heights.

Risk factors

If you work outside, the weather could then have an impact on the chances that you might suffer a fall. Workers are more likely to suffer a fall when it’s wet or icy than if it’s dry outside. So that makes it essential that employers whose workers spend the majority of their time outdoors ensure they have appropriate health and safety policies in place. If you’re worried about your company’s health and safety policies, it’s important to raise your concerns.

Are you more likely to have an injury than someone else? Your attitude may come into play here. You might find that you’re carrying out the same safety precautions and wearing the same gear than colleagues, but if you’re complacent about your safety, you might find that you’re more likely than your co-workers to fall.

The impact of distance

Distance is one of the key factors affecting how dangerous a fall from height will be. If you fall from a distance of just over a foot, you might sprain a wrist or suffer a cut. Falling from 48 feet – or four stories – however, could see your life end. According to reference book Trauma Anesthesia, that’s the median distance for a fall to be fatal. When that increases to seven stories in height, 90% of falls are fatal.

There have been reports of miraculous survivals, such as the flight attendant who survived a 33,333-foot fall when the plane she was in exploded. Vesna Vulović suffered temporary paralysis from the waist down, but the only lasting health issue she suffered from was a limp.

But stories like these are exceptionally rare. It is far more common that someone falling from a significant distance will suffer a catastrophic injury. Imperial College London professor of surgery Sean Hughes told the Guardian that the majority of people who fall from a height die after fracturing their spine at the top, therefore cutting right across the aorta.

Although most workplace accidents can be prevented, working at a height has its own risks. These can be negotiated, but there will always be danger associated with heights. It will always pay to abandon complacency and to take the situation seriously.

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Personal injury: how do I know I have a claim?

Personal injury claims cover a wide range of incidents, so how do you know whether you can make a claim for the injury you’ve suffered?

There are so many ways you could get injured – from falling down your stairs at home to being scalded by boiling water in a café. Knowing whether you can make a claim will typically come down to one question: was your injury caused by someone else’s negligence?

If someone is responsible for your accident, you can likely make a personal injury claim against them. This is also true if it’s an organisation or business.

Some of the most common personal injuries include:

Accident at work

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that a workplace is safe. If it has not taken this duty seriously and you have suffered the consequences – in the form of an accident and resulting injury – then you could have a claim.

Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. Someone working on a construction site with moving objects and vehicles and heavy machinery will be more at risk of a serious injury than someone in an office, where the biggest threat is trailing wires and the trip hazard they present.

Road traffic accident

Road traffic accidents are one of the most common types of accidents in the UK. In 2018, there were 160,597 casualties of all severities reported to police, according to the Department for Transport. However, it is likely this figure could be higher as not all injuries and accidents are reported to police.

These accidents are a potential threat to almost everyone. They can happen while driving your own vehicle, on public transport, in a taxi or even as a pedestrian. If you were hurt in an accident while on the roads, you could be able to make a claim against the person responsible.

Slip, trip or fall

Some of the most common accidents you could experience in public places are slips, trips or falls. These accidents could be caused by a range of hazards, including wet or icy surfaces where no signs have been put up or tripping on uneven paving stones.

You could also find yourself falling down public stairs that have not been properly maintained or in an area that lacks an adequate level of lighting. In each of these examples, someone has been responsible for fixing these problems but hasn’t. And this negligence means you will likely be able to make a claim for compensation.

Medical negligence

One of the more sensitive areas of personal injury claims includes the medical negligence field. This is when you have sought medical attention for an existing condition, but the treatment you received was substandard, causing your condition to worsen or a new health problem to develop.

This could have come about after treatment by both the NHS or a private practitioner. You may have suffered various forms of negligence, including misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, nerve injury or dental negligence, among other forms.

Industrial disease

Along the same legal lines as an accident at work, industrial disease can be caused by a company’s negligence. This is when you suffer an illness because of something you’ve had to do at work. It could happen if you haven’t been provided the necessary protective equipment or if you’d been exposed to harmful substances.

Mesothelioma is just one example of an industrial disease. Caused by asbestos exposure, it is an incurable cancer that can take 20 to 50 years for any symptoms to develop. You may also have suffered from industrial hearing loss, skin diseases or musculoskeletal problems.

Personal injuries

However you may have been injured, if it was the fault of someone else and it happened within the last three years, you could be able to make a claim. This could go a long way towards getting you back on your feet or making your life more comfortable.

You have the right to justice when you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s actions – or lack thereof.

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Why no win no fee?

In the majority of legal cases, clients will have to pay for their solicitor’s services upfront. However, with a no win no fee agreement, this isn’t the case.

With a conditional fee agreement – the formal arrangement between you and your lawyer – you will proceed on the basis that you won’t have to pay anything unless you win your case.

The history of no win no fee

Introduced in order to give more people the ability to take their cases to court, the no win no fee model has revolutionised the way UK courts hear personal injury claims. They were first introduced into law in 1995 in England and Wales to cover a range of civil court cases.

Speaking in 1998, when no win no fee was extended to cover all civil cases, except those heard in family courts, then parliamentary secretary Geoff Hoon said: “No-win no-fee conditional agreements will result in better access to justice. Access will be given to the many people who fall between those who are very rich or those who are so poor that they qualify for legal aid.”

He added that in the future, “the question of whether one gets one’s case to court will no longer depend on whether one can afford it, but on whether one’s case is a strong one”.

In 2000, the Access to Justice Act came into force, giving judges the ability to force the losing side in a no win no fee case to pay the additional costs. Legal aid for personal injury cases was also abolished, making no win no fee the best option for many people pursuing a claim.

Today, clients taking on a no win no fee agreement will pay for a legal insurance policy and eventually a success fee upon winning their claim. In most cases, this fee is 25%.

Why choose no win no fee?

When you’ve suffered from a personal injury – including medical negligence – you’ll have more important things to think about than how you’re going to fund your claim. Your recovery will likely be at the forefront of your mind. From treatment to whether you’ll get back to work soon, you’ll have plenty to think about.

If you had to proceed with a personal injury claim without the assurance of a no win no fee claim, the worry about funding it may distract you from the more pressing concern of getting your injuries treated. This, in turn, could put you off going ahead with a claim at all.

This means the no win no fee agreement opens up access to justice and means anyone who has suffered an injury is able to address what happened. It gives people the chance to make things right when they’ve gone so wrong that physical harm was sustained.

It shows that legally, no win no fee is a hugely important model. Giving someone with a valid claim the ability to pursue justice is something we need to protect.

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Knowing whether you have a claim

Making a claim is not as complicated as you may think. If you’re not sure whether you may have a personal injury or medical negligence claim, you may feel overwhelmed about potentially going forward with one.

This guide is intended to help you work out if you would be able to make a claim after suffering an injury or illness.

Type of injury

Personal injuries come in many different forms. However, the general rule is that if you have been injured in an accident that was the fault of another person or organisation, you may have a personal injury claim.

Some of the most common types of personal injury include:

  • Accident at work
  • Road traffic accident
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Faulty product injury
  • Accident abroad

However, if you’ve had an accident that doesn’t appear to fit into one of these categories, you may still have a claim. It is advisable to seek guidance on the issue.

Time limits

In the majority of cases, you will have a certain amount of time in which to bring a claim for compensation. This is generally three years. So if you have been injured in the last three years, you could be able to make a claim.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if the accident happened to a child, they have three years from their 18th birthday in which to make their claim. Meanwhile, if you are claiming on behalf of someone without the mental capacity to claim for themselves, it is unlikely that you will face any time limit.

Injury severity

In order to make a claim, your injury needs to be serious enough to require medical treatment. It is therefore important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If your injury is serious enough to claim for, you will likely require a period of recovery. The sooner you can start getting back on your feet, the better.

As well as helping you to recover physically from your ordeal, medical attention will provide important evidence for your claim.


To present a claim, you may need certain pieces of evidence. This will help to strengthen your case. Among the most important and persuasive pieces of evidence you can submit with your claim are police, workplace accident and medical reports.

These will support your claim that the injury caused you real problems and that the accident was caused by someone else. Your solicitor will also want to know about any witness statements you may have access to. These will help show who was responsible for the incident.


The amount of compensation you receive after a successful claim will depend on a number of factors. These are based on the pain and suffering your injury has caused you to experience, as well as any costs you have incurred as a result of your injury.

If you have been forced to take time off work and therefore lost earnings, this will be taken into account when compensation is awarded. You could also be compensated for any damage sustained to your belongings.

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Can a workplace accident cause PTSD?

Having an accident at work can have lasting effects on a person. And not just physically.

When you suffer an injury in an accident at work, you may end up suffering the emotional and psychological consequences.

You might think a condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects only those in particularly high-stress roles, like the military. However, it can strike anyone after any significant distressing event.

Witnessing an accident

Accidents at work are most likely to affect those working in agricultural industries – including forestry and fishing. This is according to the Health and Safety Executive’s latest data. In 2018/19, 32 people in these industries were killed on the job.

Construction was the second most dangerous industry, with 30 deaths in this period, while manufacturing was third, with 26 people killed.

According to mental health charity Mind, witnessing a fatal accident can be a cause for PTSD. This means that workers in these industries are not only at greater risk of death in the course of their daily lives, but are also more likely to witness a colleague have a fatal accident.

This could lead to affected workers suffering significant levels of emotional trauma, affecting their work and personal lives.

PTSD after an accident

Suffering an accident yourself can also lead to mental trauma. Agriculture and construction were the two industries that saw the highest number of non-fatal injuries and work-related illness in 2017/18, according to the HSE’s most recent figures. Agriculture saw 3,690 per 100,000 workers hurt, while construction saw 2,620.

These workers could have suffered serious accidents, leaving them with significant injuries. Those who have suffered this kind of injury could find that they then experience further pain and suffering in the form of PTSD.

Some of the most serious types of accidents at work – and those typically more likely to cause a higher level of emotional suffering – involve being struck by a moving object or vehicle. Meanwhile, falls from height can cause serious injuries and affected 8% of employees who reported a workplace accident in 2017/18, according to the HSE.

Potentially the most upsetting type of accident a worker can suffer, however, is an act of violence. This could be caused by a colleague, customer or member of the public. Those in positions of authority can be particularly vulnerable to this kind of injury. For example, a survey commissioned by Channel 4’s Dispatches found that eight in 10 police officers were physically attacked and one-third suffered injuries last year.

Symptoms of PTSD

Mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness has highlighted some of the symptoms of PTSD, including:

  • Flashbacks or dreams about the event or accident
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of what happened
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being unable to feel emotions
  • Poor concentration
  • Not enjoying activities any longer
  • Feeling on edge, being easily startled, as well as alert and anxious

The Royal College of Psychologists suggests that if you have experienced these symptoms for more than six weeks since the event, you should talk it over with your doctor.

There has been a general downward trend in rates of self-reported non-fatal workplace accidents in the last two decades. Since 2000/01, the estimated rate has dropped by around half, says the HSE’s statistics. Meanwhile, there has been an estimated decrease of 58% in employer-reported non-fatal injury since 1986/87.

However, although these accidents are becoming less likely to happen to workers – as health and safety practices become more robust across all industries – those that do happen can have huge impacts.

This is why it’s vital to seek out the right help when an incident like this affects you.

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The effect of serious personal injuries

Suffering a serious injury in an accident is one of the most upsetting experiences a person can go through. A serious injury can leave you scared and highly anxious about your future, particularly if you can no longer work or you’ve had to take a significant period of time off.

It is for this reason that personal injury claims can provide a lifeline to many. Without the assistance that such a claim can provide, victims of these accidents could find themselves in dire financial straits.

What makes an injury serious?

Serious injuries can take many forms. Also known as catastrophic injuries, serious injuries can be life-changing and extremely difficult to deal with after the event.

Road traffic accidents and falls from height are some of the more common ways you might suffer such an injury, but there are numerous ways it can occur. Whatever the cause, serious injuries can affect you, your loved ones and even your colleagues.

You have likely suffered a serious injury if you’ve experienced any of these:

  • Brain and head injury
  • Spine and back injury
  • Burns and skin damage
  • Sight or hearing loss or damage
  • Internal organ injury
  • Loss of limbs and amputation
  • Paralysis, including partial and temporary
  • Fractures and broken bones

Effects of serious injuries

After suffering a serious injury, you might be left with changed circumstances. This can relate to your emotional recovery, as well as your physical needs. As you may be left struggling to come to terms with what has happened to you, it’s important not to neglect the mental trauma you may have suffered.

You could need to take part in continuing treatment, such as physiotherapy or counselling, to help you deal with what happened. You might also need specialist equipment or modifications installed in your home to help you accomplish daily tasks, such as cooking or cleaning. You may find that you require a mobility aid or vehicle adaptation to help you get around.

After a serious injury, you may find that you can’t work anymore or that you have to take a long period off. This could leave you facing huge financial pressures, particularly if you’re the main breadwinner in your household.

What can I do after a serious injury?

After a serious injury, the first thing to focus on is your health. Your priority should be to get the right treatment. You need to give yourself the best chance of recovery.

You can then start to think about the justice you’re entitled to. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you can make a claim against them for compensation. And you may well need this money to finance treatments to aid your recovery. As there is generally a three-year limit in which to make your claim, it will pay to start thinking about it sooner rather than later.

Compensation typically falls into two categories. General damages are calculated by the severity of your injury and the suffering you have gone through. The amount you may receive are based on Judicial College Guidelines, which has set out monetary bands for specific injuries.

Meanwhile, special damages take into account the costs you’ve incurred since your injury, including medical bills and travel to and from appointments. It also covers any losses you’ve suffered through time off work. In addition, special damages consider the impact of your injury on your quality of life, including ongoing costs and future loss of earnings.

In order to obtain the maximum amount of compensation to help you get through what may be a hugely difficult time, you need the right lawyer. A specialist personal injury solicitor will help you drive your claim forward, working to help you secure your future.

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Medical negligence claims vs personal injury claims

Need to make a healthcare related claim but not sure what type of claim you should be making? You generally have two options when looking to make a medical claim. These include medical negligence and personal injury claims.

In order to receive justice, it’s important to ensure you are making the right type of claim. Here, you will discover a brief overview of each type of claim and how they are dealt with in court.

What is a medical negligence claim?

A medical negligence claim applies when you or a loved one has received negligent care at the doctors, health clinic or hospital. It could be that you’ve experienced damage or loss because of the care you received. It could relate to both physical damages or psychological damages if being treated within the mental health setting.

What is a personal injury claim?

With personal injury claims, you’ll be suing any type of company or individual for an accident you experienced. It could be a slip or fall or shelving which wasn’t installed correctly which fell and caused injury. Or, you could have been a passenger in a car when you experienced an accident. These types of accidents can happen anywhere and don’t involve damages or loss specifically within the medical setting. They also tend to be very black and white in terms of blame.

How the two differ in court

With both clinical negligence and personal injury claims, you need to be able to prove that the person or company you are suing, caused your injury or damages. Personal injury claims tend to be straight forward, whereas medical negligence claims can be complex. If the medical professional can show that they did what ought to be done, it can dismiss the entire case.

For this reason, you’ll typically need a much more experienced and specialised lawyer for a medical negligence claim. Although it is also worth noting that the majority of medical negligence cases get settled before they even reach the courts. That being said, a good lawyer can help you get the best settlement deal if you can prove any wrongdoing.

As you can see, there are clear differences between personal injury claims and medical negligence claims. The above are some of the main differences and how they differ in the courts. Remember, it is crucial you get yourself a good lawyer, particularly if you are filing a medical negligence claim.

Road traffic accidents: the most common injuries

The types of injuries sustained by those involved in road traffic accidents can vary from the relatively minor to life-changing, such as the loss of a limb and fatalities.

Since 1979, the number of deaths caused by car accidents in the UK has declined significantly. This is according to the government’s ‘Reported road casualties in Great Britain: annual report 2017’.

The number of casualties of all severities was at the lowest level on record in 2017, say the most recent statistics.

Although this may be good news, there remain some worrying figures relating to car accidents.

Common road traffic accident injuries

When an accident happens, there are often serious and lingering consequences, according to the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey. The most recent report found that some 33% of those involved in road accidents between 2015 and 2017 had to attend A&E, while 7% were treated as inpatients in hospital. This is significant when compared to the 29% who required no medical attention after an accident.

In that same period, 2% of those involved in accidents suffered burns, while the same number were crushed. Some 4% reported internal injuries, while 15% suffered sprains and 11% reported fractures and broken bones.

Slight shock was the third most common effect, with 28% reporting that they suffered from it, while 42% suffered minor bruising or cuts.

However, a hugely significant 50% of those involved in car accidents reported suffering from whiplash.

Whiplash – prevention and treatment

When whiplash is such a prevalent injury, it is particularly frustrating that there is no immediate treatment. The NHS advises keeping your head mobile and to maintain good posture in the aftermath of a whiplash diagnosis. If symptoms continue for several weeks, physiotherapy may then be recommended.

In this case, prevention becomes better than cure. If you are involved in a road traffic accident in the future, you may be able to minimise the chances of suffering from whiplash.

Although it is not possible to entirely eliminate your risk of suffering whiplash, there are things you can do to minimise that risk.

You can ensure your neck is as strong and limber as possible by carrying out certain exercises. This is particularly important if you have suffered from whiplash or neck strain previously. If you sit in the same position all day, as most office workers do, you should ensure you are taking regular breaks to stretch and exercise your neck.

As whiplash occurs when the head is thrown forward and then backward very quickly, it is important to make sure your car seat’s headrest is in the most appropriate position. You should ensure it is no further back than 10cm, as this is more likely to result in whiplash. Physio Works encourages car occupants to limit the distance between head and headrest to no more than 5cm.

Vulnerable road users most at risk

Although car drivers and passengers are most likely to suffer from whiplash, they are not the most vulnerable people on British roads.

There were 24,831 serious injuries in road traffic accidents reported to the police in 2017, according to the Department for Transport. Among these, vulnerable road users were still at significant risk – some more so than others.

Motorcyclists were found to be most at risk in 2017, with fatalities increasing the most of all road user groups that year. In total, 349 motorcyclists were killed during 2017, which was an increase of 9% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, 101 cyclists were killed, a drop of just 1% since 2016. The majority of cyclists were injured or killed during commuting times – specifically, 44% of casualties happened between 7-9am and 3-7pm on weekdays. London and the South East saw 41% of these casualties.

However, even though these road users remain proportionately more at risk than others, it was still car occupants who accounted for the highest number of deaths on British roads.

Next steps

If you’ve suffered a serious injury as a result of a car accident, your main focus should be on your recovery. But there are plenty of other things that will demand your attention at the same time. Insurance, replacement vehicles, costs and any medical treatment will all need to be organised and arranged.

This is when you need the expert help of a legal professional, who can help ensure you do what’s right for you. Car accident claims can help you obtain the compensation to help make things right.

If you’ve suffered an injury after an accident that wasn’t your fault, the best next step to take could be to pursue a legal claim.

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Can I claim for asbestos exposure?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which due to its hardwearing properties, was widely used in the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80s particularly in power stations, shipbuilding, construction and the motor industry. It was not until 1999 that the damaging effects of the fibres were fully accepted and its use was completely banned in the UK.

Many people were exposed to asbestos but had no idea until decades later when the effects began to become apparent. Year on year the number of patients diagnosed with asbestos related diseases continues to rise and is expected to see its peak around 2025.

As well as those that worked directly with asbestos, it is possible for victims to suffer from ‘secondary exposure’. This occurs when inhaling fibres from the work clothes of a family member, or inhalation from living near a factory where asbestos was regularly used.

The illnesses caused by exposure can be very serious and even fatal. These include


A rare fatal cancer which most frequently starts in the lining of the lungs but can also start in the abdomen. Symptoms tend to only be noticeable once the cancer has grown and presses on a nerve or body organ. Common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, tiredness and a persistent cough. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but positive studies are being made in the development of immunotherapy treatment which can prolong life expectancy.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer originates in the lung tissue. Symptoms are similar to mesothelioma and include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. Patients generally have a better survival rate than those with mesothelioma.


A long term lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and fatigue and chest pain.

There is no cure for asbestosis once it has developed and it can worsen over time. However, in many cases, the condition progresses very slowly or not at all. Those diagnosed with asbestosis, are at a higher risk of developing pleural disease, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Pleural thickening

Also known as diffuse pleural thickening, this is a lung disease which causes extensive scarring and thickens the lining of the lungs. The capacity and malleability of the lung is often reduced.  Symptoms include chest pain and difficulty breathing.

What do I need to prove to make a claim?

To be able to make a compensation claim for asbestos exposure, you must file the claim within three years from the date that you first become aware of the diagnosis. Or when you were made aware, or should have been aware, of the link between your symptoms and exposure to asbestos.

If you are claiming on behalf of a deceased family member this time can be extended as the claim must be filed within three years of the date of death.

Damages can be substantial in these claims to cover the pain and suffering as well as any financial losses or expenses incurred by the sufferer or their family.  Funding can be obtained to help provide care and adaptations, an example being the installation of stair lifts and walk in showers.

To make a valid claim you must be able to prove some important points. You will need

  1. A medical report, by a reputable respiratory disease expert, to state that you are suffering from an asbestos related illness caused by exposure.
  2. To be able to link asbestos exposure back to a specific workplace; product; location  or, if secondary exposure, to be able to link to the original source
  3. To prove that the employer or occupier was aware of the risks
  4. To prove that the employer was negligent or in breach of a duty in regards to failing to take reasonable practicable steps or to avoid exposure to the asbestos

Proving all of these aspects can be very difficult, particularly if liability is disputed by the employer in question. Due to the length of time which has passed, further difficulties can be found if the company no longer exists or the insurer is difficult to track down. This is why instructing an experienced and accredited asbestos specialist solicitor, like those at Plymouth’s GA Solicitors is crucial.

Additional support can be found on the British Lung Foundation’s website.

The process of completing a fatal accident claim

When you have been affected by a fatal accident, making a claim is likely to be one of the last things on your mind. You will understandably be taking the necessary time to mourn your loved one as well as making arrangements in the wake of their unexpected death. However, it’s important to realise that taking the huge first steps towards receiving the compensation you’re owed can help ease the financial pressure on yourself.

As we will explain in this article, making a fatal accident claim doesn’t have to be a long and hassling process. Here is the process you will go through when completing a fatal accident claim…

Find the right solicitor for you

The first step you should undergo is to look around for a trusted firm who will represent you throughout the whole process of making a claim. You will want to find a team of experienced solicitors who specialise in cases such as your own. Many qualified firms operate on a No Win, No Fee basis which shows that winning your case is at the forefront of everything they do. Don’t make the decision that you can handle a claim on your own, particularly when the emotional stress can cloud your judgement and understanding.

Naturally you will have a lot of questions which this step is why is arguably the most important one you will face. You shouldn’t commit until you know what lies ahead. Any professional firm should be able to provide a free, no obligation consultation. Use this opportunity to clarify any questions or doubts you may have.

Appointing a firm to handle your case

Finding the courage and will to get to this position is a mark of your strength and belief in chasing what is right. By this point you should know if you are eligible to claim, what you can claim for and how much you can claim. Whether you are looking to claim for a bereavement award, a motorbike accident claim or another type of fatal claim, these are all points that should be answered during the initial consultation when searching for the right solicitors.

If a solicitor firm agrees to take on your case, then this is a sign that they believe you have a strong case to answer, especially if they work on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that you won’t be liable to pay their solicitor fees unless your case wins in court.

A coroner may decide to hold an inquest

One of the first major developments that can occur during your fatal accident claim is when a coroner chooses to hold an inquest. An inquest is not always necessary but will happen if a post-mortem examination shows that a death has not been caused by natural causes. An inquest may also still be held in deaths by natural causes in certain situations such as if someone was under arrest or in prison at the time of their death.

During an inquest, the coroner will carry out an investigation and hear evidence to confirm the identity of the deceased and their cause of death. At the end of the inquest they will then deliver a verdict. However, it’s important to note that this does not disclose any individual or organization as having criminal or civil liability.

While the thought of hearing evidence at an inquest can be nerve-wracking, many of those affected typically feel that this is an important part of the grieving process and helps them come to terms with their loss. It is also a good chance to prepare yourself for future proceedings. Your solicitor can represent you at the inquest and will help ease your concerns during the process.

Taking your case to court

From the moment you choose your solicitor firm, they will look to build a case as strong as possible with your best interests at the forefront. This will come in the form of evidence you may find difficult to confront and tough questions you will be asked. The solicitors should make you feel at ease and answer any questions or concerns you may have. It’s important that you co-operate with them as much as possible in their conquest to gather the facts. You may be asked to supply evidence to help your case such as doctor notes, police complaints, salary slips, letters from an employer, photographs of injuries, witness statements and receipts showing expenses related to the accident and subsequent death.

Going to court can be a worrying scenario for everyone and even more so if you are asked to give evidence. Regardless of your involvement during the proceedings, this is where the solicitors earn their money. Not only should their priority be to present the strongest possible case against the defence, but it’s important that they keep you at ease and inform you of regular updates along the way.

If all is successful, the process for a fatal accident claim will hopefully conclude with you receiving the amount of compensation that you deserve.