If you have been involved in an incident or accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused you harm. In the past, this is often been a lengthy process. When a claim was started, insurance companies would do everything in their power to pick holes, delay settlement and minimise their losses.
Injury in a car accident can cause pain and inconvenience
In the case of smaller claims, the legal position in the UK has changed in recent years. Thankfully, if you’re one of the thousands of people with a small personal injury claim related to a road traffic accident you can now expect to see it resolved speedily and with minimal fuss.
Whereas in the past claims for personal injury compensation followed no particular set a structure, there is now a common process in place for all settlements expected to be between £1,000 and £10,000. Introduced in 2011, the RTA PI process is aimed at getting claimants from initial registration to pay-out within four to six months. This is a considerable improvement on the previous system in which settlements could be expected to take many months if not years to reach that conclusion.
Does your claim fit?
The first port of call when considering any personal injury claim should a personal injury solicitor; these can be found on a site like http://www.personalinjuryclaimcentre.co.uk/ . They will be able to advise you whether your claim is likely to be valued within the RTA PI limits or if it will fit into the process.
If someone else caused your injury as a result of a crash, you could claim
As suggested by the name of the process, RTA PI is currently only available to people who have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident. Unfortunately, at the present time this scheme is not available to those people who have been injured at work or to those seeking to climb through public liability insurance. The Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing the guidance and looking to extend the provisions of the RTA PI process to include both of these categories of claims and the upper limit of claim valuation to £50,000. In the future it may be possible to settle such claims through this system. In the meantime, your solicitor will be able to advise you on the best option to secure a satisfactory outcome.
The process of registering a claim can be done online. Your solicitor can start this for you and will advise you on the information you need in order to get your claim underway quickly. There are three stages to the claim with provisions in place to prevent either party from dragging their feet over reaching settlement. The process is also supported by a secure online portal that allows relevant information to be exchanged between the individual claimant, their solicitor or representative and the person liable to pay compensation.
Once information has been exchanged, the defendant’s insurer may request medical evidence to support the claim and will make an offer of settlement. Once the section of the process is complete, the ministry of justice for will hold a quantum hearing – usually on paper – to assess whether or not the claim meets the requirements of the RTA PI process. Once this has been agreed, an interim payment can be settled and must be sent through within ten days of the settlement pack being received.
Once all the legal proceedings have been completed, it is expected that the final settlement amount, minus the interim payment, will be with the claimant within six months of commencing the proceedings.
If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and you wish to sue for compensation, it’s possible that your claim will fall under the RTA PI scheme. If so, you can expect settlement much more quickly than in a claim that is pursued down the traditional route.
Image Source: James Vela