In this issue Steven Hinchliffe of the professional drivers’ “go to” Personal Injury specialists Hinchliffes Solicitors considers “EXPERT PERSONAL INJURY SOLICITORS FOR HGV DRIVERS – BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?” Published in Truckstop News October 2015. My firm has handled the accident claims of HGV and other professional drivers for many years. It is often the case that the driver suffers an accident during the loading and unloading process, but not surprisingly there are also many who are injured as a result of a road accident while working. However, away from work professional drivers are just as likely as anyone else to be involved in other types of accidents. We have appeared in Truckstop News for over 13 years and because we have focussed on the accidents suffered by professional drivers while at work, we may have given the impression that we do nothing else! This could not be further from the truth, as we offer a full accident compensation service to everyone. Truckstop readers and previous truck driver clients sometimes call to ask if we could help either them, a friend or family member hurt in a non-work accident, such as while in their own car, because of a faulty pavement or while on holiday. Occasionally they seem surprised that we can, indicating that our adverts perhaps do not make this clear enough. I thought it might be useful to highlight some common accident types and how we (or other Personal Injury solicitors) can assist the injured person. A Personal Injury compensation claim can be made in respect of a physical injury, disease or illness, or a psychological injury or illness. Sadly, sometimes the injury results in death and the claim is then made on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Common accidents resulting in injury include:- - while at work, which can include developing a work-related illness such as asthma, mesothelioma or asbestosis - while on the road, either as a driver, cyclist or pedestrian - caused by faulty goods or services - tripping over raised paving stones - caused by a defect in a rented property - while on holiday, either in the UK, on a cruise or abroad - caused by an animal, such as a dog bite - while playing a sport There are many other types of accidents and if you suffer one, the best thing is to call a Personal Injury specialist to see if you can make a claim, and if so you can then decide what to do. Normally experienced accident solicitors can give advice straight away and will not charge you for this call. If you instruct them to make a claim, it will usually be on a No Win – No Fee basis, meaning if the claim is lost you will not have to pay legal fees. In my view it is essential that you are also provided with legal expenses insurance, as this will cover the cost of any medical report fees and Court fees, etc and also your opponent’s legal bill that you may become responsible for if your claim does not succeed. It is one thing losing your claim and not being compensated for your injuries, but quite another being exposed to paying £1,000s in legal fees. The best lawyer to choose is one with a good track record and is perhaps recommended by someone you know or another reliable source, such as your local Citizens Advice Bureau. The Internet can also help identify a suitable firm, but be wary of advertising from Claims Management Companies, who are less regulated and controlled than solicitors. The claims process is complicated and full of potential pitfalls, but an experienced lawyer will be able to guide you through it. Uncomplicated cases with modest injuries can be concluded within a few months, but those involving disputed facts or long term consequences could take much longer. If responsibility for the accident is accepted by your opponent, but it will be a while before you recover and a value put on the claim, it should be possible for you to receive part of your compensation on account. I firmly believe that a claim should not be concluded until there is a clear medical prognosis, because if it is settled too early the compensation agreed will be the final amount. If your situation later deteriorates you will not be able to ask for more. The amount of compensation you might get varies immensely depending on the injury. For example, £1,800 may be appropriate for a broken finger and £100,000 for amputation of a leg. Sometimes accident related financial losses amount to more than the value of the injury, especially if there is a long term effect on your ability to work and you lose £1,000s in wages because of this. I hope this general outline is helpful, and demonstrates the service that my firm can offer to anyone injured in an accident. All of my Truckstop News articles appear on my firm’s website at www.hinchliffes.co.uk in the “Latest News” blog link on the homepage. To read them (or indeed any page on the website) in your preferred language simply select the Google Translate feature that appears at the top right of each page of the website. You do not have to be a professional driver to seek our help, anyone hurt in an accident can contact us for advice. Steven Hinchliffe, solicitor and Principal of Hinchliffes Solicitors © Copyright 2015 Hinchliffes Solicitors PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM SOLICITORS:- If you have suffered any form of accident or contracted an industrial disease contact personal injury claims specialists Hinchliffes Solicitors for immediate legal advice, to find out if you are entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. All cases are conducted on a No Win No Fee and No Risk basis. Call now on Freephone 0800 138 1348 or by landline 01684 580900 to speak direct to one of our specialist claims lawyers or go to our Start Your Claim page to submit details of your accident compensation claim online. … Continue reading →
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