6 Techniques To Reduce Claim Time

No two injury claims are the same. Along with that sentiment, there is no set timescale applicable to every individual injury case. When you make a serious injury claim with Sincere Law, we can offer reliable estimates specific to your injury, drawing on our years of experience and knowledgeable team.

Serious injury cases can take time to settle. The combination of calculating costs based on damages, determining liability and thinking about what assistance may be required in the future following the incident all need taking into account. What we are able to offer to help a claim conclude as quickly as possible is to offer you valuable tips on what you can do to reduce your claim time.

Your claim will use all facts put forward including the extent of damage both physically, mentally and financially. Serious injury cases can often be complicated so any simplification of the process is welcomed. Take a look at our 6 ways you can reduce the time of your claim:

1. Seek medical attention right away (before claiming)

When you have a serious accident, the most important procedure to follow even before a claim is considered is to ensure your wellbeing and safety. An injury that requires medical treatment should never be left to chance. Often when we get injuries we try to ‘soldier on’ through any pain until it’s too late. With serious injuries this could result in complications difficult to rectify if left untreated. Given the length of time recovery could take and money potentially lost by taking time away from work, it is never worth to put off seeing a specialist following injury. All treatment you receive will go in your medical record which we are able to cross reference when you make your claim.

Sincere Law are able to qquickly check your medical reports to confirm your claim

2. Provide evidence

Following an accident and after receiving medical treatment you can begin to start thinking about the claim itself. If your injury was suffered as the result of an environmental factor that could have been avoided, it is good to get photographic evidence of the scene of the incident. It’s also beneficial to get photographic evidence of your injury and (if applicable) any damage to your property from the incident such as you car for example. Having irrefutable evidence helps dismiss liability disputes and further supports any doctor’s reports on your injury. However, don’t put yourself at risk trying to get evidence at the scene, always remember to seek medical attention first.

3. Claim early

There are legal limitations on how long you can wait before making a claim. Legally, 3 years from the injury is considered to be the adequate time span to begin a claim. That same 3 years applies to families of those injured in fatal accidents. In cases of industrial disease this becomes 3 years from when the victim would have realised they had contracted the disease. After the accepted 3 years has elapsed you would unfortunately not be able to claim compensation.

Claiming is not always something people do immediately as they may have worries about going to a Solicitor, but our advice would be to get in touch as soon as possible. With no win no fee being Sincere Law’s standard practice, there is no risk to starting a claim. Beginning a case shortly after an injury allows easier verification of your evidence such as injury itself, the scene of the accident and identification and communication with the third party.

4. State all facts truthfully

Sincere Law must stress the importance of telling the truth regarding any claim. To not disclose details that could affect the case can result in requiring to pay a fee for the case as it is in breach of the no win no fee agreement. Sincere Law have years of experience and a dedicated team who always work to get you the best result possible and we can only do so with a full and honest statement.

If you give as much detail as possible about your incident, we can verify the facts much easier. A full and frank description of the injury can prevent other parties from objecting as to how events unfolded. A clear factual statement can also halt disputes once proven; this works in conjunction with medical reports and photographic evidence as suggested earlier. Withholding information can also be just as detrimental as being untruthful.

5. Respond promptly

During the litigation process you will be assigned a dedicated case manager who can explain the entire day to day activity of your case; from contacting the third party to discussing damages and compilation of all paperwork. During your case you may be required to sign documents such as your own witness statement. We often send these out to you as soon as possible. To move your case forward it is vital that if we send you a document, you read and sign it before sending it back as soon as you can. If you ever feel you need an update on your claim’s progress or want advice on filling in any forms sent, we are available every day. Your case manager will never hesitate to let you know where the case is, what is currently happening and what your next steps will be.

Sincere Law, specialists in serious and catastrophic injury claims

If your claim has involved you replacing property such as a vehicle, losing property you can’t afford to replace or even taking time away from work that affects your earnings, it would be wise to keep a log of your costs in the form of receipts or a log of figures to inform us exactly what the injury has cost you.

Disputing costs becomes very difficult for any third party if you can provide a straightforward list of costs. It gives us a framework to build from when we negotiate any settlement. We understand not all losses are easily displayable financially but whatever is can go a long way towards speeding up a claim if a strong estimate is given from the outset.

What next?

If you take on board the suggestions, your claim will be resolved as smoothly as possible with a chance of fewer interruptions to proceedings. With good evidence and a solid statement, you will find often that there will be no disputes of liability or the extent of damages.

If you have (or a family member) been involved in a serious accident and wish to get some advice on how to make a claim and proceed with one, you can always call us for free, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896. Our offices are open 7 days a week from 8am – 9pm and we’d be happy to take your call. We also have a contact form via the website should you wish to enquire online.

 

Hoverboards: No. 1 Christmas Toy or Serious Injury Risk?

October 21st 2015. If Back to the Future II is to be correct in it’s prophecy, we will very shortly be exposed to Jaws 19, wearing two ties and the most anticipated of inventions, the hoverboard. We haven’t managed to fulfill these prophecies as of yet, but what we do have is a new invention that allows us to move around with ease. A new segway style product labelled the hoverboard has gone from obscurity, to being a “must have” in just 1 year.

The rise of the hoverboard

Sincere LAw Hoverboard Trend Research

A small foray into Google Trends will tell you that before March of 2014, the term “hoverboard” was a seldom searched term, with the only real interest being from fans of the Back to the Future movie franchise. However, interest has suddenly spiked and has been on an extreme upward curve ever since. The most recent spike in interest happened in the summer of this year, when celebrities around the world started posting videos of their brand new toys around the house.


Kendall Jenner doing laps

The offspring of the segway, the “self balancing two wheeled board”, originally became a reality in 2013, with the invention of the “Smart S1”, a board designed in China. Within months of the initial launch the online giant, Alibaba, had many listings of almost exact replicas from independent companies who were making copycat varieties of the S1.

Overseas in the US, a company labelled PhunkeeTree decided to make their own version and market it to the states, creating the PhunkeeDuck, which gained popularity by appearing on the much watched late night TV chat show “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. The board gained widespread popularity and it was not long before we began to see British Youtubers and celebrities place their own videos using them online (with varying degrees of success). In the UK the popular name for the boards are “Swegway” and “Hoverboard” and the product us quickly becoming popular, with sales rising month on month.


Joe Weller tries the Swegway

Legal Implications

In the UK, the popularity of the boards has led the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider the legal status surrounding them. While they are usually bought as personal treats or gifts, which are normally used around the house, some owners have been using them as transportation out and about, once they have learned how to control their board.

Authorities have taken the stance that due to a law aged at around 180 years old, a ban has been put in place for the use of them outside of private land. Law states that because they contain a motor, they are powered vehicles and therefore usage is not allowed on pavements. In conjunction with this it has also been determined they are not safe enough to use on a road, with their top speed at being less than 5mph on average and the precarious standing balance required to pilot one.

The banning order has created a backlash from the public, as sales of the boards have actually increased rapidly since the announcement was made from the CPS earlier in October. On some websites that sell the boards, traffic increased by “215% within 24 hours” such was the increase in interest.

The police are advising people to think of the safety implications of using hoverboards in public, while users are asking what the harm is of taking theirs onto the pavement for a quick spin.

 

sincere law, serious injury claims specialists

Fun vs. Accountability

Arguments in favour of the hoverboard being usable outside of your house revolve around the common sense use of the alleged ‘vehicle’ out in public. The hoverboard is seen by many as a toy and no different to other methods of transport that are similar, which have also in the past seen spikes in interest, including bikes, skateboards and scooters. Former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Lembit Opik supports the calls to lift the ban (which includes conventional segways) stating “They are immensely environmentally friendly. They help people who have limited mobility. You are high, so are highly visible, and for short journeys in cities, which are clogged up not least because of insane investment in cycle lanes, Segways are in many ways going to be faster than cars.” He infamously participated in a segway protest outside the houses of parliament back in 2010 to challenge the law banning them from the streets.

The BBC asked the public what they thought about them with the feedback being mostly positive from those using the boards. Remarking how useful they can be, one woman commented “I think it exercises your muscles, so I use it to work out. I play with my niece on it. You can dance with it – I’ve taken it to a club. I’ve ridden it in 4in heels”. One pensioner thinking it could be a very useful tool for the elderly, said “I think it would be great for getting around supermarkets”.

In opposition, there are fears that due to their unstable nature, being around on them in public could lead to accidents involving other pedestrians, cyclists, bikers and motorists. There has been plenty of video evidence online of people trying to learn how to use the boards but struggling to properly control them. If a user was not 100% in control around a public road and accidentally veered off or fell from their board, the effect of what could happen could be catastrophic.

An added fear is of the reliability of the product itself. Badly designed versions of Hoverboards have been known to catch fire while charging, triggering a very serious product liability issue. While these types of incidents so far have been limited, the rapid growth of buys has lead to more incidents (such as this one in New York) potentially manifesting.

The battleground is between common sense vs. risk of injury. Many people are calling for the hoverboard ban to be lifted as they carry the same risks as a bike, scooter or skateboard; while on the other hand, others do not want hoverboard owners colliding with them while walking or driving, creating a potential serious injury claim minefield as legality, liability and duties of care will all potentially be disputed in each incident.

The facts ‘for’

• Seen as a toy by users
• Very similar to scooters, bikes and skateboards (all legal)
• Cannot travel fast enough to cause serious incidents
• Common sense usage will keep everyone safe

The facts ‘against’

• Law states it is a vehicle due to motor
• Unsteady driving position could be a source of accidents
• Board is difficult to control properly and prone to veering off course
• Ability to cause bruising/damage pedestrians are hit
• Currently carries no requirement for safety equipment adding to risk level

The hoverboard ban, your say

The ban on hoverboards has caused plenty of discussion online, including a petition to have it overturned by the CPS. Tweets on both sides are still being exchanged; here is a selection of your opinions on the matter:

 

 

 

Serious Injury In Sport – Not Always From foul Play

You’ll have seen in the news recently, plenty of stories regarding professional athletes suffering particularly bad injuries, affecting their careers. Stories making the most headlines include Luke Shaw’s leg break playing in the Champions League for Manchester United, Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin being forced to retire from rugby union as a result of a concussion and potential changes to the rules for the Rugby World Cup to lower the risk of concussions. While all these instances happened at the top level of sports, they are quite relevant to non professionals who suffer injuries during a sporting event in their own lives.

Luke Shaw suffered a serious injury in a recent game, potentially affecting the rest of his career

Governing bodies in sports

Injuries in sports can come as a result of more than just foul play or an accident like tackling. Everything about a competitive sports environment must be regulated to ensure that all who are taking part are as safe as they can be. This goes for any level.

Each sport and country has governing bodies, all insured and all with rules to keep serious injuries to a minimum. Even sports involving heavy contact, such as fighting sports like boxing, kickboxing and MMA, all have governing bodies to regulate participation.

Rules set out by these organisations will always state how a game must be played, the environment to be played in and the facilities required to meet the standards necessary for players, officials and any spectators. This is fundamental for any sport to reduce accidents on or off the playing surface. Failing to meet these standards can result in liability if an accident does occur. This applies down to the lowest tiers of sporting activity, including playing for teams on a local park.

Sporting Injuries to the non pro

Using the example of a Sunday league football team, the playing surface is most likely to be either a public recreational area, such as a local park, which is kept by a council, or a rented private playing field owned by a landlord. The state of the pitch is in the hands of the owners. Should it be improperly cared for or poorly maintained, it could result in injury, for which the pitch owner is liable.

Cases of serious injury in these settings have previously included players falling on glass that had been discarded and even in one case (one of our own) a player committing to a tackle and hitting a stump of a former goalpost, which seriously damaged his leg.

In all levels of any sport, contact or none, there will always be guidelines to follow, whether you are part of a team, alone, officiating or a spectator. If these guidelines are breached and have caused you a serious injury, you would be within your right to seek justice for what could have been prevented.

Am I protected?

What many sporting bodies can provide, as a minimum, is insurance when you register with them. There are usually insurance guarantees by becoming a member of an organisation. If you were to be injured performing in that sport, you would able to receive some form of compensation. However, there are usually caveats to every policy and you may find your injury falls outside the realms of what the organisation will provide should you get injured. They also often do not provide the same insurance benefits for officials and spectators.

With injuries in sport, as with any other serious injury, if you are unfortunate and sustain a preventable injury during participation, down to another player, unsafe practices, the condition of the surface, facilities or other as a result of a negligent action, you are protected.

A claim for negligence can be brought against any person responsible for a preventable injury within a sporting activity. Sincere Law have experienced many cases involving faulty equipment, poor surfaces and dangerous actions during a game, which has resulted in somebody suffering a serious injury.

sincere law, sports injury specialists

Sporting injuries aren’t always as the result of foul play, whatever injury occurs, if somebody is negligent then you can take action!

Aftermath of sporting injuries

Dependent on the severity, a sporting injury can have life changing effects. At the top levels of sport athletes have better access to physiotherapy and guaranteed contracts, which assist their recovery when injured. At the grass roots levels of sport this is not as easily accessible.

When a person is injured participating in sport at grass roots level, they can suffer the same common injuries as those at the top levels including:

  • Broken limbs
  • Torn muscles
  • Strained muscles
  • Concussions
  • Dislocations
  • Eye injuries

Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t have the time or resources to commit our lives to rehabbing an injury as sports professionals have. We have jobs, families and lives to lead, so the resulting injuries may take longer to heal or even completely affect our future, as our bodies are not adapted to recover as a top sportsman would be.

Using an example of a broken leg in football, it is a common saying on the terraces that a player is usually “never the same player” after recovering from a broken leg. While a player may return and play regularly after their recovery, it is often found that players will struggle to compete at exactly the same level and begin to drop down divisions much quicker than a normal aging professional would do. Even with the advantages of dedicated physiotherapy, time to train or gaining match time in reserve games, a player will likely still not perform the same and could even be mentally affected when they rejoin the sport full time.

Compare the above example with a member of the public, not trained specifically for that sport to play professionally, with a job, a household to maintain and a regular income. The same situation can easily transform into a more long term, costly situation. Not having access to as an extensive a physiotherapy regime, an average person’s injury may not fully recover and could even hamper their movements in future life, possibly halting involvement in their favourite sports.

A serious sporting injury can also require time off work if the injury renders them housebound, in some cases needing care or assistance around the house. These are costs which the average person may not be able to foot. If their injuries are as a result of negligence while playing sports, they are able to get help in the form of compensation.

 

serious injury claims - sport

Athletes have the ability to utilise top physiotherapy for an extended time unlike the general public

My next steps

If you have experienced an injury during a sporting event as a result of a negligent action (and remember, it isn’t always about tackling or even being a participant), then you have the ability to claim for your losses, including time away from work, lifestyle adaptations, medical bills and other associated costs.

Sincere Law are specialists in serious injury claims and we know sporting injuries can often be life changing. We have a team of dedicated solicitors waiting to talk to you, offering free, impartial advice and we are able to walk you through the claims process.

Your first step following a sports injury is to get in touch and see what we can do for you. You can talk to us either by calling 0800 092 2896, texting us on 89298 or by filling in our contact form here. We pride ourselves on being open and honest about what we can do for you with no pressure. We also offer a ‘no win no fee’ service removing your risk from starting a claim.