When you are Not Eligible for Compensation
When accidents happen and you suffer injury as a result, it can be hard to know where to turn when you think the incident was due to someone else’s negligence. In most cases it is highly likely that you are eligible for compensation if the accident was someone else’s fault. In this scenario, getting the ball rolling in terms of legal proceedings is a lot easier than most people think.
If you are considering making a claim against negligence, there are some important points to consider, as certain criteria apply in order to make you eligible to claim compensation. Firstly, there is something known as the ‘Limitation Period’ – this means that you are only eligible to claim if your accident happened within the last three years. This is largely an administrative concession; its removal opens the door to innumerable incidents, most of which would struggle to gather the required evidence and collapse. This would be something of a costly scenario all round; in any case, it would be hotly questioned why the incident was not reported until more than three years after it happened.
The second most common pitfall lies under the burden of responsibility. It is exclusively the job of the claimant to prove that the accident was not only not his or her fault, but directly the fault of a second party (most likely their employer). In many cases, this is more difficult to prove than it first seems; most people’s initial reaction after an accident is to appropriate blame and direct it away from themselves, which over-inflates the responsibility of the employer in their eyes. Be very aware when you set a lawsuit in motion that you will have to prove fault on the part of the defendant; you must have been using all equipment completely correctly, been wearing all provided safety equipment and followed every reasonable measure to avoid the accident.
The greatest obstacle to winning compensation is often, again, a result of the underlying emotional need to remove blame from ourselves and have it laid, squarely and officially, at the door of someone else. As a result, there is a knee-jerk reaction to undertake a lawsuit when the grounds to do so are minimal. Remember, compensation is exactly that: A means to restore a scenario to the state it would be had the accident not happened. It is not a reward for the claimant, nor punishment for the defendant. As a result, compensation is only ever considered when there is a direct financial loss suffered by the claimant as a result of an accident which wasn’t their fault. If you weren’t forced to take time off work, or pay medical bills or any other expense directly resulting from your accident, and your quality of life hasn’t been drastically altered, you are probably not eligible for compensation.
Don’t forget though: There are a lot of law firms who will know within minutes of speaking to you whether you have a valid claim. Most will offer a free initial consultation before they accept your case; if you are considering a lawsuit, make sure you speak to an experienced, professional solicitor before you make a decision.