Whether you suffer an injury in a road traffic accident (RTA), at work, or in a public place, it’s only natural to seek compensation to at least partially make things right.
While it’s easy to find a personal injury solicitor to help you make a claim, you might decide you’d rather make a claim yourself.
Is this possible and, if so, is it a good idea?
Can you make a personal injury claim yourself?
There is no specific legal requirement that says you must bring a personal injury claim via a solicitor.
In fact, for some RTA injuries, you might be told to use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal to claim personal injury compensation. If your RTA personal injury claim is eligible for the OIC portal, you’ll be able to claim compensation and manage your entire claim yourself, should you wish.
For other types of claims or RTA personal injury claims that aren’t eligible for the OIC portal, you’ll need to decide whether to proceed yourself or instruct a personal injury solicitor.
Before you decide to “go it alone,” it’s worth knowing what that might look like.
How would I make a personal injury claim myself?
Unless looking specifically at OIC portal claims, the process of making a personal injury claim would look the same whether you did it yourself or instructed a personal injury solicitor.
For example, in both cases, you would need to:
- Establish liability
- Gather evidence
- Negotiate a compensation settlement
The main difference is that when you instruct a solicitor, they’ll do things on your behalf. So you wouldn’t need to take charge of writing to the party you want to claim against or negotiate with them.
There are several reasons why you might decide to go it alone, including:
- An insurer or another party telling you that you don’t need to use a solicitor
- A perception that it’ll be easier to do so
- The desire to save money on legal costs
Are there any risks with pursuing a personal injury claim myself?
It depends on the nature of your claim. For example, the OIC portal is supposed to make it easier for you to make a claim and outlines compensation tariffs for different injuries. So, theoretically, at least, that’s a low-risk avenue to pursue.
However, for other personal injury claims, potential risks of going it alone include:
- Not accurately valuing your claim, thus selling yourself short and not getting the compensation you deserve
- Not doing your claim justice by representing yourself rather than instructing an expert
- Assuming any compensation offer you’re made is reasonable and fair, and not negotiating accordingly
The most significant potential risks are undoubtedly financial. For example, personal injury claims brought via a personal injury solicitor typically see claimants win between two and three times as much compensation as those claimants bring themselves. In addition, working with a personal injury solicitor will usually ensure you can fully reclaim other damages in relation to your injury.
Isn’t it expensive to instruct a personal injury solicitor?
It depends on how you do it.
If you instruct a personal injury solicitor who will charge you by the hour, then probably. You might even find that you don’t have much of your compensation award left after paying them. You could also be left with a hefty legal bill if you don’t win.
On the other hand, if you choose one who works on a no-win, no-fee basis, you’ll keep more of your compensation award and only be advised to proceed if they’re confident you’ll win.
Should you make a personal injury claim yourself?
Ultimately, it’s up to you which way you go. For example, if you speak to a personal injury solicitor who advises that you likely don’t have grounds to make a successful claim, you can still pursue a claim yourself or find a solicitor that isn’t no-win, no-fee.
At LawPlus Solicitors, we offer a free, no-obligation assessment of potential personal injury claims. If we believe you have grounds for a claim, you can instruct us on a no-win, no-fee basis or choose to pursue your claim by other means.
Contact us here to take advantage of our free, no-obligation assessment and take the first step to getting the personal injury compensation you deserve.