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If a personal injury claim is alleged against you or your business, the prospect of defending it through the courts can seem daunting and complicated. The person making the claim will almost certainly be legally represented and so it is important that you also seek advice as soon as possible from an experienced practitioner.
Often the first thing you will receive is a 'Letter of Claim' from the injured person’s solicitors which gives strict time frames for you to acknowledge the claim and disclose relevant information or evidence.
It is important not to ignore this letter and to act quickly. If the deadlines in the claimant's letter are not complied with it may result in swift court action and an order that you pay even more to the injured party.
In many cases the provider of your home, employers or public liability insurance can handle the legal process for you, but in some circumstances you may be left to deal with defending the personal injury claim yourself.
Common scenarios are:
- You are an individual and not a business
- Your business is self-insured
- Your insurance policy has a large excess
- You are uninsured or the accident is not covered by your insurance
- Your insurance company refuses to act for you
In any of the above situations we can assist you in defending a claim.
Without insurance, you will be exposed to the costs of defending an injury claim which can quickly become expensive if it involves a serious injury or proceeds to a court hearing. However, concerns over the costs should not prevent you from seeking advice and robustly defending a claim if you were not fully to blame for the accident or injury. Your legal fees will pale in comparison against the cost of ignoring a claim or not following the correct pre-action or court procedures.
You should seek legal advice as soon as you become aware of the potential compensation claim as well as reporting the claim to your insurer (if you have a policy in place). Often early intervention by a solicitor can ensure you gather the appropriate evidence needed to defend the claim and can potentially avoid court proceedings being brought against you altogether.
If you find yourself having to defend a claim for personal injury, please call one of our experienced team to discuss how we can assist you.
Elliot Mather LLP maintains professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the rules of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Details of the insurers and the territorial coverage of the policy are available for inspection at our offices.
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