Accidents happen. They’re a fact of life. Some accidents are unavoidable, no one is to blame and the incident has to be put down to experience. Unfortunately some accidents lead to an injury (whether physical, mental or emotional) and if someone acted negligently or maliciously and contributed to that injury in some way, the injured party may have a right to claim compensation for the injury itself and for any resulting losses, such as loss of earnings or expenses.
Whether you wish to pursue a claim through your insurer (i.e. after a road traffic accident) or via a Solicitor there are a few things you should make a note of to assist your claim.
What to do after an accident:
1. Record what happened
First things first, the most basic facts need to be confirmed. Details of the time, date and locationof the accident should be noted along with details of how the accident occurred. The sooner you get these facts down on paper the more consistent they are likely to be, and the more helpful they will be for your claim going forward. If possible take photographs of damage to vehicles, the accident location and any relevant signs or notices.
2. Who else was involved and who saw it?
Gather as much information as possible about the other party involved in the accident and of any witnesses including names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance details (if appropriate) and a brief description of the person who caused the accident.
Also make a note of medical professionals that may have attended, and if the police attended obtain the officer’s name and badge number and incident reference.
3. Receipts, receipts, receipts
You should keep all documents detailing any out-of-pocket expenses you may want to recover, including transport that would have otherwise been unnecessary, prescription and treatment receipts; and the cost of replacing damaged clothing and personal items. Loss of earnings should also be taken into account by collating wage slips; and any care provided to you by another as a result of the accident, e.g. for personal care and household tasks should be noted.
4. Take photographs
Keep an accurate description of your injuries and symptoms, accompanied by supporting photography if possible. Medical diagnosis and treatment notes and any other correspondence from a medical professional should be kept as a matter of course.
5. Take advice as quickly as possible
Seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The quicker you can get expert advice the sooner your case should be solved. Remember, the more information you are able to provide, the easier it is for a solicitor to assess the merits of your claim.
In the aftermath of an accident it may not be instinctive to note all the circumstances in great detail.
However, when it comes to proving a third party’s legal liability for the purposes of insurance claims or personal injury cases, it’s essential.
So if you’ve been involved in an accident, whether it was your fault or not, the details above should be noted as soon as possible.
For more information about how to proceed following an accident on the road, at work or anywhere
else, please contact the Personal Injury team at Rothera Sharp on 0800 088 6280