It’s bad enough to get injured in an accident, but it’s even worse receiving an injury from an accident that was not your fault.
Being injured in an accident could mean pain and suffering for an extended period of time. Sometimes accident victims are unable to perform some, or all, of their normal daily activities. In this instance, accident victims have a right to claim compensation, that’s if the injuries they sustained were through no fault of their own of course.
An accident victim should be prepared to show supporting documentation that describes the extent of their injuries in order to be fairly compensated for their pain, suffering, and loss of income. Below are 5 things that will be useful if you choose to file a lawsuit for compensation.
1. Accident Information
The first thing you need to document is information about the actual accident. You want to make a note of specific information about the accident including:
the date it occurred
the time of day
where the accident happened
what you were doing just prior to the accident
This is also a good time to detail your injuries. Make sure to record even the smaller details like cuts, scrapes, and bruises, which may fade and heal quickly. It may also be a good idea to take photographs of your injuries.
It’s important to record the details as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait to document what you remember, the harder it will be to recall certain details. Because of this, you should start keeping detailed records sooner rather than later.
If there were witnesses to the accident, collect the name, address, and contact information for those people. They may prove to be invaluable allies in your recovery efforts.
When recording accident details, the goal is to establish a timeline of events, and witnesses, to show why you were not at fault and why the other party was in the wrong.
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It is extremely important to keep detailed records that describe how your life has changed due to your injury. Keeping a journal or binder in which you record details about your injuries is useful. You should also note down what your day-to-day life is like having to live with them. Collecting and storing all of these details in a central location will make it easier for you to present your case to a solicitor.
3. Medical Information
In your medical notes, you should again record the important information regarding your injuries and any treatment or medication you received for those injuries. Document when the treatments started and when they ended, as well as any ongoing treatments.
If you had to make a hospital visit, record the dates you were admitted and discharged, and any treatments or operations you received.
In your medical files, you should record information about doctor’s visits as well. Again, you should record symptoms, treatments, and any statements your GP made during the visit.
Although the hospital or surgery will provide their copies of the visits and treatments, having a second version can be helpful. This is particularly true if you need to point out errors the doctor’s office or hospital have made in their records.
You will be asked to provide information about previous injuries and whether or not you’d been similarly injured before. If you’re unable to perform your normal daily activities because of the accident, you will need to prove this through previous medical records or current visits to your physician.
Lastly, your medical file should contain contact information for each of your doctors so they can provide their records to your solicitor. They will be asked for the symptoms you presented during the visit, their diagnoses and the treatments prescribed. They will also be asked about the percentage of disability caused and the prognosis of your injuries.
4. Insurance Information
If you have home or motor insurance, gather your policy information together. You may receive assistance from your insurance company to cover the cost of your solicitor under “legal expense insurance”. Otherwise, you’ll be expected to pay this yourself.
5. Financial Information
Since your goal is to secure a fair compensation injury settlement, it is important to keep accurate financial records. If you are unable to work or are only able to perform some of your normal daily activities, you may be able to claim for loss of earnings.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it is comprehensive and will help get you on the right track. Once you’ve started gathering the above information, you can then contact a personal injury solicitor to determine if you have a case for compensation. They will guide you through the legal personal injury claims process and give you an idea about the possible outcomes based on the strength of your case.
*Please note – With regards to No Win No Fee - In limited circumstances, fees may be charged when your accident claim is not successful. These specific limited circumstances will be explained to you by your Solicitor.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau says it's our "civil and legal right" to make an accident claim. But 69% of us don't make an accident claim. Don't miss out on what's rightfully yours.
First Personal Injury is a trading name of Jefferies Solicitors Limited. Jefferies Solicitors is a limited company registered in England and Wales under registered number - 07451340.
Authorised & regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and subject to the Solicitor's Code of Conduct details of which can be found at https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/. (SRA number 554864)
Head Office: Jefferies Solicitors (trading as) First Personal Injury, The Triangle, 8 Cross Street, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1EQ - 0161 908 5100
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