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I’ve had an accident and I want to make a claim – what evidence do I need?

At Hopkins we aim to recover as much compensation as possible to cover your losses and needs, and also to cover any future losses you may have. It is useful to remember that a claim is only as good as the evidence you have. As the Claimant you have the burden of proving your claim so evidence showing who should be held liable as well as evidence showing your out-of-pocket expenses is vital.

Before deciding whether to take on the claim, we will need to assess the prospects of success of establishing liability against the Third Party.

In order to do this, it is useful for your Solicitor to have site of any evidence showing what happened in your accident. This could include the following documents:

  • Photographs of the accident location
  • Photographs of whatever caused the incident, i.e. If you had an accident at work from using a certain tool or machine, then it is useful to show your Solicitor a photograph of this so they can get a good understanding of what happened
  • If you had a slip/ trip in a pothole it is useful to take photographs AND measurements of the hole (also take photographs of you measuring the hole)
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Any accident report forms if you have a copy
  • Any police reports or written reports in general
  • Any documents from witnesses

These documents will also be useful later on in the claim if the Defendant denies liability for the incident. The above documents will be used to support your claim.

Documents to support liability

There are many different types of Personal Injury Claims, these include Road Traffic Accident Claims, Accidents at Work Claims, Public Liability Claims and Industrial Disease Claim, which includes Repetitive strain injuries, Lung Disease, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and noise induced hearing loss to name a few.

The evidence required can be specific to each type of claim as briefly referred to above. This can include:

  • For Road Traffic Accident claims, take photographs of the location and damage to BOTH vehicles. A sketch plan of the position of the vehicles and the road markings is useful. Even better is a photograph of the position of the vehicles at the scene if you remember to do this. It is useful to your Solicitor if you mark on a screenshot on ‘Google Maps’ where the accident happened and the position of the cars.
  • For accidents at work, again take photographs of the location of the accident, and the machinery/ tool you were using if this is the case. A specification of the machine is also helpful; however, we can also request documents such as ‘specifications’ from the Defendant representative.
  • For public Liability claims, such as a fall in a pothole, take photographs of the location. Also remember to take measurements and photographs of the measurements. Take photographs of whatever caused you to fall as evidence.
  • For industrial disease claims, medical evidence and employment records are useful to support liability.

Photographs of your injury are useful in all types of Personal injury claims. Especially where you have been left with scarring. These photographs can also be passed on to the medical expert for the preparation of a medical report on your injuries.

Do I still need evidence if liability has been admitted?

If liability has been admitted your Solicitor will need to obtain a medical report on your injuries in order to value your injury. “General damages” relate to the injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident.

Special damages are the financial losses you suffer as a result of the accident. These include past and future losses, such as loss of earnings, travel expenses, prescription/ medication costs, physiotherapy costs, damaged clothing, missed or cancelled events, care and assistance provided by friends and relatives, unused gym membership, ruined holidays, the cost of private therapy, reduced pension payments, loss of use of a vehicle, car hire charges and insurance excesses etc.

It is always a good idea to keep evidence of financial losses as the Defendant are unlikely to make any offers for undocumented losses.

Evidence of financial losses can be in the form of:

  • Wage slips
  • Profit and loss accounts if you are self-employed
  • Receipts (For car parking or medication for example)
  • Invoices, or banks statements etc.

It is a good idea to keep a diary of the accident and how it has affected you. It is human nature not to recall each exact moment in time and so keeping a diary is useful if your claim takes some time to settle.

It is useful for you to log when you go to hospital or when you call your G.P. for example. This can then be used to support a ‘mileage’ claim. It is also useful to log if you have needed care and assistance from family and friends. You will need to log what care they have provided, and how long they have provided this for. This can then be used to support any claim for ‘care and assistance’.

It is important to retain any evidence and to be able to prove that the claims you make are legitimate.

If losses are estimated, then there is a risk that the estimate will be viewed as unrealistic, and this can ruin the rest of the case.

Using a local Solicitors when bringing a Personal Injury claim can prove to be more efficient as you are able to have a face to face chat with your Solicitor and go through any evidence that could help your claim.

If you have suffered an injury because of the negligence of a Third Party then please do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation (by phone, video or in-person). You can ring us on 01623 468468 or complete the enquiry form below and a member of our personal injury team will be in touch within 24 hours.

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