What Should I Do After My Accident?

After suffering from an accident, the last thing most of us are thinking about is a potential claim for compensation. Nevertheless, if you are to succeed in a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries, you will need evidence. As soon as possible after the incident, you should ensure that you take the following steps.

Make A Report

If you suffered your injury either in a public space or a commercial setting, make sure that you report what happened immediately. Some organisations such as hotels will have a formal ‘accident book’, whereas with smaller businesses or accidents on the public highway you will probably need to write a letter stating what happened. Make sure that you keep a copy of any correspondence, and give as much detail as you can. Not only will this help to back up any evidence you might give later on in court, but it will also help to ensure that your memory of the incident doesn’t fade as time moves on.

Gather Evidence

As well as making a report, you will need to gather all the available evidence. This should also be done as soon as possible, and certainly before repairs are made to the problem which caused your injuries. If possible, get photographic evidence of the exact issue, and try to find ways of making the problem obvious. If an uneven or cracked paving slab caused you to fall, for example, try taking a photograph with a ruler next to the area of disrepair. This can often cast more light on the issue than a simple image which provides no context. As well as documenting the physical evidence, you should also make sure that you get the names and contact details of any potential witnesses to the incident.

Medical Reports

Clearly, you will not be able to claim compensation for any injuries that you cannot prove. Whilst witness and photographic evidence of injuries may be of some small assistance, in practice you are likely to need the report of a medical expert in order to succeed in your claim. Make sure that you go to see your doctor as soon as you can, and that you report any and all injuries which have come about as a result of the accident. If you were taken to hospital as a result of your injuries, you should make sure that a full note of all of your symptoms is being taken.

Record Your Expenses

If you are out of pocket for any reason as a result of the injury, make sure you keep all the relevant receipts. The court is empowered to award compensation not just for your ‘pain, loss and suffering’, but also for so-called ‘special damages’. You may be able to claim for a whole variety of expenses, including travel to doctor’s appointments, prescription charges, payments to carers or other assistants, and any loss of earnings. You can only do this, however, if you can prove the expense. Don’t end up out of pocket!

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