To be successful in being awarded compensation for and accident or injury suffered you need to make sure you have, or can collect as much supporting evidence as physically possible. Obviously we have covered a lot of different scenarios here but the more evidence you have the better your chance of winning compensation.
Typically details and evidence required can be many of the following:
- Time, Date, Location, weather conditions, what had you been doing prior, where were you going?, what were you wearing eg footwear.
- Take or have someone take photos of any accident scene. If using a digital camera try and get the date and time output message on the photo or some other type of proof of date like a daily national newspaper in the shot. Try and take as many photos as possible and for example if you have tripped on a broken paving stone or en-even surface have someone take a picture with a steel tape measure as reference to the severity of the broken or un-even surface
- Make a sketch of an accident scene or use Google Earth to pinpoint the exact location (print it) and make detailed notes of what happened in their order of occurrence.
- Make detailed notes of who caused the accident including suitable details such as their name, address, telephone number, sex, age, wearing glasses?, and also note details of any other persons present or involved in the accident.
- Try and get the contact details of witnesses to your accident.
- If applicable get the other parties insurance details including policy number and insurance company
- If the police or another emergency service have attended get the details of the officer in charge. Also take note of which station they report to and also any police reference number on any paperwork thats issued.
- Always seek medical attention from either your local A&E department or registered GP. Keep any paperwork of attendance or ask for a doctors note explaining why you have been treated. Also it helps to have photo evidence of any injuries suffered like bruises or cuts etc. Again, try and ensure there is supporting date evidence on such photos. If at the time of accident you felt it unnecessary to seek medical attention either through shock or perhaps there were no immediate signs of injury do make sure you are checked by a medical expert. Even months after an injury you might require attention!
- Keep all receipts for costs you incur as a result of your accident as these can be factored into any compensation claim as additional costs.
- Keep any other evidence like a broken or faulty product, sales receipt and even packaging.
*There will be two scenarios where your solicitor may charge you for their costs:
1- if you have been found to be making a fraudulent claim
2- Non-cooperation by you, which jeopardises the outcome of your claim