Individuals wishing to claim for an accident that was not their fault sometimes ask us, “My accident was last year, can I still claim?” The short answer to this question is yes, you may still be able to claim. While we always advise pursuing a claim as early as possible, we understand that acting early may not be a convenient option for some.
Reasons for delayed claims
Accident Advice Helpline has been in the personal injury business since 2000 and has managed thousands of successful compensation claims on a no win, no fee basis. During this time, we have spoken to many people who have delayed their pursuit of a claim for the following reasons:
- The victim felt that the injury was not serious enough to warrant a claim.
- Psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, loss of confidence, which were a direct result of the accident, did not immediately become apparent. These illnesses can appear following a work-related accident where, upon returning to work, the victim becomes anxious and cannot confidently handle certain equipment or tools.
The unfortunate truth is that many people who do have an accident can suffer from the after effects of an untreated injury many years after the incident itself. For this reason we will consider pursuing a claim for any type of injury that resulted from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
How do I know if my injury is worth claiming for?
A claim should always be pursued if you have suffered physical and/or psychological pain and if you have experienced financial loss as a direct result of the accident to which a third party was contributory. For example, a recurring physical complaint such as back pain could be the result of an accident that happened over a year ago. This can mean that a person needs medical treatment such as physiotherapy to help cure or manage their pain. If the accident was traumatic then it may also be essential for you to seek accident counselling from a trained professional. To attend these appointments you may need to take time off work and we will factor the cost of these appointments, including travel expenses, into your compensation claim.
To support your compensation claim we will need you to provide as much evidence as possible. This can include the following:
- Accident logbook: if your accident was at work then the details of the incident should have been logged in an accident book. The information we can take from this includes where, how and why the accident occurred, along with a description of the injury you suffered.
- Doctor and/or counselling appointments: doctors and counsellors have records of all appointments you attended. These records will detail the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received for them. As long as the appointments were attended for treating the injuries or afflictions that directly resulted from your accident, we can include them in your claim.
- Travel receipts: attending the aforementioned appointments can be costly. Whether you have taken public transport, taxis or your own vehicle, keep the receipts of everything you spent on travelling to appointments and we will factor these costs into your claim.
- First-hand accounts: anyone who witnessed the accident may be willing to give a statement of what happened. Even if the accident was last year their account could play an important part in your claim.
- Photographs: these days many people have phones with inbuilt cameras and it’s not uncommon to see lots of people taking pictures of an accident. If you or someone you know has photos of the accident then please discuss this with us.
For more information or to discuss your claim contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500. Our phone line is open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week so you can call us at a time that suits you. If one of our advisers is unavailable then leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Date Published: August 24, 2014
Author: David Brown