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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Should I gather evidence at the scene of an accident?


    If you’ve suffered an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you’re well within your rights to seek compensation from those responsible, especially if the consequences of the accident were quite severe. One of the main questions that people ask is whether or not you should gather evidence from the scene of an accident. Essentially, the answer is yes, there are some things you can put together that will make your claim easier.

    The first type of evidence/information that you need to gather is the contact details of any witnesses to the accident and, where possible, to request their testimony if it turns out to be necessary. First hand witness accounts remain one of the most valuable forms of evidence in any legal case. If there were several witnesses, try to get the details for all of them. Essentially, the more corroborating testimonies, the stronger your claim for compensation will be.

    The second common form of evidence comes in the event of a fall, when you should seek to get a photograph of the defect that caused your incident, as close to the time of it’s occurrence as is possible. For some people, it might be a tripping hazard such as an uneven flagstone, for example, whereas for others it could be something such as a nail protruding from a fence. Obtaining this photographic proof of a hazard is extremely useful, as otherwise repairs could be carried out before you’re able to make a claim and, therefore, this will make your case substantially weaker.

    Thirdly, if your accident involves the police in anyway, such as if it’s an incident that occurs whilst driving, it is important to take down the details of the officers that deal with it. Their incident report is likely to be used as an authoritative account in the event of a claim, and will add real strength to your case if it backs up your account of the accident. If the police officers in question are prepared to testify, this is even better.

    If you were injured in a commercial property such as a building site or office, another important piece of evidence is the site’s accident book. Most sites such as these will have one, so seek to access it as it will back up your assertion that an incident occurred at the time you’ve noted. If you aren’t able to access the book itself, then try to take photocopies of the relevant page instead.

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    Finally, it’s important to keep a record of any expenses that you incur as a result of the accident, especially those that are as a result of a personal injury. If you’ve had to pay for medical treatment or special equipment to help deal with the injuries incurred, then keep receipts and details of them. This is the sort of information that can help to back up your claim by proving that you’ve suffered from genuinely negative financial effects as a result of the incident, as well as the physical problems. Keeping accurate information could make the world of difference to your claim.

    Date Published: September 27, 2013

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.