When you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault, prompt action will increase your chance of making a successful compensation claim. Even before you speak to a solicitor there are key things you can do to help your case and key things you should avoid.
Take liability advice from your solicitor
Unless your solicitor has advised you to do so, you should never say that you’re liable for what has happened, as this could be used against you. No matter how pressured you feel, don’t take responsibility for what wasn’t your fault. If anybody puts deliberate pressure on you, or asks you to sign a disclaimer, tell your solicitor.
Because we all forget things sometimes, it’s a good idea to make notes about what happened to you as soon as possible. Include the date, time, place and as much detail as you can. If the accident relates to an ongoing situation (such as a loose paving stone that you’ve noticed before) also write down as much as you can remember about that.
It’s important to get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to your accident. If police officers attend the scene, get their numbers and make a note of which station they belong to. Do not contact people directly yourself, as this could compromise their testimony. Instead, pass their details to your solicitor. They will be able to collect statements on your behalf.
If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible. Sometimes bruising comes out a day or two after an accident, so if this happens you should also get a picture of it at its worst. You should also photograph any damage to your property and contact reputable firms for repair cost quotes that can be used in your claim. As long as you have photographs and quotes, there’s no need to delay getting repairs done.
Photographs of the area where an accident happened can help to establish risk factors. If you trip over something, take a picture with an ordinary ruler beside it to show how high it is or how far it sticks out from where it is supposed to be.
Making your claim
Although you are allowed up to three years in which to make a claim, it is better to do it sooner rather than later. This means that everything will be fresh in your mind. Many people also find that it helps them to get closure after an upsetting accident.
If the accident happened when you were under 18 years of age, or if you didn’t realise how seriously it had affected you until later, the claim limit may be longer. Our team will be happy to advise you on this.
Our online system makes it easy to work out if you are entitled to make a claim and what your claim might be worth. You can also telephone us to talk through your situation, or you can submit a full claim online with our easy-to-use forms. We’re here to help and unless you win your case you won’t have to pay us a penny.
Date Published: August 17, 2013
Author: David Brown
Category: Personal injury claims