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What evidence do I need to make a personal injury claim?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to claim compensation for any damages, both financial losses and personal injuries.

Making a personal injury claim can seem extremely intimidating, especially if you have never previously been involved in legal proceedings. Many unfamiliar terms, such as evidence, witness statements, no win no fee, etc., make the process seem rather daunting. If you’re unsure, always seek legal advice.

By working with an experienced Personal Injury Claims company, you can access the support you need to get the compensation required to fund your rehabilitation and pay your bills (if you cannot work) to concentrate on your recovery.

What evidence is required for a successful personal injury claim?

You must provide evidence in a personal injury claim to prove, on the balance of probabilities, the following:

  • The Defendant owed you a duty of care,
  • They breached that duty, and
  • Their breach of duty resulted in you suffering foreseeable damage.

The evidence you will need to present in a personal injury claim will depend on the type of claim you are bringing. Let’s look at some common examples:

Road traffic accidents (RTA)

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, you need to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible for a road accident compensation claim (if you are well enough to do so).

Examples include:

  • Photographs of the scene where the accident occurred, and the vehicles’ positions.
  • The names and addresses of witnesses.
  • Police reports.
  • Medical evidence such as your medical notes from the hospital or your GP.
  • The insurance details of the other driver/s.

Workplace accidents

If you are injured at work, you will need to collate the following evidence to make a successful accident at work claim:

  • Details of the accident recorded in the workplace accident book, or accident report form, and under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) (if relevant).
  • Details of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation and prosecution (if relevant).
  • Witness statements.
  • Medical reports, including any medical treatment you require.
  • Photographs of the injury site or any other physical evidence to support your claim.

Slips and trips and falls

If possible, gather the following evidence to support your slips, trips and falls claim:

  • Witness statements.
  • Details of the owner of the premises where the accident happened.
  • If the slip or trip happened on the street, photographs of the location.
  • Your medical report.

Medical negligence

For medical negligence claims, gathering evidence will help support your claim:

  • Medical evidence
  • Expert testimonies
  • Witness statements
  • Photographic or video evidence

Your Personal Injury Solicitor may also instruct an expert witness to provide a report to the Court to help them decide on liability and quantum of damages. An expert witness could be an independent medical expert who specialises in the type of injury you have received or, in the case of an RTA, an expert on speed and collisions.

It is important to note that an expert witness in personal injury cases is impartial and has a duty to the Court, which overrides any duty they may have to the person instructing them.

What insurance details do you give in an accident?

In the case of a car accident, you should exchange details of the name of your insurer and car registration number, and provided you feel safe, provide your name and contact details.

Do not apologise for the accident, even if you believe it was your fault, as this could result in you being held liable.

How to get your NHS medical records?

If you require medical records from your GP, contact the practice directly. For hospital records, you need to write to the records manager or patient services manager at the NHS Trust, which manages the hospital where you had your treatment. You can find a list of hospital trusts and their contact details here.

What is a witness statement, and how is it prepared?

The Civil Procedure Rules define a witness statement as “a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence that person would be allowed to give orally”.

A witness statement must:

  • Be in the witness’s own words and written in the first person.
  • Contain the witness’s home address, or if they are giving the statement in the capacity of their job, their work address (unless this could prejudice the safety of the witness).
  • State the witness’s occupation.
  • State whether the statement was made face to face, over the telephone or video call, or through an interpreter.
  • Clarify which statements are made from the witness’s knowledge and those that are information and belief, and provide the source of any matters of information or belief.
  • Be signed by the witness.

Will I have to go to Court to settle my personal injury claim?

Most personal injury claims are settled out of court due to the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims, which encourages swift, out-of-court settlements. This helps ensure that the Courts do not get clogged up with thousands of claims and that Claimants can access rehabilitation as quickly as possible.

Under the Rehabilitation Code 2015, parties involved in a personal injury case, including insurers and specialist solicitors, are encouraged to work together to identify the Claimant’s rehabilitation needs and release funds to pay for the required rehabilitation.

How to start a personal injury claim?

The easiest way to start a personal injury claim is to call free on 0800 234 6438 at the earliest opportunity after your accident. The Limitation Act 1980 provides that Claimants have three years to bring a personal injury claim, so you must act immediately.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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