This article was originally published on 1st June 2020 and was updated on 16th February 2022.
1. The Scene of the Accident
Your priority after being involved in an accident is to ensure your own safety. If it isn’t an emergency but you’d like medical advice, call the NHS non-emergency helpline on 111 or visit your local GP. You may need to go to hospital by ambulance if your injuries are serious.
2. Check for Witnesses
If your accident took place in public, such as a road traffic accident, it is worth asking any people who saw what happened, to come forward as witnesses. Independent passers-by can often provide useful evidence for a personal injury claim, particularly if the other party denies liability. So if anyone saw your accident, ask for their contact details so your solicitor can get hold of them for a witness statement later on. If the police were called to the scene, statements taken here are strong pieces of evidence.
If you suffered an accident in a public place, such as a slip, trip, or fall, due to someone else’s negligence, you could be due compensation. We would advise you to take photos of your injury and find out if CCTV cameras caught your accident happening.
3. Write Down What Happened
If there were no witnesses, you will have to rely on your own memory for much of the testimony, so it’s worth noting down your recollections while they are fresh. A personal injury claim relies on gathering evidence from witness statements to CCTV footage. Taking handwritten notes has been shown to improve memory, so you’re more likely to remember the details of the accident if you write notes just after the event.
Whilst you are at it, remember to write down details of all your financial losses too. You can claim these back as long as they are losses incurred as a result of the accident.
When you call Mooneerams, you will speak to a solicitor or another experienced member of our team, instead of someone at the impersonal call centre of a Claims Management Company.
5. Gathering Information
When you get in touch, we will carry out a free assessment to see if you could make a claim.
First of all, we will need some information about your accident. For example, we will go through what happened, where it happened, whether there were any witnesses, and take details of injuries that you have suffered.
We will also give you some practical advice about getting checked over by your doctor, keeping a note of how your injury symptoms are progressing daily, and so on. From what we discuss we will be able to give you our assessment of whether we think your claim has reasonable prospects of success.
If we believe that your claim has decent prospects of succeeding, then the choice will be yours as to:
a) whether you pursue a claim
b) which solicitor you decide to use
No one can force you to use a specific personal injury solicitor, to deal with your injury claim. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, often your own insurers or a claims management company will try to persuade you to use their favoured solicitors to deal with your compensation claim. Before deciding which injury lawyers to use, we recommend that you read our blog, ‘Talk to me – the art of choosing a good solicitor.’
At Mooneerams – the Personal Injury Solicitors – we don’t do any other type of legal work but personal injury claims. We are personal injury specialists and as a firm, we have been since 2002. Some of our personal injury lawyers have specialist accident injury experience that goes back well before then!
Putting your injury compensation claim in the hands of Mooneerams means that you do so safe in the knowledge that your claim is being dealt with by personal injury experts, who will make sure that you recover the maximum compensation possible.
6. Should you make a personal injury claim?
If you have suffered injury and loss because of an accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, then you should make a claim. We provided our reasons why, in our article ‘Why you should make a personal injury claim.’
7. Getting Medical Evidence for Your Claim
Your claim for personal injury will be put together by obtaining medical evidence of the injuries that you suffered because of the accident. Make an appointment to see your doctor. Your GP will check out your injuries and give practical advice and treatment.
Some people who have suffered nasty soft tissue injuries, for example, might not go to see their GPs because they decide to ‘tough it out’. That is admirable in many ways.
However, there are several potential problems in doing that.
Many injuries WILL settle without going to a doctor for help – however, they might settle more quickly and be less uncomfortable if your GP is able to provide some early treatment.
By not visiting your GP, you might just be making your injuries worse. It’s not advisable to self-diagnose.
If you don’t go to seek medical advice or assistance after the accident, then the other partys’ insurer may try to imply that your injuries aren’t genuine. As you will be seeing a further doctor later on during the claim, it’s not vital that you have been to see your GP beforehand, but it just makes matters more straightforward if you have and if it is documented.
We will arrange to get your medical records from your GP. Your medical records will help the doctor, who will often be a consultant, to put together his medical report.
He will do this after carrying out a medical examination of you. The report he produces will, with your agreement, be used as evidence of your injuries and how long recovery from them is likely to take. It will form the basis of how your claim for personal injury is valued in monetary terms.
If your injuries take a while to settle down, you may need follow up examinations. In the case of the accident having caused multiple injuries, you may need to see a number of different specialist doctors for medical reports.
You may also be asked to see a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing.
Gathering medical evidence to support a personal injury claim is vital. If you instruct Mooneerams to deal with your injury claim, we will guide you through every stage of this process.
8. The Settlement
If your case is successful, you will be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you have gone through, as well as loss of earnings, medical treatment and financial losses incurred as a result of the accident.
You will receive the compensation awarded to you, after the deduction of any success fee due to us. In most cases we are able to fund personal injury claims using a No Win No Fee Agreement. (How all this works and what the success fee is, will be fully explained to you before you agree to us funding your case by No Win No Fee agreement).)
Watch our Guide to Making a Personal Injury Claim video:
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s time to seek the personal injury advice that you deserve. Call Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615 to speak to a solicitor, or contact us with your name and phone number and we’ll call you back when it best suits you.