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So you think you have a personal injury claim?

View profile for Beth Wallace
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Having begun my training contract with a first seat in the Personal Injury department, it has proven to be a steep learning curve to arm myself with the knowledge and legal basis upon which we might assess the prospects of a potential personal injury claim.  How do we do that?  Read on!

In this vein, I write to share my top tips for those who feel they might have a claim.

  1. Photographs – never underestimate the value of photographs. Whether it be of the hole in the pavement that you have just tripped over (even better, crack out a tape measure to prove just how significant the hole is), the state and location of your car after someone has hit the back of you or photographs of your injuries, they provide concrete evidence that support written statements.
  2. Details – if you have had an accident or suffered an injury, try to note down as soon as possible all material details from the incident. The date, time of day, weather and road conditions (if it is a road traffic accident), retain any paperwork relevant to the incident, note details of the individual you believe is responsible (if they provide them) and details of any witnesses .... which takes me to my next point…
  3. Witnesses – if someone has witnessed your accident, ask them if they would be willing to share their details should you want to contact them in the future. These individuals can be especially helpful when it comes to remembering the finer details of the mechanics of any incident as they can often be hard to remember when you are the one involved.
  4. Medical records – if you have suffered an injury, attend your GP surgery or Accident & Emergency. Not only will they provide medical attention as required and ensure the injury is not worse than you might at first think, but the medical records will evidence the injuries themselves and the extent of any damage caused. It seems an inherently British thing to not want to bother the medical services with what you might feel is a ‘trivial’ soft tissue injury, but a stiff upper lip is not always the best tack.
  5. Legal help – if you have been involved in an incident that has caused you injury and you feel it was as a result of someone else’s actions, then do not wait to seek guidance from a qualified personal injury lawyer. In most instances, any personal injury claim is limited to three years from the date of the incident and it can often reduce the legal options available if you leave the pursuance of a claim until the end of this period. From my short period of experience, those who contact us soon after their accident are often in a stronger position. It can mean that there is often CCTV of the incident still available and the accident circumstances are fresh in the mind of the individual as well as any witnesses.

Now I am nearing the end of my seat, I have concluded that those claimants with the strongest claim are those where the individuals have armed themselves with all relevant information and evidence to support the matter.

If you feel you might have a claim, do get in touch with the Personal Injury team here at Roythornes. We have experts in all areas of personal injury who would be willing to have a preliminary discussion with you to assess the merits of any potential claim.