What is an accident book and how is it relevant to a claim for personal injury compensation?

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An accident book enables people who have been injured to record how they were injured, what injuries they have suffered and what first aid or course of action has been taken.

To give a compensation claim the best chance of success, someone who is injured must do all they can to ensure that a record of their accident has been made and reported to the right people. In cases of an accident at work, in a shop or other public venue like a restaurant or theatre, the employers or management of the venue should have an accident book or other incident reporting system available.

This protects the interests of the claimant should they decide to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. Their solicitor can then contact the workplace, shop or other venue that has the accident book and request a copy of the record, which can then be used as evidence to support their client’s claim for personal injury compensation.

Vital evidence for your claim

For a personal injury claim to reach a successful conclusion where the claimant receives a compensation settlement to cover their injuries and associated losses, a personal injury solicitor and their client (the claimant) will need to be able to provide the necessary proof and evidence to support their claim. If the right evidence is not in place, it can be hard to succeed with a claim and get someone to admit liability and agree to make a settlement to the claimant.

There are many items that can form the basis of evidence to support someone’s claim for personal injury compensation. Not only will a claimant have to provide proof of an injury, its severity and what medical treatment has been given, they will also need to prove that the injury and accident happened as they have said it did, with the cause being the fault of someone else.

The medical evidence element is usually an easy matter to resolve as the claimant will sign documents to instruct the solicitor to pursue the matter for them. One of the documents is a form of authority which allows the solicitor to access relevant medical records to support the injury side of the claim. But how can you prove an accident happened somewhere and detail what happened in the immediate aftermath? This is the role of an accident book entry.

What if someone refuses you access to an accident book?

Occasionally, some employers refuse to allow their staff to record the details of an accident in the accident book. This could also happen in shops or other venues. If your employer or anyone else refuses to allow you to use or see the accident book, there are steps you can take. We can advise you of this and your other rights after an injury at work and welcome you to call us for assistance.

What if there is no accident book entry?

If you have not reported your accident, you can still claim compensation. There are other ways of supporting your claim even if there is no accident book record. For example, you may be able to provide the details of independent witnesses or other evidence such as photographs.

Some accident claim types, such a road traffic accident, will not be covered by an accident book. In these cases, details of an accident or injury should be reported to the insurers of the vehicles involved and also to the police. In cases where someone is injured as a result of a trip on a disrepaired pavement surface there will be no accident book. However, if this happens to you, you should contact the local authority that covers the area where you fell and report the matter to them over the phone. They will take a record and issue you with a reference number.

If there is no accident book option to support your personal injury compensation claim, you can give your solicitor the relevant authority to enable them to contact any organisations to whom you have reported the details of your accident so that they can use this in support of your claim for personal injury compensation.

To find out more about claiming or if you have any questions, call us on 01225 430285 or if you prefer, .

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

If a personal injury claim has been made against a company, is it still claimable if the details in the accident book have different name and description to that signed by the claimant?

Ian Morris

Discrepancies in the contents of an accident book report to the details within a submitted claim notification form can cause serious problems to the pursuit of a claim. Defendants will immediately jump on any potential elements of doubt within a claim and if the details listed do not match those that a claimant has suggested, a claimant will need to provide a convincing mitigation of the reasons. In the case you describe, if the details listed within the accident book were not recorded by you but by someone else, you can point to this as the reasons for the errors. Further, if the accident book entry was not completed in your presence you should inform your Solicitor so that they can take care of this for you.


I injured my back at work very recently. I don’t think it was recorded in the accident book so am just writing to the company Health and Safety team to ensure there is a record of it made. Should i put that i felt under pressure to complete the work given which led to the injury?

Ian Morris

The more information that can be entered in to an accident book report or incident log, the better. The most important element of any accident book entry should be the cause of an injury and the nature of an injury. If you were not given adequate training in the safe lifting and moving of items, make sure that is recorded in the record.

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