In many cases after being injured in an accident, people find themselves unable to discuss or report it to the relevant authorities before they are rushed off for medical treatment. At this stage, someone who has been injured in an accident is rightly focused on getting their injuries seen to rather than thinking about making sure the details of an accident have been properly reported or recorded, let alone a possible injury compensation claim. But once they are in a position to do so, details of the accident and injuries sustained should be reported to the right people at the earliest opportunity to give any claim for injury compensation the best chance of success.
Many people don’t know where or how to report the details of their accident, and occasionally find 3rd parties who are less than willing to help them report their accident to the right people. If you’re having such problems, contact us and we’ll help you to understand your rights and who should be notified of the accident.
Ways to report and record the details of your accident
As a general rule, once you’ve had medical treatment – or before if you are able – report your accident to the people responsible for the place where it happened. There are many ways to prove your accident happened where you’ve said it did and in the manner you claim. Below is a list of things you can do to make your claim for personal injury compensation as watertight as possible.
Reporting work accidents
If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace, see your supervisor or manager and request that the details of your accident and any known injuries are recorded in the accident book. Make sure that your words are used to describe the accident and the cause. List your injuries and what medical treatment or 1st aid you’ve had at that time. An accident book entry can be pivotal to the outcome of any work accident compensation claim, so it’s vital to make sure that things are done properly and accurate recordings of the details of an accident at work are entered in to the accident book.
If your employer refuses to record your injury or won’t let you use or see the accident book, this is not good practise and potentially illegal.
Reporting road traffic accidents
For road traffic accidents you should always report the details of your accident to your own vehicle insurers. Make sure that you obtain the 3rd party vehicle registration number. You can also contact the police and although they’ll only attend the scene if the highway is obstructed or there are serious injuries, they will still make a log record of your accident. Your specialist road traffic accident compensation solicitor can refer to this record whilst claiming personal injury compensation for you should they need to. If the 3rd party driver didn’t stop, such as in a hit and run incident, it is really important to contact the police.
Reporting accidents in public places
With accidents in public areas (commonly slips and trips), such as trips on footpaths, or slips in shops, restaurants and other areas, you should report details of your accident and injuries to the council or owner of the premises. Council offices will have departments who can take a record of an accident in a public place. They’ll often record your name and a brief outline and then send you a more in-depth report form to complete and return. It’s always wise to keep a copy of anything you do fill in and send off. If you suffer an injury in a shop, restaurant or other public venue ask to speak to a manager and request an accident book so that you can make a record of your accident.
How to strengthen your case
- Take photographs. Evidence is always helpful and even if it’s a photograph showing a hazard, it helps. Remember to try and take a range of photographs – not just close-up images – as it’s always good to show the location of a hazard in relation to a landmark. Whether that is a phone box beside a pothole or a shop sign adjacent to your accident site, it will all help your solicitor when it comes to claiming compensation for your personal injury.
- Seek witnesses. If someone has seen you fall, witnessed your car accident or was at work with you when you were injured, ask them if they would be willing to act as a witness for you. Of course, it is up to them and they may not want to get involved, but most people are only too willing to help someone and provide their details to support a claim for personal injury compensation. Again, it’s evidence in your favour and will always help your claim.