How to report your accident to the right people

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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.
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Questions & Answers

  • Rich

    I have just received my accident report and managers report, false information , and lied about a witness to say I said this false information, ie my fault, the accident report was filled in with someone completely different, when I reported the accident I was informed that accident form on the computer will be completed later by the same manager that lied. The manager and the false witness did not do the accident report with me and not present
    . The manager have had other previous reports incorrect, missing and misinterpreted. When challenged she used HR to cover.
    I am still on sick leave because of this injury and added stress.This have lost my pay benefits and trust in my manager and company. Could this jeopardize a claim and how can I return to work with this company after these lies about me

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The false information contained in the accident report could jeopardise your claim if it is accepted as fact. To this end, you need to challenge the accuracy of the report IMMEDIATELY and IN WRITING to the employer. You need to inform them of the misleading information and provide a correct statement of fact to them regarding the accident and what was said to you and by whom it was said.

      If you would like help making your claim, please call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  • Sipho Bhengu

    When must an employee report injury on duty, is it on the same day or any day thereafter?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      An accident at work should be reported and recorded within an accident book at the earliest opportunity. Ideally, an accident should be recorded at the time of the incident. If that is not possible, it should be recorded as soon as possible.

      Reply
  • Samantha

    I have sprained my wrist 3 times in the last 2 years at my current job. I believe I have done serious damage and want to reach out to an orthrapedic specialist. My employer is refusing to give me copies of my injury reports. My question is, is that legal? I have the most recent report because it was not filled out and filed “by the books”.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Why do you need the reports to be able to see the Orthopaedic specialist? If you were to make a claim for compensation against your employer for the injuries and damage to your wrist, our specialist Solicitors would be able to request copies of any accident reports for you.

      Reply
  • gabriel

    I recently had a work injury, when it happened our first aider didn’t fill in the accident book. I was in stage of panic and couldn’t think clearly at that moment, when i was returning from hospital few hours later i have txt him and said he filled it for me. My question is, shouldn’t there be my signature to make it valid. Also isn’t it his fault that he didn’t fill one in at the time of injury. Also i have doubts that he was qualified First aider. How can i find out whether his action were legit, and if i find that they missed something out of accident book, can i change it accordingly?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Essentially, there is nothing wrong with a colleague or appointed employee completing an accident book on behalf of someone else. However, by having the details of an accident recorded by someone other than the injured party, or not in the injured parties presence and not signed by the injured party, there is a heightened risk of an inaccurate report being filed.

      In your case, it would seem sensible to write to your employer – to whoever has responsibility for accident book records – to advise that you have never seen what was written and were not present when the incident was recorded. You could outline in your own words, your version of the incident details and request to see a copy of the accident book entry.

      You should retain a copy of your letter to protect your interests in the future in case there is ever a claim for accident at work compensation and the accident book entry provided by the employer is incorrect and the details within it were to weaken any claim you were to make.

      If you would like to discuss how we can help you with a claim for compensation or to find out more about your rights after an accident at work, please call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website.

      Reply
  • colin burroughs

    I have recently suffered a bad injury at work. I opened a five bar gate and my leg got trapped at the bottom of the gate, due to my boot getting caught caught in some wire fencing that had been attached to the bottom of the gate by another employee. I have multiple fractures to my leg and ankle and have had surgery to install plates and screws.
    I am now five weeks into my recovery, I am more or less immobile and will be for an estimated period of six months at least due to the injury. I contacted my employer five days after the incident to ask about pay entitlement and whether I should be filling in an accident report. They say they have completed a RIDDOR but I have not heard anything else.
    Should I be able to claim compensation due to the fact that my leg was trapped because the gate had been ‘modified’ and therefore there was barely a gap and the wire caught my foot ?
    Also, should I be insisting further that I have a copy of the RIDDOR report and filling in my own version of events in their accident book?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Given the severity of your injury and the long term implications of such an injury, the most important thing to do is to get your claim for compensation started. The wire at the base of the gate appears to be hazardous and responsible for your injuries and it is likely that this would give rise to a valid claim for workplace accident compensation.

      You have done all you can with regards to making sure that the accident has been reported and the fact that RIDDOR have been made aware is a good thing.

      We would very much like to help you pursue your claim for compensation and our expert Solicitors would seek to recover compensation for your injuries as well as recovering all loss of income both recently and in the future that has been caused by this accident at work. If you would like to take this further, call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  • margaret holliday

    i tripped over a chair that had been kicked out by children fighting in school and ended up going to hospital because i had an injury to my back and was admitted for 4 days . employer has not put it in accident book and i have been on long term sick over a year and a now on benefits for disability. my employer wants a meeting but i am not able to attend because of ongoing medical condition associated with this which is embarrising but she wants it anyway despite gp writing a covering letter saying I’m not well enough to attend . This is stressing me out
    please could you advise how to take a grievance out with regards to this .
    many thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The situation you describe would lead us to recommend you seeking the advice of an employment law specialist.

      Reply
  • Colin Baker

    I suffered a work injury a year or two ago and missed a few days at work with a Dr’s note. I was disciplined for going over the allowed amount of sick days in the absenteeism policy.
    I now have an injury to my back but I am weary of reporting it as any days absence could result in my losing my job.
    Could you advise me on what I should do and if I should make a claim for the previous injury?
    I have a letter from my employer that clearly states work related injuries are not exempt from the absenteeism policy, is that legal?
    Any help or advice you could give me would be so much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You have two separate issues here, one is a possible personal injury matter – and that is where we are experts and can offer advice and support regarding any possible claim for compensation. The second issue relates to employment law – the policy the employer has regarding absenteeism. This is something you should discuss separately with an employment law specialist.

      Regarding your work injury, you could seek to make a claim for compensation against the employer if you believe that the cause of your injury was due to employer negligence. As such, if the injury could have been avoided if you had been properly trained, provided with protective equipment or due to the negligence of a colleague, you could succeed with a claim for compensation. Your accident would have had to have happened within the past 3 years and the details should be recorded within an accident book.

      Regarding your back injury at work, you should report that to the employer within their accident book system and you should seek medical attention from your GP. You could advise your GP that you are unable to take leave from work due to their absenteeism policy and ask them to note that on your records.

      Claiming compensation from your employers insurers should not affect your right to continue with your work. If you would like to pursue this further, we can take some instructions as to your injury and evaluate whether an issue such as a lack of manual handling training from your employer or something else is sufficient to allow our specialist Solicitors to consider the prospects that your potential claim for accident at work compensation present.

      Reply
      • Colin Baker

        Thank you very much for your speedy reply and advice. I shall go to my GP as soon as possible and find out what the GP thinks, also using your advice and telling them I cannot afford to miss work. I will also get it recorded in the Accident Book.
        Thank you very much.

        Reply
  • Ovie Werner

    Hello,
    I just have a quick question.
    We had an incident at work and as it affected me I filled in my own accident report.
    The HR told me that I can not fill in my own report into the accident book and it can only be filled out and signed by another person or witness.
    I told the HR that he got it wrong. But the HR replied that I can not fill in my own accident report and he will ask the manager to sign it.
    Though I don’t have a problem with it and I have a copy of the report, I found it a little bit strange that the HR approached me.
    I am a First Aider and I have learned that I can fill in my own report as it is important to report and file any incident or accident even if it is does not seem important.
    Am I am right or wrong?
    Thank you for reading my Email.
    A reply would be appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Ovie

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Ovie

      Hi, thank you for discussing the importance of recording and reporting an accident in an accident book or other similar incident reporting scheme.

      When someone is injured in an accident at work, it must be recorded – regardless of whether it is a minor injury or a serious injury. Of course, serious injuries should be reported to the relevant Health & Safety authorities, but recording all incidents is very important. Having accident at work details recorded properly and accurately is important for 2 key reasons. Firstly, the employer can review the details of the accident, what injuries were sustained and how the accident happened. They can use this to review their working practices and identify any relevant changes that could be made to reduce the possibility of the same accident being repeated in the future. Secondly, when someone is injured in an accident at work and wishes to pursue a claim for compensation against the employers liability insurance cover, the details recorded in an accident book provide a vital cog in the wheels of the claims process and helps a claimant identify where the employer has been negligent in relation to their accident.

      Your question regarding who can or cannot record the details of the accident is something that usually comes down to company policy. Every employee (or any other person injured in an accident) is entitled to record the details of their accident, how it happened, what caused it and what injuries they have sustained. Most employers are happy for employees to personally record the details of the incident in their words and rely on the honesty and trustworthiness of their staff to ensure that the details are recorded accurately and in an honest manner. Of course, the employer is free to also record their view of the incident – if it was witnessed – and cite any differences they may have with the employees record of the incident.

      The key thing is to make sure that the record that your employer has is accurate and correctly reports the details of the incident in which you were injured. With this in mind, it doesn’t really matter who actually writes down the details, what matters is that they are recorded accurately. Therefore, your employer cannot record the details of your accident without taking a statement from you. You should also ask to review their record and only sign it if you are happy that it is a fair record of the incident in which you were injured.

      If you are unhappy with the way the employer has recorded the incident or you feel that they have failed to record the details properly, you can escalate a complaint to your HR department and take out a grievance. If the employer still fails to satisfy your view as to their actions, you can always contact the Heath & Safety Executive (HSE) and discuss your concerns with them.

      I hope that this response helps you.

      Yours sincerely

      Ian

      Reply
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