Accidents happen - what should you do?


Whilst we may take action to prevent accidents, the fact is that accidents happen. Accidents, and the injuries they cause, are an unfortunate part of life, but there are avenues you can take to ease the pain and help you in your recovery.

In particular, where you have incurred financial hardship and loss due to an accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation. However, this depends upon many factors.

What should you do if an accident happens to you?

When accidents happen it can be difficult to think straight and know what to do. A few simple steps you may wish to take include:

  • Report the accident to the appropriate body (for example, to your employer or regulatory authority for accidents at work; to the police for motor vehicle accidents; to your local council for accidents out in public; to the owner of the property for accidents in a privately owned place)
  • Make a note of the details of the accident while it is fresh in your mind. This may include taking the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident or people on duty at the time. It may be appropriate to take photographs or draw diagrams
  • Keep receipts and invoices of any costs incurred due to the accident, such as medical costs
  • Obtain advice as to whether you can claim compensation

What can you claim compensation for?

Accidents happen every day. There are many types of accidents that you may be able to claim compensation for including everyday incidents that may seem like simple unavoidable accidents but that may actually be the fault of an individual or an organisation.

Accident types can include motor accidents, accidents at work, accidents in the home, slips, trips and falls and medical accidents.

Making a claim for compensation

The key is being able to prove that someone else was, at least in part, responsible for your injury. Often this will be liability through negligence.

You can make a compensation claim for an injury, disease or condition caused through no fault of your own. Victims of recent accidents can easily make a claim provided that the accident occurred within the last three years, unless the accident involves a child in which case the claim must be made within three years of the child's 18th birthday.

How much compensation can be awarded?

If you are successful in making out a case for compensation, the amount of compensation awarded varies from claim to claim, even for similar injuries, depending on various factors. Your individual circumstances will be taken into account.

A total figure for the amount of personal injury compensation to be claimed will be calculated by a solicitor. This figure will be sent to the insurance company of the person who was responsible for causing your accident. The solicitor will then negotiate with the insurance company until an agreement is reached on the amount for your compensation award.

It is important to remember that time limits for making a claim for compensation do apply. It is beneficial to get in touch with a specialist solicitor as soon as possible to ensure that you maintain the best possible chances of receiving compensation.

Want to know if you have done everything you should following an accident? See our page on accident reports.

Have you been involved in an accident in the last three years and are thinking about making a claim for compensation with the help of a solicitor? Contact Law can put you in touch with specialist personal injury lawyers, dealing in different areas of personal injury law, for example specifically accident claims. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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