Traffic accident compensation cases can be complicated. Not only do you need to figure out precisely who was at fault for the accident but a lot of the time you may not have the right evidence needed to satisfy a jury that you were primarily the victim of a traffic accident. A verdict may come back that it was due to split liability or even contributory negligence, aka. Only partial negligence on the road. You need to be prepared for any sort of outcome. However, if you have appropriate evidence to back up your claim then it is likely that you will get an extremely high pay out. But you may be asking yourself what sort of evidence would stand up in court? That is where this blog can help you!
Gowing Law Solicitors can offer you expert advice on your claim and can go through your case to ensure the right evidence is presented at the appropriate time. Let’s learn precisely what evidence you need to consider if you want to have a successful traffic claims case.
What counts as a traffic accident?
Whether you have suffered a large or small injury due to a traffic accident, you could be legally entitled to compensation. This is available to any type drivers, including:
Road accidents can include whiplash, airbag and seatbelt injuries to anyone of any age. It does not matter whether you are a child or an adult. If you have been hurt during a traffic accident, you (or someone that you love) are due compensation. Here are the main causes of road accidents, if any apply to you then you may need to consider speaking to a solicitor about your claim.
Were you at fault for the traffic accident?
Road traffic accidents (RTA) can be traumatic experiences for all victims involved. This includes the victims in the motor vehicles or any pedestrians. You may be feeling a bit shaken from your accident. However, it is essential that you consider whether or not it was your fault. That way you can figure out whether or not you could be owed compensation. These are the ways you may not be able to claim compensation, if you are found to be at fault:
If none of these apply to you, then your next step is to consider how much compensation you think you could be owed. Your compensation will depend on your injury severity and the cost of any resulting losses. This may include:
- Earnings that you have lost (i.e. through time off work).
- Any medical expenses that you received whilst in hospital or physio-rehabilitation.
Any travel expenses (i.e. being forced to travel to a distant specialized hospital).
- Private support/care to help rehabilitate you.
- Disability additions to your house.
- Emotional & Physical damages.
- Mobility assistance
Every traffic accident claims situation is different. Small details can make a big difference. For instance, were you wearing a seat belt during the accident? Whilst it is a legal requirement to wear a seat belt, it will not stop you from making a compensation claim. Instead, it will just affect the amount of compensation you receive if your claim is successful. Think carefully about the small details of the traffic accident you were involved in. This can potentially create a big impact.
The Evidence of a RTA Claim
Your case cannot be a matter of “he said, she said.” Instead, you need to have cold hard facts to back up your version of events. Yes, you may have vehicle insurance to protect your automobile financially, should it need repairs, but you need to think about what could count as evidence to provide you with additional compensation for your own personal injuries and to help fix your vehicle.
Let’s have a look at Mr Carl Claim’s story for some basic ideas of what we should be looking for:
Now, the first thing from this story that you need to consider is whether or not Carl Claims was at fault. If he has appropriate evidence then he can prove that he did try to prevent an accident by doing an emergency break, but the speed of the other car stopped it from being effective, this can show that he was the victim of the incident. This could mean that he is due compensation to help with the damages of his car and to get him through medical treatment. He clearly indicated that he had a job, therefore, it can also help him re-claim any costs he may have lost from not being able to go to work or claim statutory sick pay (SSP).
So, what could Carl use to back up his claim? Here are some examples of useful evidence:
One of the most useful things that you are going to have for evidence are photographs. Most people have a phone nowadays, therefore you should have access to a camera! Now, don’t try and harass the other person involved in the accident with your photographs. Instead, snap the essentials. Take their licence plate number, pictures of the damages, any injuries you have suffered and, most importantly, your environment. You will need to prove that you were in a specific area at a certain time when the accident happened. If there are any road markings or witnesses, you may also want to use photos to capture them if they are happy to be photographed.
Why, you may ask? Well, all of these photos are to prove that the liability of the incident should either fall on the other person in the incident or on a factor that is outside of your control. For example, a pothole on a road may have burst one of your tires and forced you to swerve. This was due to government negligence, not your own driving ability. Try to take as many photos as possible to prove:
- How the accident was not your fault.
- What hardships you suffered due to the accident.
- Who was there at the time of the accident.
- How you tried to handle the accident in a calm and mature manner.
These photos corroborate your story. Therefore, you should aim to capture as many important images as possible. You will never know what you will find useful, especially if you take pictures of road signs and the other person is charged for negligence (aka. speeding!)
There is only one thing that is more powerful than photographic evidence. That is video evidence! Nowadays, you can get “dash cams” that can attach to the inside of your car and record both you and the road. This can help you prove that you tried to implement basic manoeuvres to avoid the accident. You can show liability and point out evidence where you were the clear victim, including problematic driving, negligence or even dangerous environments. You can also video the incident after it happened. Make sure to film any injuries and the environment, and show the result of the negligence of the other driver or what happened to any other victims.
Were the police called at the time of your accident? Perhaps the other person in the crash became violent, or maybe you required urgent medical assistance. Either way, the police force can be witnesses in themselves. They take notes from both parties and evidence from the scene, and will file reports that talk about what happened for the accident to occur. As this is an impartial view, and is completely unbiased, this can add to your case if the documentation is in your favor. If you have been in contact with the police, make sure to alert your lawyer to this. They can ensure that you have their appropriate statements ready to be used for your case.
Carrying on from the previous point, other drivers and pedestrians can make your case stronger by providing testimonies. If you know of anyone who witnessed the accident, and you do not require immediate medical attention, make sure to ask for their contact details. If you are worried that they might forget what they saw at the crash, you can ask for their statements to provide evidence to validate your case. Witnesses testimonies are impartial therefore they can really help with your traffic accident compensation claim.
It can be traumatic being part of an accident. When you are in one, the first thing you have to do is ensure that you are not hurt. The stress can make everything far more difficult, especially if you are trying to concentrate and make sure you are safe. But if you have put yourself in a safe place, and you do not require immediate medical treatment, make sure to write out your version of the events.
If it was written at the time of the traffic accident, this can show an account of what happened without your memory getting in the way. Whilst it may be biased, it can still detail specifics that you may forget about as time progresses. You may also have suffered from head injuries, making certain details more difficult to remember. If you cannot remember what happened, it would be wiser to rely on your witnesses for their testimonies.
One of the main things that you need to prove after you have had a traffic accident is that the other person caused you more than physical damages. You may have financial damages that are due to the state of your vehicle and your inability to do your job. That’s why you need to provide documentation that showed you were forced to pay to help with your recovery. This could include medical bills and evidence to prove that you have lost your wage (i.e. a letter from your company.) Write down what expenses you have been forced to pay and then see what documented evidence you can produce to show that your injuries are causing you financial damage.
If you need additional evidence to show the extent of your injuries, it is always wise to seek the help of a medical professional. They can assess your injuries and let you know what help you might need to recovery. This can include physio sessions and different types of medication you will need to pay for. Having your doctor’s note can also prove the expenses that needed to be paid after you suffered from your accident.
How do you organize your evidence?
This is where you need the help of an experienced solicitor to organize your traffic accident compensation evidence. You need to decide what will be the most relevant to your case. You may want to consider:
- Keeping a file of your evidence that can have different sections for photographs, lists, your documents and even your correspondence with the other victims and witnesses.
- Organizing your letters so your know where to find your notification letters, insurance company letters, medical letters, “demands letter” and any other correspondence.
- Creating an online file for your photographs and videos. Don’t forget to keep them secure on a transfer stick. That way if your computer breaks then you will still have your evidence.
- Asking your solicitor to start organizing your evidence. However, you will need to bring them all of your documentation.
Your trained traffic accident solicitor will look at all of the details of your case and let you know which are the most important aspects of your case. That way, when you do go to court, you know which pieces of evidence will create the best impression of what happened during your accident, and how it has affected you now. Remember to take your notes effectively and be as specific as possible.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your traffic accident compensation claim
Traffic accident claims can be extremely complicated. You can choose to file a compensation claim on your own by visiting the UK Government’s website, however you may find that you earn less compensation than you originally think you are entitled to. An experienced lawyer in Manchester can help you understand your case in detail and tell you what you are owed precisely. That way you can know exactly whether or not you should try and make a claim.
Gowing Law’s trained solicitors can offer you free advice and schedule in a consultation to talk about what happened to you. You can bring your evidence and they will make sure to look at everything in detail. If you decide to work with our team of experts, you will see that they work via on a “no-win, no-fee” basis. That means even if you do not win your case, you will not need to pay any fees to your solicitor. The solicitor that works with you will bring their experience and help you get the compensation that you decide.
To get in contact with Gowing Law Solicitors and our experienced traffic accident compensation team, please call 0800 041 8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat via direct message on our contact page.
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We look forward to helping you with your traffic accident claim soon!