We have all had those cold calls where we are asked that question – ‘have you had an accident in the last five years, did you know you could make a claim?’ For most of us these are a nuisance, but the truth is, if you have an accident that is not your fault, and you are hurt, you really shouldn’t be waiting for someone to call you before you make a claim. Time from work, personal injury and stress are all things that you can be compensated for.
If you are the victim of an accident, there are a few things that you should do straight away, if at all possible. You need to understand why you should be making a claim at all, it is not just about the cold, hard cash, even though this could be vital if your accident has prevented you from working. Making a claim can also help stop this kind of accident from happening to someone else, especially if it was due to careless driving, speeding, or drug or alcohol. This is also true if you’re accident was whilst you were driving or a passenger in a commercial vehicle, like a work’s van or a truck.
If you have had an accident, you can seek advice by ringing a general accident contact number, and there are other things to do to collect evidence and make sure you will be able to make a claim if you are not responsible.
- Take photographs. We are travel everywhere with our smartphones and tablets, and this allows us constant access to a camera if an accident should occur. Use your camera to take photographic evidence of damage to your car, but also to yourself – any cuts, bruises, bleeding, swellings or grazings. These could be very useful if you decide to proceed with your claim.
- Call the police. Getting a police report is very important if you are going to make a claim, so it is worth calling the police even if the accident is minor. In addition to the police report, any witness statements that they collect could prove to be important too, and don’t forget to make your own notes as soon as possible.
- Seek medical attention straight away. If you have been injured you may need to go straight to a hospital. Even if your injury is minor, you should still see a doctor to get any injuries recorded in your medical records. Keep copies of any prescriptions for medication that you may have been prescribed.
- Find a good personal injury lawyer. You will need someone to fight your corner so a personal injury lawyer with a proven track record is a must. Some personal injury lawyers will operate on a no win, no fee basis, but you need to check the testimonials in order to see their success rate so that you don’t waste your time. If your accident was in a commercial vehicle, or during work time, you could look for someone like Los Angeles truck accident lawyers The Barnes Firm, who specialise in this kind of claim.
- Record any time taken from work. If your illness, injury or stress requires you to take time from work, this also needs to be recorded. Keep copies of sick notes to add to your claim, along with any correspondence between you and your employee relating to your accident.
Ultimately you may feel that you don’t want to pursue a claim in the case of an accident. But if you are injured, and it was not your fault, you may be entitled, and shouldn’t let the process put you off.