General Advice for Winning Accident Claims

Specialist tips

In virtually all claims the person who wants compensation must prove someone else is to blame for the injury. If you cannot prove the accident was somebody's else fault you will not get compensation. The insurance company from whom you want compensation will scrutinize very carefully your claim to see if your allegation of blame is valid. If the accident was partially your fault and partially somebody's else fault you will get part of the compensation. One of the first questions a lawyer will ask is why do you think the other person or organisation is to blame for your injury. Without blame by another person no matter how seriously injured you are you will not get compensation. Lawyers can help to improve a valid claim and help find witnesses to support it, what they cannot do is successfully bring a claim where there is no claim. So ask yourself the question "Do I think the accident was somebody's else fault".

If the answer is "yes" you may well have a claim, if the answer is "no" you probably do not. Do not worry about the legal terms for why the other person is to blame, because that is the lawyer's job. Do not worry yet about proving the claim that is for you and the solicitor to deal with later

If after answering the question you think you may have a claim carry out the immediate self-help steps set out below:

  • Write down for your own use the facts of what happened so you can refer to it later when questioned
  • To make a claim for personal injury you must be able to prove you have suffered an injury so get checked over by a doctor (if not too serious) or hospital (if serious)
  • Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses
  • If you suffered a road traffic accident, a tripping accident or a work accident see our additional pages for extra advice
  • Keep receipts
  • Don't try to deal with the claim yourself and do not accept an offer without checking with a solicitor first
  • Expect to have to fight for your compensation
  • Contact a solicitor (almost all do not charge you so why waste the offer of free expert advice)

What most other sites do not tell you

  • You will be almost certainly claiming against an insurance company who are looking for an excuse not to pay out and if they do have to pay will pay out as little as possible so be prepared for a fight.
  • Unless the claim is a simple road traffic accident, be prepared to be questioned in detail about what happened and for everything you say to be checked. If your lawyer is any good he/she will ask most of the searching questions when you originally give instructions.
  • You will have to attend for a medical examination
  • You may have to go to court to prove your case
  • Lawyers will only take on the cases they think they probably will win