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What should I do if I have been injured in an accident?

View profile for Pauline Smith
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What should I do if I have an accident?

So you’ve fallen in the street, or in a public place like a shop or at work. You might have gone to the hairdressers or beauty therapist, and now you’ve got an allergic reaction, or your hair is snapping off. What if you’ve hurt yourself at work, and it’s not just something and nothing? 

Sometime later you might think about making a claim if your injuries don’t settle down, but what are the common mistakes that people make when they’ve had an accident, which if they didn’t, could make the process of claiming run more smoothly?

Forget about being embarrassed

Whilst all you may want to do is get up from a fall and walk away, check what has caused you to fall. If you have fallen on something which has been spilled or tripped over a raised paving stone, take good quality photographs immediately, and measurements if possible, or get someone who you are with, or someone who has witnessed your fall to do this.

Report the accident

You might not want to make a fuss if you have fallen whilst out socially, or to rock the boat at work by reporting an injury, but it is vital that you do this. Speak to the staff or manager or your own department head if you have fallen at work, and ask for the accident to be recorded formally. Ask if you can counter-sign the accident record after you have read the contents, and ask if you can keep a copy of this.

Check if there is CCTV footage of the accident

Ask the person who you are reporting the accident to if they can check this, and give you an answer there and then. If there is footage, take a number or an email address and contact the store/venue later, and ask them to confirm to you that this will be retained and not wiped over.

Get details of any witnesses

If someone you work with, or another customer, or a passer-by has witnessed your accident, get their name and a contact number if possible. Their evidence might be able to help at a later stage.

Seek medical attention

If you are genuinely injured, don’t shrug it off. Self-care can help initially, but if you feel that you might have seriously hurt yourself, don’t be afraid to seek help from your GP, local walk in centre, or the hospital. The fact that your injury has been recorded by a medical professional could help your claim further down the line.

Keep a record of the finer details

With the passage of time, your recollection of the accident and what caused it might fade. Imagine being in a court room two years from the date of the accident. From memory, would you be able to recall every single detail, if asked? The likelihood is that you wouldn’t so write down things like the date and time, the weather, what you were wearing on your feet, was anything obscuring your vision? Did you fall in something which had a strong smell, or left stains on your clothes? Were there any warning signs nearby about a slipping hazard? 

Keep a list of your expenses 

A few months later, you might not be able to recall whether you had to buy new clothes to fit over a plaster cast, or how many painkillers you have bought, or the journeys you made for treatment. Keeping a record of these, and receipts, from the outset will make life much simpler when making a claim.

Here at Stephensons our personal injury specialists have many years of experience handling all types of injury claims. Call us now on 01616 966 229.