We tell you everything you need to know about collecting evidence if you have a road traffic accident claim.
Evidence relating to the road traffic accident
- If you can, take photographs of the incident immediately after it happens, showing the position of vehicles or objects involved.
- Take some photographs of the accident scene – ideally the photographs should represent the views that you and the other party had when approaching the accident scene, as well as wider overall view of the road lay-out.
- Where the issue of road markings or signs may be relevant (such as in accidents occurring on a roundabout), try to make sure that the markings and/or signs are clearly visible.
- If there was any debris left on the road, take a photograph showing the position of the debris in the road (i.e. not a close up of the debris itself but something showing where the debris fell, and therefore where the collision took place).
- Take some photographs of the damage caused to the vehicles involved – some close up showing the detail of the damage and some at a wider angle to see the overall effect of the impact.
- If there are any witnesses, and/or the police attend, please carefully note down their full contact details and any relevant reference number for the police, providing us with this information as quickly as possible.
Evidence relating to your injuries
- If you have suffered any bruising, cuts or grazes, try to take some photographs showing the affected areas. Ideally the photographs should be taken in natural light, with some close up and some at a wider angle to show the full extent of the injury.
- Where the bruising lasts several days or more, and/or where the cuts or grazes leave scarring, take photographs at regular intervals showing the healing process (for example, a few pictures every two weeks).
- You can keep a 'pain diary' – this does not need to be particularly detailed, but simply a note of how you are feeling on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, whether you suffer any relapses from your injury, whether you visit your GP or other healthcare professional, whether you are off of work, unable to participate in hobbies/leisure activities etc.
- We will almost always obtain a report(s) from medical experts in the relevant field to support your claim for injury. The report must be from an independent medical expert and we will arrange this for you. In most circumstances it would not be appropriate to obtain a report from your own GP or treating specialist (such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor), although we may look to obtain their notes and records and have them reviewed by the independent expert.
Evidence relating to your other losses
- It is always helpful to have receipts for all expenses incurred, including vehicle repairs and/or policy excess, hire car costs, medication expenses, medical treatment fees, travelling costs such as taxi, bus and train fares, parking costs etc. The more documentation you can provide to support the losses claimed, the more likely we are to be able to make a full recovery of these items.
- If you lose earnings as a result of your accident then we will normally look to obtain wage slips for at least a three month period prior to the accident, and then wage slips for the full period of your absence from work. If you are self-employed we will need to prove your earnings prior to the accident and that your income has dropped as a result of being off of work. We would commonly ask for tax returns, profit and loss accounts, any other documentation from your accountant, copies of any contracts in place for work which was due to be done after the accident, copies of pages from your appointment diary etc.
- If you have any other financial losses, please always consider the need to prove them. Even if the accident was not your fault the other party's representatives are still entitled to dispute the value of the claim being made, and if you cannot produce evidence to support your claim then this will reduce your chances of recovering them in full. If you are in any doubt on a particular issue, contact your lawyer to discuss as soon as possible. For more information regarding road traffic accident compensation, please visit our page.
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All documents should be read and used in accordance with the terms and conditions. This document is for your general information only and is not a detailed statement of the law. It is provided to you free of charge and should not be used as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you require specific legal advice please contact our client services team on 03700 868686.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2023