If you are involved in any form of accident, Road Traffic Accident or even a workplace accident, it is important to keep a record of your version of events as soon as possible after the incident as well as take plenty pictures to aid your case, document the weather conditions at the time and any other important factors that may help your case. It is advisable to record and document as much information as soon as possible whilst the accident is still fresh in your memory.
Make sure you get the contact details (address, phone number and email address) of any potential witnesses, the policemen you dealt with and any incident reference number.
Record all expenses incurred as a result of your accident, taxi’s, hospital car parking, petrol, new clothes etc, if a third party are involved then costs may be recoverable from them, why should you be out of pocket!
You would hope any litigation is handled quickly and efficiently but, depending on the injuries incurred, a legal case could drag on for years, whilst insurance company’s legal teams negotiate a settlement, dependant of who, if anyone, is accepting blame (or the perceived percentage of blame) and, depending on the injuries incurred, it may be months before the extent of the damage to your body is fully known and how well it has recovered. It is therefore important to attend all independant medical appointments and not give the other party a reason to delay settlement or progress of your case.
You DO NOT have to use the solicitor appointed to you by the insurance company representing you. If they do deliver the service you would expect then find an alternative who specialises in the type of accident you experienced
You do not have to use a claims management company to handle a compensation claim. There have been a multitude of new ‘ambulance chaser’ companies set up over the past few years, purely to benefit from your injuries. Regulations have been tightened recently but there are still some scrupulous firms out there, do your homework and only use a reputable company, make sure their fees are added to your claim and you receive 100% of your compensation. A claims management company can take a lot of the burden off you and handle your claim but choose which one you use carefully and do not accept the first one you come into contact with!
Under the Data Protection Act you are legally entitled to receive copies of any information a company holds about you (including medical history, reports etc), upon payment of a fee (maximum £10).
If in doubt then always seek independent legal advice.