Top 3 Reasons Why A Personal Injury Claim Can Fail
There are many reasons why a claim for personal injury could be rejected and these vary dependent upon the type of injury case that you are pursuing.
1. No evidence or witnesses
The main thing to remember when considering commencing a personal injury claim is that it is vital to obtain as much evidence as possible and to preserve this evidence for the future use of your instructed lawyers. The best way to do this is to write an account of everything that has happened as soon as you can after the accident occurring.
For example if you are involved in a tripping accident it is important to check what you have tripped on, whilst you may be in pain as a result of your injury it is vital if you want to pursue a claim to obtain photographs of the defect that caused you to fall and just as important to show the depth of the tripping hazard – using a tape measure to measure the depth of the defect. It is also important that you take these photographs either on the day of the accident or as soon as possible as you can after the accident as the condition of the pavement can vary greatly and deteriorate if there is a delay in obtaining this evidence. Likewise if anyone saw you trip, if it was in a public place is it very important, despite your injury and your pain for you to obtain the names and addresses and telephone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident or indeed can comment upon the condition of the pavement and how long the defect has been present. If you are not able to obtain this evidence at the outset it would be very difficult for any lawyer you subsequently instruct to proceed and to establish fault on the part of the defendant.
2. No medical report
Failure to seek medical attention is another major reason for a subsequent claim for injury failing. If you are injured as a result of negligence or fault on the part of another individual or company it is vitally important that you seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible and that you follow all medical advice given to you. Failure to have the injuries treated by the medical profession would lead the court to consider that you have not in fact been injured or injured that severely in the accident and as such compensation will not be paid or significantly reduced.
3. Failing to report the accident
In the event of an accident in a supermarket or public building it is important if you are injured that you report the accident to the building manager or someone in charge before you leave the premises so that the cause of the accident can be investigated and the accident can be correctly recorded in the accident book and if you need it they can also provide you with any required first aid treatment. If you leave without reporting the accident it is likely that the insurer who subsequently investigates the claim on behalf of the defendant will deny fault for the accident and place the onus of “proof” on you (basically meaning that in addition to proving you were injured you will have the extra burden of proving that you were injured in their premises in the way you described). In the event you fail to report the accident whilst this will not be a complete bar to pursuing a claim it will significantly reduce your chances of being successful.
In the event of an accident at work it is vital that you inform your employer that you have been injured and that you ensure that the accident is correctly recorded in the accident book. If you fail to report the accident the employer will not be aware of the accident and will not therefore know that they are required to report your accident to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries and dangerous diseases, occurrences regulations (1992) (RIDDOR regulations), the employer will also be unable to fully investigate the accident and put in place measures to stop the accident or anything similar occurring to you or any of your colleagues in the future. By failing to report the accident you are reducing the likelihood of your employer dealing with your subsequent personal injury claim and therefore reducing your chances of success in a future claim for injury.
In CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claims it is vital and a condition of your criminal injuries claim being dealt with under the tariff scheme that you co-operate with the authorities, usually the Police and that you report the claim to them, failure to do so will ultimately mean that they will refuse to deal with your claim under the scheme.
The main things to remember when you are injured and considering pursuing an injury claim would be to gather evidence report the accident and photograph everything that you consider to be relevant as this will greatly increase your chances of success in obtaining compensation for your injuries.