When a loved one has an accident resulting in an injury this can cause significant disruption.
If the injuries are serious they may be unable to work; they may need help with day to day tasks, transport and child care.
The financial and emotional fall-out compounds the distress caused by the injury itself.
We at Hayward Baker have devised this guide to give you some practical advice on what you can do to help out your loved one in this difficult time.
- Seek medical attention.
- Let friends and family know what has happened.
- Notify the employer that they will be absent from work.
- Ensure there is an appropriate record in the accident book.
- If possible, take photos or evidence of the cause of the accident and speak to witnesses.
- Contact their landlord or mortgage provider.
- Contact their bank and any credit card providers.
- Notify benefits agencies about making a claim (it can take six weeks before the first payment is made).
- If they have income protection or accident and illness cover, notify their provider as soon as possible.
Keep a note of expenses and losses
- Medical treatment & prescriptions.
- Receipts from travel or mileage incurred on each trip, include the number of times the journey was made.
- If care and assistance is required, monitor the frequency and amount of time given by each carer.
- Personal items damaged by the accident, keep the items or take pictures of the damage.
- If their property is going to be vacant for a extended period of time, consider asking someone to check security, and any pets are looked after.
What to do after...An accident at work
If they are not already aware, it is important to notify the victim’s employer that there has been an accident. An employer will need to investigate any accident, and where the injuries are serious they must notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which may conduct an inquiry. The documents that arise from these investigations will be useful when examining the cause of the accident.
Has the accident been recorded in the workplace accident book and is the victim of the accident happy with the way it has been described? If not, they should not sign the book.
One of our clients was awarded £80,000 after being injured while working as a car mechanic. Establishing the employer’s liability for the accident was made easier because the client insisted on the employer making a clear, unbiased entry within the accident book.
What to do after...An accident involving a vehicle
If a person has been injured in a road traffic accident, it’s important to ensure that the police were notified and that you know how to contact the officer dealing with the incident.
Accident victims should ensure they keep all receipts for any travel expenses they incur while their vehicle is off the road, such as a hire car or public transport tickets, as they may be able to claim back these expenses.
We have a strong track record of helping road accident victims get compensation, with one of our clients receiving a payout of £22,500 after a car swerved into his lane to avoid a pheasant. By arranging a medical examination, we were able to negotiate compensation for his pain and suffering, and also reimbursement for his out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
What to do after...Suffering a slip, trip or fall
If the hazard that caused the fall is still present then take a series of photographs of the accident location.
If the accident happened on private premises, such as a shop, club or pub, then notify a staff member and ask them to record the accident. If the fall happened on a highway then it is usually the council who are responsible, so make them aware.
We recently helped a client receive more than £80,000 in compensation after she slipped on a puddle of water in a supermarket in London. Our client, who was pregnant at the time of the accident, didn’t take a photo, but did speak to the store manager and completed the store accident book, which proved invaluable in the subsequent legal action.
How to...Photograph the hazard
While the victim of an accident should take photos of their physical injury, this is not the only priority. They also need a perfect image of what caused the accident in the first place.
- A person should therefore stand roughly a metre away from the defect or hazard when photographing it.
- Include a ruler or tape measure placed next to the problem to reflect its scale.
- In addition, take the photo from a number of different angles, if possible.
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