What evidence do I need to make an injury claim?

Photographing a car crash accident scene

Your solicitor will help you gather a variety of evidence to support your injury claim, including medical evidence, documentation and witness statements.

This evidence will help to give your claim the best chance of success, and is also used to ensure your compensation award or settlement calculation is correct.

Do I need to gather evidence myself?

You are not expected to collect all of the evidence needed to make a claim on your own. Your solicitor will help, and take the lead.

When you start your claim, your solicitor will ask you some basic questions about how your injury or illness happened. Your answers will help them to understand what evidence will be needed to prove your claim.

Your solicitor will ask you to provide evidence you already have access to, such as payslips, and will arrange for other key evidence to be collected.

If, for example, you are claiming for an accident at work, your solicitor may need a copy of the accident book report on your accident.

If you were involved in a road accident, your lawyer may need a copy of the police report.

Key evidence to support your injury claim

There are some types of evidence that almost every claim will need, like a medical assessment of your injuries and proof of lost earnings and other financial losses.

The need for other types of evidence will depend on the circumstances of your case, and particularly on whether the party who caused your injuries has accepted they are legally responsible (liable). If the defendant has not accepted liability, your solicitor must gather evidence to prove they caused the harm you suffered, and that they are liable to pay compensation.

Medical evidence

To claim compensation, you will need a medical assessment of your injuries. The medical report is a key piece of evidence that will determine:

  • The likely cause of your injuries or illness (if this is unclear)
  • How serious your injuries are
  • How long your recovery will take, and whether there will be any long-lasting or permanent symptoms
  • Whether you will require additional treatment, such as physiotherapy

Your solicitor will arrange for your medical assessment to be carried out by a local medical professional, often a GP. Depending on the findings of the report, you may need a further assessment from a medical specialist, if your injuries are uncommon or particularly complex.

You may also need to provide copies of your existing medical records, which your lawyer will help to collect.

The nature and severity of your injuries are largely what determines how much compensation you will receive, in the form of ‘general damages’. If you accept an early, pre-medical offer of compensation, there is no way to determine whether the amount you have been offered is appropriate.

For more minor car accident claims processed through the Official Injury Portal, you can arrange for the medical report to be carried out yourself.

Read more:

What happens during an injury claim medical exam?

Receipts and payslips

To correctly calculate how much compensation you are owed, your solicitor will also need to tally up the financial losses and expenses you have incurred due to your accident. These losses comprise part of the ‘special damages’ you will receive.

You may need to provide evidence like:

  • Payslips to prove how much you are owed in lost wages
  • Timesheets or email and SMS correspondence to prove how long you were off sick from work
  • Receipts or tickets for travel to and from medical appointments and treatment
  • Proof of the cost of any treatment or prescriptions you had to pay for out of pocket
  • Receipts for any other financial losses

If you are not ready to instruct a solicitor today, keep all receipts and other proof of losses expenses in a safe place, such as a labelled folder for easy access later.

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what to provide, or can’t provide all of this information up front. Your lawyer will advise you further.

Read more:

Can I use payslips as evidence of loss of earnings for an injury claim?

Witness statements

Witness statements can be a crucial piece of evidence to determine who was at fault for an accident. If the other side has already accepted liability, these statements may not be needed, but it is still wise to collect contact details from witnesses if you can. If you were injured at work, make a note of who was present when the accident happened.

Other records, statements and documents

Various other documents may be required for your claim to succeed. If your accident happened at work, on premises like a shop, or on public transport, there will likely be an accident book record that will include details of the accident that should support your version of events.

Other supporting documents could include:

  • Email, SMS or letter correspondence you have had with any person or company involved with your accident, injury or illness
  • A copy of your employment contract
  • Training materials you have received from work
  • A diary or notes recording your experience, ill health and recovery following your accident

Photos and video

If you have any photos or video evidence of the scene of your accident, or your injuries (or damage to your vehicle in the event of a road accident), this can help your case.

If you are able to do so, you should return to the scene and take photos to help support your case. This can be helpful even if obvious evidence of the accident, such as tire tracks or broken glass, has gone. A photo of a sharp bend in the road or inadequate signage is still useful if these factors contributed to the accident.

If required, your solicitor will also attempt to get CCTV footage of the accident, to support your version of events if this is disputed, and to identify potential witnesses.

The longer you wait to gather photo and video evidence, the harder it can be. CCTV footage is often routinely deleted, and if your injuries were caused by a pothole, poor lighting or defective piece of equipment, the issue may have been resolved by the time you start your claim.

Physical evidence

Beyond your own injuries, physical evidence is often not necessary, but can help to support your claim.

If you have been injured by a defective product, you should keep the item, if possible. Do not return the item to the retailer or manufacturer until you have ideally discussed your claim with a solicitor. If you must dispose of the item, or you cannot keep it, get as much photo and video evidence as you can.

If you are claiming compensation for a cycling accident, keep the bike even if it is badly damaged.

Don’t worry if you have already disposed of any damaged or defective items associated with your injury. Your solicitor will advise you further regarding your options.

Do I need to get my NHS medical records?

Your solicitor will advise you if it is necessary to get a copy of your medical records. Medical records must be requested from the relevant GP, optician, dentist, hospital trust or other entity. Your solicitor will help confirm what records are required.

How do I get witness statements?

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s often impossible to think clearly and remember to get the details of any witnesses to your injury. You are not expected to gather witnesses’ details and statements yourself, but any information you do have will help your solicitor build a stronger case.

It may be possible to identify witnesses from a record in an accident book, or simply by contacting coworkers or staff working at the premises where you were injured.

Your solicitor will work with you to identify witnesses and gather what statements you can to support your claim. The sooner you instruct your solicitor, the easier it is to gather witness statements and other evidence.

Can I still claim if I didn’t report the accident?

Yes. Although a report of your accident can provide valuable evidence in support of your claim, you may still be able to claim even if you didn’t report the accident at the time.

Medical evidence, witness statements, photos and other evidence can often be used to provide a complete picture of how your injuries or illness occurred, and who is liable to pay compensation.

In some cases, such as road collisions, you may be required to report the accident, ideally within 24 hours of the collision. Your solicitor will be able to advise you further if you have not done so, and it may be that another party has already reported the incident.

Read more:

Can I still claim if there’s no accident book record?

I am missing evidence for my claim - what should I do?

Don’t worry. Your solicitor will work with you to fill any gaps, but many claims do not require detailed records and boxes of evidence to be successful. If the defendant has already accepted liability, the really key piece of evidence required will be the medical report, which your solicitor can arrange for you.

Even if you an unsure as to whether you have enough evidence to prove your claim, you should still seek professional legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Still have questions? Speak to legal advisor

Your first step will be to contact a solicitor for a FREE initial claim assessment.

You can find out if you have a claim in minutes by speaking to a legally trained advisor on 0800 376 1001. Your solicitor will put no pressure on you to proceed with a claim.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee work accident claim, we are open:

Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

Alternatively, you can arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Chris Salmon, Director

Chris Salmon, Director