Seek Evidence

It is a common requirement of a case to get evidence to support your claim, regardless of whether the defendant accepts or denies liability. Your lawyer will advise you on the type(s) of evidence required to support your claim and will help to obtain that evidence through independent experts or witness statements. After obtaining the evidence, your lawyer will examine the evidence, provide you with their advice on the next step the case should take, and forward the evidence to you for examination.

The most common forms of required evidence are:

  1. Engineer's Reports

    Engineer's reports are required in certain types of accident at work cases, or in mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease claims. They are usually required in accident at work claims when the claim revolves around a particular piece of equipment malfunctioning and causing the injury, or a particular type of process in an industrialised setting that has in some way ‘gone wrong’ and caused the accident.

    The defendant’s insurer may put you to strict proof as to the mechanism of the accident and therefore an engineer’s report can support your account of the accident.

    In mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease cases, an engineer’s report may be required as these cases regularly revolve around a demonstration that the workplace or area in which you were exposed to the asbestos fibres which trigger the disease, was not operating within the correct safety parameters and left you vulnerable to exposure.

  2. Coroner's Reports

    Coroner's reports are usually required in mesothelioma or other cases where the accident has caused the fatality of the claimant, and the claim is being pursued on behalf of their estate (for example, in mesothelioma cases, clients do not always survive for the duration of the claim, due to the life expectancy of a mesothelioma sufferer). A coroner’s report will identify the cause of death; in mesothelioma cases, they can identify the presence of asbestos fibres in the body and lend great strength to the case.

  3. Care Evidence

    In serious cases, your lawyer or your medical expert may recommend that a care expert visits you at home to observe your living conditions and what assistance you require as a result of your accident. After visiting you, the care expert will prepare a report outlining what assistance you may require, which could be anything from a care worker to specially formed utensils, depending on the severity of your injuries and the nature of their impact upon your life. The care report will then form part of your case, as provision will need to be made to pay for the recommendations it makes to ensure your pre-accident standard of living is maintained.

  4. HSE Reports

    Reports and data from the Health and Safety Executive are used in a variety of personal injury claims. The HSE acts to reduce work-related injury and death across the UK and so will investigate anything where either the working environment, or a piece of equipment exposed to the public, is malfunctioning.

    The HSE’s reports are carried out independently of your lawyer, as they are an independent watchdog. However, the findings from an HSE report can be a contributing factor on a liability decision made by the defendant’s side. For example, if an HSE report finds that the defendant has been negligent, then they are in a poor position to deny liability and this lends strength to your case.

  5. Medical Evidence

    In order to get medical evidence, you will have to be examined by an independent medical expert, who will prepare a report on your injuries. The report will outline the injuries, their likely cause, and provide a prognosis for recovery, as well as any further action they propose you take.

    The decision to appoint a specific medical expert will be agreed by your lawyer and the defendant’s side. Your lawyer will provide a list of suitable experts to the defendant’s side, and nominate their preferred expert from the list. Unless the defendant’s side objects to the nomination, it is this expert that will examine you. Your lawyer will help you get in touch with the medical expert, however it is up to you and the expert to agree on a convenient appointment.

  6. Witness Statements

    Witness statements can strengthen your case, as they can support your version of events and demonstrate the effects the injury has had on your life.

    There are generally two types of witness statements; those provided by individuals who witness your accident, and those provided by your family and friends after the accident, which highlight the effect it has had on your life.

    Your lawyer will advise you what sort of witness statements may be required and assist in getting them by conducting a telephone interview with the witnesses. It is important to make sure you get contact details from anyone who has witnessed your accident so your lawyer to collect a statement from them.

    Remember that the defendant’s side can also gather witness statements from individuals which may support the defendant. Your lawyer will advise if this has been the case, and how it may affect your case.

  7. Occupational Health Reports

    Occupational health reports are usually required in accident at work cases, and help to demonstrate that the working practices your employer had in place were not appropriate to prevent injuries. In this sense, they serve a similar role to that of an engineer’s report, however, have more scope to be used across the entire employment spectrum.

  8. Evidence of Financial Losses

    The idea of compensation for a personal injury is to try and put you back in the position that you would have been in had the accident never happened. When we’re working out how much your case is worth, we need to understand what financial losses your injuries have caused you. It may be that you have had to spend money on taxis, buses, trains and so on, had to pay for medical prescriptions or had to take time off work and received reduced pay as a result. By providing us with any information of the financial impact your injury has had on you, we can look to include these additional expenses to ensure that your claim includes everything that it should do.

Life Cycle of a Claim

There are two types of Personal Injury cases, as follows:

Portal Cases

Generally these are cases where your compensation award is likely to be less than £25,000 and the injury has occurred in England and Wales.

Non-Portal Cases

Generally, these are cases that either; i. have occurred abroad. ii. Are likely to provide you with compensation in excess of £25,000 or iii. Have left you with life-changing injuries.

Learn about the types of cases we deal with

Case taken on

After getting in touch with us, your case will be passed to a lawyer, who will discuss with you your injuries and how they have affected you and about your claim generally.

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Contact made with other party or their insurers

Your lawyer will make contact with the defendant, generally via their insurer. This is either done via an online portal or a formal letter.

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Liability accepted

If the defendant accepts liability for your accident, it means that they accept legal responsibility and accept that they need to pay you compensation, subject to your lawyer proving the extent of the injuries and financial loss your accident has caused you.

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Liability denied

The defendant does not accept that they were responsible for your injuries. We will take steps on your behalf to obtain evidence to support you and encourage them to change their position.

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Seek evidence

A range of evidence will help us build a full picture of how much compensation you should receive. We will then work hard to secure it on your behalf.

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Negotiations to settle your claim can take place at any time. However, we would usually recommend only trying to negotiate a settlement once the full extent of your injuries and financial losses are known.

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Issue court

We may need to issue court proceedings in order to progress your case

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Court issues

After court proceedings have been issued, the court will put a timetable in place, with input from both your lawyers and the defendant, with a view to proceeding to a final hearing.*

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Complying with

Once a timetable has been agreed, your lawyers and the defendant will have to comply with it. This involves exchanging relevant documents that will be relied upon to support or oppose your case.

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Court hearing

Your case will be listed for a final hearing, often months in advance, and you should make sure that you are free to attend this in order to give evidence to support your case. The judge will decide whether or not the defendant is at fault and what compensation you are entitled to.

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Case concluded

Your case will be concluded at the final hearing. We will work hard to ensure your compensation award is the best possible amount to enable you to get on with your life!

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Talk to Us

To speak to an expert about an injury that was caused by somebody else’s negligence and your right to make a claim, contact JMW today. Our solicitors are waiting to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions you may have. To get in touch, simply call us on 0800 054 6570 or complete the enquiry form to let us know that you would like to hear from us.

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