If you are involved in an RTA, the more evidence you collect the better your chance of a successful claim. Even if you come out of the accident worse off, you may not be entitled to compensation unless you can prove that you were not at fault. Evidence is often key to getting the compensation you need, however in many claims following an accident it all comes down to one person’s word against the other. If that is the case, all is not lost as police reports and accident reconstructions may be used to determine what has happened and who is responsible.
How much is ‘enough’ evidence?
When you are involved in an RTA there are steps you should take in order to ensure you have a good chance of your case succeeding.
Ideally you should have:
Most of us have cameras on our mobile phones and can take pictures of the scene of the accident to help determine what has happened. Taking pictures of any injuries sustained in the accident is also something you should do.
Even more powerful than photographic evidence is video evidence. Many of us now have dashcams which are attached to the inside of the car and which can reveal exactly what happened. The dashcam can show how you tried to avoid the accident, whether you were driving in a dangerous environment and who is liable.
If there are witnesses you can ask them to make a statement and leave their contact details. Taking their statement as soon as you can will ensure that the incident is fresh in their mind.
The police can be vital witnesses when it comes to proving who is responsible for the RTA. They’ll have notes, statements from you and the other person involved in the accident and evidence from the scene, and will file reports that discuss what happened for the accident to occur. Their input is invaluable as it is completely objective.
A diary of events
By keeping a diary of what happened during and after the accident you won’t have to try to recall any minor details weeks or months later.
You can never have enough evidence however, there are ways a claim can be made even if you have been unable to take pictures and collect witness statements. Relevant to this will be receipts and other documentation that proves you suffered financially as a result of the accident.
This could be loss of earnings or paying for specialist treatment. Any documents that prove you have suffered financial damage as the result of the accident will be useful. Doctors’ notes showing the extent of your injuries and what you need to help you get back to where you were before the accident are also important.
Does everybody need a dashcam now, or can we rely on security cameras?
While dashcam evidence can be important you don’t need one in your vehicle in order to get video evidence of what happened. CCTV is pretty much everywhere these days so unless your RTA happens in the back of beyond it could be the way to prove irrefutably that the accident was someone else’s fault. According to the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to access information that is held about you by another party, therefore you are entirely within your rights to request CCTV footage of your accident.
Is it one person’s word against another? Whose carries more weight?
As far as the law is concerned, one driver’s word isn’t any better than the other’s. If there is no evidence, or witness statements, police reports, videos and photography are used to determine whether you have a claim.
What role does the police have? For example, assessing the site of the accident
The role of the police can be important when finding evidence in an RTA claim. You don’t need to report an RTA to the police if you’ve exchanged details, nobody was hurt and there are no allegations of driving offences involved, however you must report the collision to the police if you were unable to exchange details at the scene, if anyone was injured, or if you suspect that the other person may have committed a driving offence.
RTAs can be an extremely complex business, especially when you have little evidence to prove that another person is to blame but at Wafer Phillips, we understand this and will try to make the process as straightforward and stress free as we possibly can. Contact Us today for more information about Road Traffic Accidents.