You may already be aware that if you are injured in an incident or accident caused by somebody else, you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering. As well as proving that accident resulted from the other party’s negligence, you’ll also need to prove ‘causation’. This means that you’ll need evidence that the injuries or suffering that you claim for were caused as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do to prove causation.
If you do decide to make a compensation claim, the defendant (or their insurers) may admit liability for your accident. But that wouldn’t mean you’re automatically eligible for compensation. If they go on to argue that your injuries weren’t sustained in the accident (or not to the level you’re claiming for), you could miss out on some or all of the compensation if you don’t have the evidence to prove causation. For that reason, you may decide to turn to a personal injury solicitor to try and improve your chances of being compensated.
Proving Causation In A Personal Injury Claim
So, what can you do to try and convince the defendant’s insurance company of the severity of your injuries? Well, some steps you could take to prove causation include:
- Medical records. After an accident, you should always seek medical treatment. This should be at A&E, your GP’s surgery, or at a minor injuries unit. This is important because it will mean your injuries are properly assessed and treated. Furthermore, medical records will document the injuries you’ve sustained and also any treatment you needed. You can request copies of your medical records and they could help to prove causation.
- Doctor’s records. After your initial treatment, you may need to visit your GP for follow-up care. Details of these appointments could be used to show that your injuries continued to affect you for some time after your accident.
- A medical assessment. As part of any personal injury claim, a medical assessment may be required. This is not something you should be concerned about. A meeting will be arranged with an independent medical expert. During the appointment, they’ll check your injuries and discuss what impact they’ve had. Once the meeting has ended, they’ll write a report for all parties interested in the claim that will list your injuries and detail your prognosis.
All of these things together can help to prove causation and could satisfy the defendant’s insurer that your injuries were as a result of the accident caused by their defendant.
Proving Causation In Medical Negligence Claims
As with personal injury claims, the first thing you’ll need to prove is medical negligence (or breach of duty) occurred. After that, you’ll need to prove that the medical professional’s actions caused the injuries you’re claiming compensation for (causation). This is not the easiest thing in the world to achieve.
The job of a medical negligence solicitor is to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the injuries you claim for were caused by the negligence of the medical professional.
A good test in this situation is the ‘but for’ test i.e. but for the breach of duty by the medical practitioner, the claimant would not have been injured. To help prove this, a solicitor would need to use various pieces of evidence and the advice of independent medical experts.
As you can see, even if the defendant admits to being negligent, compensation will not automatically be awarded. It may, therefore, be a good idea to seek advice from an experienced medical negligence solicitor to check the prospects of success in your claim.
Other Evidence To Support A Compensation Claim
In this section, we’ve listed some other forms of evidence you could use to establish that the accident/incident in which you were injured was caused by the defendant. Examples include:
- Witness details. So that your solicitor can ask for a statement if the defendant denies liability.
- Accident report forms. These make it tricky for the defendant to deny that the accident occurred.
- Photographic evidence. This is a good way to show the scene of the accident soon after it occurred.
- Security camera footage. Where your accident was captured by dash cam or CCTV cameras, it’s a good idea to try and secure a copy as quickly as possible.
- Financial records. To show any costs, expenses or losses you’ve sustained because of your injuries.
As with causation, proving a negligent act caused your injury is vital in any compensation claim. Therefore, while securing the above might seem time consuming, it could really improve your chances of making a successful claim.
How A Solicitor Could Help Prove Causation In A Compensation Claim
As we’ve hopefully shown, there is a lot of work that goes into winning a personal injury or medical negligence claim. Even in cases where the defendant owns up to being negligent, their insurer could deny causation. If you can’t prove that the opposite is true, you may lose any compensation you’re entitled to.
We believe that having an experienced solicitor on your side will improve the chances of proving causation and of going on to win your claim. If your case is accepted by one of our specialists, they will:
- Discuss your accident with you in detail to try to understand exactly what happened.
- Obtain evidence to support your case.
- Write to the defendant to file a claim.
- Answer any queries, arguments or objections raised by the insurer to prevent you from having to answer complex legal questions.
- Provide updates regularly so you’re aware of how your case is progressing.
- Try to secure as much compensation as possible for your injuries.
If you are ready to begin a personal injury or medical negligence claim with us today, call us on 0800 6524 881. We’ll review your claim right away and could appoint a No Win No Fee solicitor from our team.