Do I Need Witnesses For My Personal Injury Compensation Claim?
Posted on 10th March 2020
In some cases, it is straight forward to see what’s happened, and how someone has suffered a personal injury. Let’s say, a car accident where one driver hits the rear of another at traffic lights, an employee is not provided with safety goggles when working with hazardous chemicals, or a doctor amputates the wrong leg from a patient. All are simple cases where liability, or breach of duty, should not be a problem, and indeed, unfortunately all examples of cases that MG Legal’s personal injury solicitors in Preston have settled for our clients.
So, what happens when it is not so clear cut? Such cases can become hotly contested, with both sides believing that they are in the right and when no compromise is possible, if both parties maintain fault lies elsewhere, Trial before the Court is the only place to decide the matter. At Trial, the Court will listen to both sides evidence and make a decision. This decision will be made on the day, after listing to all available evidence and after considering arguments from both parties, or their representatives. The Judge can then make a decision, whether wholly in favour of one party or apportioning liability as they believe appropriate.
To help your chances of success in any given case, witnesses can be invaluable and here at MG Legal, your local solicitors Garstang, we know that supporting each case with this evidence is a cornerstone of success. A recent case which made its way to a County Court in London, a dispute between a cyclist and a pedestrian, had the uncommon, but not unheard of problem that neither party could fully remember the incident and one, the pedestrian, could not recall it at all. The incident occurred when a cyclist collided with a pedestrian. The pedestrian maintained that she was entitled to cross the road at the point she did, the cyclist that he proceeded through green traffic lights and that the pedestrian crossed late.
Both parties were injured in the collision and neither could, themselves, provide conclusive versions of events, the Claimant (the pedestrian) in fact gave no oral evidence at all, with the Defendant providing events as he recalled up to the point of the collision. Despite the Defendant, the cyclist, therefore providing more detail as to his actions before the collision, the Claimant being able to do so, a witness called by the Claimant, gave evidence that cast some doubt on the Defendant’s Defence.
The Witness called by the Claimant was also a cyclist, who detailed their observations of the Defendant’s action and that he was, in fact, not exercising as much care as he could have done. The Court also had various written statements, some taken by the police immediately post-incident to consider but none as detailed or, perhaps, as compelling as the witness who attended and gave verbal evidence for the Claimant.
The Court, ultimately, found in favour of the Claimant but attributed 50% of contributory negligence to her as she had stepped out into the road late, after it was reasonable to do so, by virtue of her looking at her mobile phone rather than the road. It is highly likely, without the benefit of the witness in her favour, that the Claimant would have come out of the Trial with nothing. It is, ultimately, the duty of a Claimant to bring and prove their claim and not of the Defendant to disprove it. MG Legal, your local solicitors Garstang, always look to obtain witness evidence early if at all possible and so avoid the need for lengthy proceedings in the Court. Should the matter need the Court to resolve it, the witness evidence will give our client the best chance of success.
If you have been involved in any kind of incident that has caused you to sustain personal injury, please contact MG Legal, your local solicitors Garstang, to discuss how we can help you. We aim to accept all personal injury cases on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and we have offices in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge. Please get in touch with us by phone, email, web-contact form or by dropping into one of our offices, one of our specialist team will discuss the case with you and look to get your claim started immediately.
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Tagged as: Accident Injury Solicitors, Lancaster Law, Personal Injury Solicitors, Solicitors in Preston, Your Local Solicitors
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