By Joanne Jeffries. Last Updated August 17th 2021. Welcome to our guide on how to claim compensation if there were no witnesses.
What Happens If You Do Not Have A Witness To Your Accident?
If you are injured in an accident caused by somebody else, it’s possible you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. However, before a claim is made, you’ll need evidence that confirms who was responsible, how the accident happened and the injuries you have sustained.
This evidence could be in the form of medical records, photographs and witness statements. However, we are often asked, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?” Therefore, that’s the question we are going to look at in this guide.
As we proceed, we will explain what options you have if nobody else saw what happened. For free legal advice on your claim, you’re always free to call us at Accident Claims UK.
Our experienced advisors will review your case and explain whether you could be eligible for compensation. If your case appears to be strong enough, you’ll be connected with one of our personal injury solicitors. If they take your claim on, it’ll be processed on a No Win No Fee basis.
To learn more about injury claims relating to accidents without witnesses, please read on. However, if you believe you are ready to start a claim, why not get in touch with our team today? To do so, please call us on 0800 073 8801 or chat live with an advisor.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation If There Were No Witnesses
- What Is A Witness To An Accident?
- How Important Are Witnesses When Making A Claim?
- The Balance Of Probabilities Explained
- What Are Independent Witnesses?
- What Are Reluctant Witnesses?
- Are Witnesses and Independent Witnesses Different?
- What Other Evidence Would Support Your Claim?
- Is It Worth Claiming Compensation If There Were No Witnesses?
- Accident Compensation Claims Calculator – Updated August 2021
- What Are Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims?
- No Win No Fee Compensation Claims Where There Was No Witness
- Talk To An Expert
- Essential References
- Accident Witness FAQs
A Guide To Claiming Compensation If There Were No Witnesses
When we are asked, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”, we are quick to point out that claims are still possible. While a witness to an accident can help corroborate your allegation, there are other types of evidence that could help prove what happened.
In this article, we’ll explain what else you can do to prove liability for your injuries. We’ll also spend a little time looking at how much compensation could be paid and what you might be able to claim. You might think that a witness is a witness! In fact, there are different types which we’ll also look at later on.
To successfully argue your case, you’ll need to claim within the personal injury claims time limit. For most cases, the limitation period is 3-years which begins on the date of the accident. If your child has been injured in an accident, you are able to claim at any time before their 18th birthday. If no claim is made, the 3-year period will run from their 18th birthday.
After you have completed this guide, please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about claiming. Our team provide a no-obligation assessment for anybody who calls. If the claim is suitable to proceed, it could be handled by one of our No Win No fee personal injury lawyers.
What Is A Witness To An Accident?
Before we look at what a witness to an accident is, let’s look at the criteria for making a personal injury claim. Essentially, you will need to provide evidence that proves:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant (the person you blame for the accident).
- That the defendant breached that duty of care, causing an accident.
- Because of that accident, you suffered an injury or illness.
A witness is somebody who saw your accident happen. Alternatively, they could also be somebody who was aware of the circumstances that led to your accident. For example, a colleague could be a witness to a workplace accident they didn’t see if they are willing to provide a statement that work was not conducted in a safe manner.
When prosecuting someone, a prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. As mentioned briefly already, witness statements are a form of evidence that could prove some of the above criteria. However, they’re not the only evidence available to you. In fact, there are many more.
So, as you can see, the answer to the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?” is yes, especially if other evidence is there to support you.
How Important Are Witnesses When Making A Claim?
Witnesses can be very helpful if there is any dispute over who was to blame for an accident. Their version of events could either prove or disprove liability. Evidence provided by witnesses can be crucial if the claim is disputed so claiming could be easier if somebody else can confirm what happened.
However, many cases are won where there are no witnesses at all. If your claim is accepted by Accident Claims UK, one of our personal injury solicitors will use other forms of evidence to try to prove the defendant was liable for your injuries.
The Balance Of Probabilities Explained
In criminal cases, defendants must be proven to be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. That is not the case in personal injury claims, though. Instead, your solicitor will need to prove the defendant’s liability for your injuries on the balance of probabilities. Essentially, that means they need to show that the defendant was more than 51% likely to be responsible.
Therefore, even without a witness to your accident, a claim could still be possible. Your solicitor could use other evidence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant caused your accident.
What Are Independent Witnesses?
A witness is anybody who was not involved in an accident but saw what happened. An independent witness is somebody who does not know either of the parties involved in the accident.
If an independent witness exists, they can help provide answers to disputed facts about the accident. As they are independent, their evidence may be treated as more reliable. In some cases, if a witness is known to you, their evidence could be seen as biased and less likely to be as strong as that provided by an independent witness.
What Are Reluctant Witnesses?
Some people are reluctant to provide a statement about what they saw. In law, they are not legally obliged to provide an insurer or a solicitor with information that they don’t wish to give.
Where possible, a reluctant witness should be encouraged to give a statement. However, if they won’t, and the claim goes to court, it is possible for a judge to order that the witness attends and provides evidence about the incident. This power comes from the Civil Procedures Rules 1998 (Part 34). Although these are exceptional circumstances, such an order could be important in proving your claim.
Are Witnesses and Independent Witnesses Different?
As alluded to above, an independent witness could be treated differently from a witness who was involved in the accident.
As an example, if somebody was stood by the side of the road and witnessed a car collision, they’d be an independent witness. The drivers and passengers involved in the road traffic accident would also be witnesses to what happened, but not independent.
This is important because if the two parties involved in the accident do not agree with what happened, the independent witness’s evidence could prove the claim one way or another.
However, as we have explained already, even if there were no independent witnesses, other evidence could be used to help determine liability.
If you’re still asking, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”, please call an advisor for free legal advice.
What Other Evidence Would Support Your Claim?
This section contains important information about how you could prove an accident claim if there was no witness who saw what happened. If you are involved in any type of accident, we would advise you to:
- Take a video of the accident scene before anything is removed. It’s particularly important to try and capture the root cause of the accident.
- Take a photo of important details at the accident scene. For example, before any vehicles are moved, try to capture where each vehicle ended up on the road.
- If there are any CCTV cameras in the area, try to obtain copies of their footage.
- Similarly, if you’re in a road traffic accident, remember to download a copy of the dashcam footage if your car has one fitted.
Is It Worth Claiming Compensation If There Were No Witnesses?
Hopefully, we have clearly provided information to answer the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?” Just because there was no witness, it doesn’t mean you are automatically excluded from claiming.
In an ideal world, an independent witness would be available to corroborate your version of events. However, that’s not always the case. If there was no witness to your accident, you shouldn’t give up on claiming. Instead, you should concentrate on gathering other evidence to help prove what happened.
Accident Claims UK is here to help if you’re not sure what to do next. If you call our team, they’ll review your claim for free and consider what evidence is currently available. If you don’t have enough to support your claim, they’ll advise you what else you could do to obtain evidence.
Whatever happens, they’ll provide free legal advice on your options. If you do have enough evidence to proceed, we could connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our team. If your claim is accepted, they’ll manage it on a No Win No Fee basis for you.
Accident Compensation Claims Calculator – Updated August 2021
OK, let’s move on from answering the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”, and look at compensation amounts. In reality, no two claims are the same. Therefore, the figures we’ll use in this section are really only for guidance. After you have had your case reviewed properly, we should be able to provide a more personalised compensation estimate.
In our compensation table below, we have included figures for several different injuries. These have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Insurers, lawyers and courts use the JCG when determining the value of compensation claims.
|Injury Type||Level of Severity||Compensation Guidance||Additional Details|
|Face||Serious||£9,570 to £14,810||Fractures of the cheekbones serious enough to leave lasting problems like paraesthesia.|
|Neck||Minor||£4,080 to £7,410||This compensation bracket is for soft tissue injuries (whiplash, for example), where the claimant fully recovers in around 1 to 2-years without surgery.|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730 to £26,050||This compensation bracket is for ligament or muscle disturbance resulting in backache and prolapsed discs which mean laminectomy is necessary.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£11,980 to £18,020||An example in this category would be a dislocated shoulder along with damage to the lower brachial plexus.|
|Leg||Amputation||£91,950 to £124,800||This example covers below the knee amputation of one leg.|
|Ankle||Minor||£6,820 to £11,820||This category could include the turning of an ankle causing damage to the ankle tendons.|
|Feet||Modest||Up to £12,900||Covers ruptured ligaments, puncture wounds and simple metatarsal fractures.|
|Mental trauma||-||£4,380||Fear the victim was about to lose their life.|
|Chest||(g)||Up to £3,710||Soft tissue injuries or fractured ribs, for example. Serious disability for only a few weeks|
To determine the correct level of compensation, the severity of your injury will need to be determined. Therefore, during the claims process, you will be asked to visit an independent medical specialist. If you are claiming with us, your solicitor will try to arrange this locally.
During your appointment, the specialist will assess your injuries by examining you. They may also refer to medical records and will discuss the impact of your injuries with you. Once they have finished, a report will be prepared that explains their findings. This will then be sent to your solicitor.
What Are Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims?
In addition to general damages, you may also need to claim special damages. This is compensation that aims to cover any financial losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries. Special damages should return you to the financial position you were in before the accident occurred.
Every case is unique, but a special damages claim could include:
- Lost income. If you lose earnings because you can’t work following an accident, you could add the loss to your claim. This could cover time off work for medical appointments or recovery time.
- Medical expenses. If you require services that are not available on the NHS to treat your injuries, you could claim back any associated costs. Furthermore, you may need to claim back the cost of prescriptions or other medication.
- Care costs. Should you need support with daily tasks during your recovery, you might be able to claim back the costs. For example, a professional carer’s fees could be claimed back. Alternatively, you could claim for the time a relative spent looking after you.
- Travel costs. This could include any fuel, parking fees or public transport costs linked to medical appointments.
- Future lost earnings. For cases that have a long-term impact on your work, you may need to claim for any future lost income.
- Adaptations to your home. If an accident results in a disability (permanent or temporary), you might need to alter your home to help you cope. The cost of any such changes might be claimable.
No Win No Fee Compensation Claims Where There Was No Witness
Now that we have provided information to answer the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”, let’s move on to look at how to make the claim.
Many people miss out on compensation they might be due because they’re worried about how much a solicitor will cost. You needn’t worry though. That’s because our experienced solicitors provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis for all accepted claims.
At the beginning of the process, a solicitor will need to go over your case with you. If you both agree to continue, the solicitor will prepare a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you—the formal title of a No Win No Fee agreement.
This will explain what the solicitor needs to do if they are to be paid. Moreover, it will show you that:
- Your claim will commence without any upfront payment.
- Solicitor’s fees are not requested during the claims process.
- If the claim does not work out, you won’t be asked to pay any of your solicitor’s fees.
The only scenario where you’ll pay your solicitor is when they achieve a compensation settlement for you. In the CFA, you’ll see a success fee percentage listed. This is the percentage your solicitor will deduct from your compensation if they win your case to cover their costs. Importantly, success fees in personal injury claims are capped by law.
Talk To An Expert
Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”. If you believe you have a case to claim compensation, why not contact us today? You can get in touch with us by:
- Calling one of our specialist advisors on 0800 073 8801for free legal advice.
- Emailing email@example.com to register your interest in starting a claim.
- Begin an online claim so that we can arrange to call you back.
- Ask questions about how to proceed in our live chat channel.
Regardless of if there was a witness to your accident or not, we could help you claim. Whether you’re looking for a claims management company or want to be connected with a solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we’d be happy to speak to you. Call today and we will review your case on a no-obligation basis, whether you’re claiming for an accident, medical negligence or criminal injuries. If the grounds for claiming injury compensation are strong enough, we could connect you with one of our personal injury lawyers. As discussed, your claim will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis if it is accepted.
You are almost at the end of this article. We’ve tried to answer the common question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”. In this part of the guide, we’ve added some additional information that may prove useful:
Reporting Traffic Accidents – Information from the police on what you should do following a traffic collision.
NHS Service Finder – A tool to lookup NHS establishment addresses. This could prove useful when requesting medical records.
RoSPA – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Accident Claims UK is able to help with other types of claims as well. Therefore, some of the guides below may help you in the future.
Bus Emergency Stop Claims – Details of when you could claim for injuries caused by an emergency stop on a bus.
Knee Injury Claims – This guide explains when you might be eligible for compensation if your knee is injured in an accident.
Cosmetic Surgery Negligence – Advice on how to claim for suffering caused by mistakes during cosmetic surgery.
Accident Witness FAQs
Finally, we have provided answers to some common questions raised by those who have witnessed an accident.
Are you legally required to stop if you witness an accident?
If you witness an accident, there is no legal obligation to stop. However, if you’re involved in a road traffic accident, for instance, you must stop and provide your details where necessary.
How do you write a witness statement for a car accident?
If you are asked to write a witness statement, you are likely to be given a questionnaire or proforma by the insurer or solicitor. Your statement should include your details, details about what you saw and a declaration that it is a true reflection of events. The statement should also be dated and signed.
Should you report an accident you caused if there aren’t any witnesses?
Morally, you should report an accident if it causes damage or injury to another party. There are also some legal requirements for people to report accidents, even if they cause them, For example, we have already mentioned that you have a legal responsibility to report a road traffic accident that causes injury or damage to property. There are also some legal requirements for employers to report workplace accidents under RIDDOR.
How would you prove your injury?
If you suffer injuries in an accident, and intend to claim compensation if there were no witnesses, the medical evidence you provide could be extremely important. You would have to attend an appointment with an independent medical professional to provide such evidence. They would likely need to review your medical notes, and they would then examine you and ask you some questions about your injury. Once they had collated all the information they need, they would go on to write an independent medical report which could be used to value your claim.
Is it worth trying to claim compensation if there were no witnesses?
If you’re worried about whether your claim could be upheld, why not speak to us. We could assess your case to find out whether you could have a strong case for compensation. We will be honest with you about our opinion on your chances of receiving compensation and we could provide this help and guidance free of charge.
Thank you for reading our guide on the question, “Can I claim compensation if there were no witnesses?”