The Prospective Outcomes of Injury Study aims to identify predictors of disability following injury. Participants were selected from the entitlement claims register of New Zealand's no-fault compensation insurer, the Accident Compensation Corporation, and followed up by interview for 2 years. This report describes changes to intended Prospective Outcomes of Injury Study methods and key characteristics of the cohort, with an emphasis on general health and disability before injury and soon afterwards. There were 2856 injured participants in the first interview, which occurred 3.2 months (median) after injury. The recruitment period was extended to enable inclusion of sufficient Māori participants. At the first interview, most participants were experiencing worse health status and increased disability compared to before injury, despite less than one-third reporting admission to hospital because of their injury. Analysis of outcome predictors related to post-injury function, disability and return-to-work soon after injury and 1 year later is now under way.