Personal injury

Personal injury

If you’ve had a slip, trip, accident at work, road accident or some other accident which you believe could be the basis for a personal injury claim, it’s important to get professional advice early on.

This page is intended to give you the basis information that you need to know about bringing personal injury claims. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

“Personal injury”

The term ‘personal injury’ covers a lot of different things. It might be a physical injury as a result of a trip or slip, or it could be a psychological injury or illness caused by unnecessary stress at work.

‘Personal injury’ can also cover disease and physical illnesses.

Here are some examples of different personal injuries:

  • Repetitive strain injury
  • A disease caused by exposure to a hazardous substance
  • An injury resulting from a car accident
  • An injury from falling over something that shouldn’t have been there
  • Psychological injury sustained as a result of a crime
  • Psychological injury because of harassment at work

These are just a few examples of what a ‘personal injury’ could be. As you will see, the term is very wide ranging. If you have an injury, illness or disease that might be someone else’s fault, speak to our lawyers who will be able to tell you whether a claim can be made.

Actions to take

The actions you need to take following an injury depend on the type of injury. These might include:

  • Reporting the injury to your insurance company (e.g. road traffic accident)
  • Ensuring the injury is logged in the accident book (e.g. at work, on holiday, at a public venue)
  • Taking any photographs that show how you had the injury (e.g. something you tripped over or something that was unsafe)
  • Gathering the names and addresses of anyone who witnessed the injury
  • Writing down an account of what happened while it is fresh in your mind
  • Reporting the injury to the police where appropriate (e.g. a road traffic accident)
  • Seeking medical attention as quickly as possible with a professional

After you have seen a medical professional initially, you should visit them again regularly so that your condition is documented.

If your workplace does not have an accident book, write out the details of what happened, send these to your employer and keep a copy for yourself.

“But I didn’t take any of those actions…”

We understand that after an injury, everything can sometimes be a bit of a blur. You may think about the incident a few days later and wish you had taken more of the above steps. Do not worry if you were not able to do everything on this list appropriate to the circumstances. It will not necessarily stop you from making a claim.

Compensation

There are two types of compensation that you may be entitled to when you suffer a personal injury – these are general damages and special damages.

Special damages cover the actual loss that resulted from the incident. This might, for example, cover a damaged vehicle, damaged clothing, the actual amount of earnings you have lost (perhaps because of days taken off work to attend treatment), the cost of treatment, the cost of travel to
attend the treatment, the cost of adapting your home after the injury, the cost of equipment required because of the injury and so on.

General damages are for pain, suffering and future expenses such as loss of earnings.

The Court will make an assessment of how much you are entitled to. If the Court holds you partly responsible for what happened, they may reduce the amount you receive. An example might be if you were not wearing a seatbelt when you were involved in an accident.

Time limits for personal injury claims

It is very important to be aware of the time limits for bringing a personal injury claim. Most claims are for negligence and these must be brought within three years. In other words, court proceedings must be issued within three years of you first being aware that you have suffered an injury.

In some circumstances the court may agree to extend the time limit.

Get in touch

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