If you have been injured through someone else's negligence or fault then you may be able to claim for compensation for your injuries. The effects of an injury can be life-changing. A successful compensation claim can often help improve the quality of life for you and your family.
What types of accidents can I claim compensation for?
There are many different types of accidents that can lead to a successful personal injury claim being made, including:
• Accidents at work
• Road traffic accidents
• Slips, trips or falls
• Motorcycle accidents
• Bicycle accidents
• Pedestrian accidents
What types of injuries could I have?
Many people think about whiplash if the subject of compensation claims is brought up, but there are many other injuries which regularly happen for which you can claim compensation. They include:
• Neck injuries • Back injuries • Loss of limbs • Brain injuries • Spinal injuries • Psychological injuries • Damage to internal organs • Injuries from a faulty product • Scarring
There are many other types of injury too and if you are injured, you should talk to one of our team today to discuss where you stand legally.
Personal Injury FAQs
Do you get less compensation if you don’t wear a seat belt?
Seat belts became compulsory in the 1980's but before this the Courts made it clear that a failure to wear a seat belt would affect how much money was awarded following a road traffic injury.
How the law sees it
If you could have been wearing a seat belt but chose not to, then your compensation is definitely likely to be reduced. By failing to wear a seat belt, the law considers you as sharing the responsibility for the level of the injury you have suffered.
However, if you’ve just been shunted in the rear of your car by someone else, it probably seems clear to you where the responsibility lies. What level of reduction is likely?
How much would my compensation reduce by?
It is not as simple as a set percentage reduction of your compensation. The judge would look at the end result of failing to put on your seat belt and consider whether or not your injury would have been made less severe by wearing a seat belt.
If you didn’t suffer any increase in the level of your injury at all, then in fact there should not be any deduction in your compensation.
If it is clear that not wearing a seat belt made a considerable difference to your level of injury then you are likely to experience a 25% reduction in compensation.
If your injury was worsened, but not considerably, then you may experience a 15% reduction.
An important note
There is always room for argument and in accidents where the injured party has experienced a very severe injury there may well be a close examination of the effect of the failure to wear a seatbelt. The parties in the dispute may bring in medical experts and engineering experts to provide evidence linked with the effect of the failure to wear the seat belt.
The primary message is simple – wear a seat belt!
In the event that you weren’t wearing one, it is best to ask a lawyer to give you advice. You are probably going to have to accept a deduction but the level of that deduction may well be the subject of an argument.
Claiming compensation for an accident at work. What should I expect?
You will only receive compensation for an injury at work if the following criteria are met:
- The liability element: It can be proved that your employer was responsible for the accident.
- The compensation element: The accident in question caused your injury and financial loss occurred as a result. Lawyers often use the Latin word ‘Quantum’ as shorthand to cover this element – it is easy to remember as it refers to the ‘quantity’ of compensation received.
Often, liability will be admitted in an accident at work claim. This means our lawyers can start working to maximize the amount of compensation our client receives for their injury.
Again, there are two elements to this:
- The injury element (often called ‘General Damages’).
- Other out of pocket losses (often called ‘Special Damages’).
The most common out of pocket loss is a loss of earnings but this category also covers any financial loss or outlay that occurred as a result of the accident.
Compensation for a workplace injury covers pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
‘Loss of amenity’ often refers to the loss of use of an injured limb and can cover either a fixed period until recovery or a permanent period if recovery is never achieved.
Finalising the medical report
The correct valuation of an injury will require a medical report.
It is common for a Court-approved medical reporter to avoid giving a final position regarding the long term effects of an accident until at least 12-18 months after it occurred. This makes sense as many injuries in the body take a while to settle into a final post-accident position.
When an injury has clear far-reaching and on-going effects, the process of finalising the medical report can take years.
If further investigation or treatment is recommended before a report can be finalised, the process could take even longer.
Calculating Out of Pocket Losses
Once the medical report has been finalised, the calculation of out of pocket losses can be calculated too.
If liability is not accepted
If an employer refuses to accept liability, the only way to obtain compensation is to get a Judge to decide this. In these circumstances, a claim can take at least 2 years to get before a judge.
How do I win my injury claim after tripping on a road, pavement or on private property?
The straightforward answer to this question is that you must prove the person or body (usually the local Highway Authority/Local council), has been negligent in allowing the road or pavement to be in such a dangerous condition that this caused you to have an accident. How you prove this, and indeed whether you can prove it, is often less than straightforward.
Unfortunately ‘accidents’ can and do happen sometimes, the reality is that no one is to blame. The person or body responsible for looking after the road or pavement (potentially your ‘opponent’) is not expected to be able to keep them in a ‘perfect’ state of repair and we must accept that roads and pavements will not be completely flat and free of defects such as slightly uneven surfaces.
Roads & Pavements
If you have been injured as a result of tripping on a road or pavement, the first thing to consider once you have sought appropriate medical treatment is whether you tripped or fell because there was something wrong with the surface.
For example, if you simply misjudged stepping up onto or off the kerb, this cannot be considered someone else’s’ fault. However, if you caught your toe and tripped because one paving slab had sunk, and there was a significant difference in levels between the slabs, you may have a case. Other examples are where tree roots have pushed the paving slabs or tarmac of the pavement up to create an uneven surface, or a drain cover or access cover is missing, creating a hole.
Evidence is Key
Once you have identified what caused you to trip or fall, it is important to take clear photographs of the area. These should show the defect both close up and from further afar so that the location can be clearly identified and found later. The photograph should also ideally show measurements – for example, you could use a ruler or tape measure to show how deep and wide a pothole is or the difference in height between two paving stones.