The risk of suffering a physical injury is one that we can never mitigate completely. As we go about our daily lives, we are constantly encountering potential dangers. Thankfully, we are able to avoid most of these and go about our lives uninjured. We are supposed to be helped here by various forms of health and safety legislation, which mandates for minimum standards in construction. Not only do land and property owners have a duty to ensure that the land or premises that they own comply with all the relevant health and safety and construction legislation, they also have a duty to respond promptly to rectify any breaches that are brought to their attention.
If you are injured, be it physically, psychologically, or a combination of the two, and your injury occurs because of neglect on the part of someone who failed in their obligation of care towards you, then you could be entitled to compensation. Many people, who have every right to claim compensation for an injury that they have sustained, never make a claim because they are unaware that they can. Sometimes people are put off because they incorrectly believe that claiming compensation is an act of greed.
By encouraging a better understanding of what personal injury compensation is and how people go about claiming it, we can dispel some of the myths that surround the process and what it represents.
What is Personal Injury Compensation?
Personal injury compensation is a financial settlement in which one party agrees to accept liability for personal injury caused to the other party. This leads naturally to the next question that most people have: what constitutes a personal injury? There is no hard and fast definition here. This is because there is an endlessly complex array of incidents which could be considered to constitute a personal injury.
We, therefore, use a fairly broad definition of personal injury, in which the injury that an individual suffers can either be classed as physical or psychological. Note that physical injuries include illnesses and diseases which arise due to negligence. It should also be noted that financial injury is not compensated as part of personal injury litigation. If the physical injury that the claimant sustains impairs their ability to earn money, then this will be reflected in the award they are given. However, cases, where an individual is only harmed financially, are argued elsewhere.
Some Examples of Personal Injury
There is an infinite range of potential scenarios and incidents which might be regarded as personal injury, again, this is why we often talk in general terms. In that spirit, the following are some of the more common examples of personal injuries that individuals claim successfully for.
Injuries in the workplace account for a significant portion of the overall claims. As you would expect, more hazardous work environments, such as the construction industry, are where the majority of these claims come from. However, in just about any work environment there is the potential for injuries to occur; complacency only makes such an incident more likely.
Psychological injuries which result from undue stress in the workplace is being cited more frequently in personal injury claims, as is psychological illness brought on by abuse sustained as a child, or from harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
What to Do if You Want to Claim
If you think that you might have a valid claim for personal injury compensation, then your first port of call should be a personal injury solicitor. You can find many reputable firms online through a simple search. You should refine your search however to ensure you find the right solicitors for your claim. For example, if you’re looking for an expert in workplace deafness claims and are located in the UK, you’ll find companies like Roper James who provide free initial advice on claims. When choosing a solicitor, ensure you read any reviews or testimonials about them so that you know they’re reliable.
Of course, if a criminal act has occurred then you should report to the police first. The police will make a thorough report of events and this will be helpful in claiming for compensation down the line. A personal injury lawyer can help you to obtain a copy of the police report if they think it will help.
When you are considering which law firms and solicitors to work with, prioritise those law firms who have experience handling personal injury claims. You want someone who has argued cases before, not just so they can argue your case in court, but also so that they can give you a realistic assessment of your case and your chances of winning.
You should also approach the individual that you think is liable for your injury, although in some cases this will be difficult to do. Your lawyer will be able to identify who has ultimate responsibility for any land that you are injured on and will also be able to establish the chain of command in corporate structures and, therefore, who is responsible for maintaining health and safety in the workplace.
Seeking compensation for a personal injury that you sustain through someone else’s malice or negligence is not a greedy act. On the contrary, seeking fair compensation is not only the legal and moral right of the injured party, it also serves as a deterrent for landowners who might otherwise not take their obligations seriously.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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