A short guide to personal injury claims

If you are injured and it is someone else’s fault, you may be able to bring a claim against them for personal injury. To be successful you must prove that they were ‘negligent’.

Establishing negligence may be simple in some cases, such as where someone fails to stop for you at a zebra crossing, but other cases need considerable investigation and legal argument.

Then there is the need to press for damages. Again, this can be straightforward, although we often deal with life-changing events that leave the victim requiring life-long care and financial support.

Below is a brief overview of the types of incident that lead to personal injury claims, along with who might be responsible. Every case is different, so do contact us for further advice.

‘Trip and slip injuries’

As the name suggests, these are injuries resulting from some kind of fall, where someone else is to blame. Here are some examples:-

  • You tripped on an uneven pavement or road that the owner or local authority had failed to inspect and maintain properly.
  • You tripped over road works that have not been properly marked by the utility or other maintenance company.
  • You tripped or slipped at someone’s home or office due to their negligence.
  • Poor drainage at work meant you slipped on a floor - or you tripped over cables that were not properly secured.

Poor housing

If the home you rent is damp and the landlord refuses to act you may be able to sue if, for example, mould causes you lung problems.

Accidents at work

Employment law and common law oblige employers to take all reasonable precautions to keep you safe at work. For example:

  • Equipment, machinery and premises must be well-maintained.
  • Staff must be adequately trained and supervised so they can work safely.
  • Lifting equipment must be provided where necessary.
  • Staff must be educated to avoid repetitive strain injuries and given adequate breaks (say, if they use a mouse a lot).
  • Special precautions must be taken to store and use hazardous substances.
  • Asbestos rules must be strictly followed.
  • Employees must be trained and supervised so that they do not put colleagues at risk.

If you feel your employer failed in any of the above or generally failed to prevent a hazard that led to your injury it is well worth taking advice.

Defective products

There are many ways in which defective products can lead to injuries, from drugs that cause serious, unexpected long-term side effects to faulty car parts that lead to an accident.

Manufacturers or others involved in supplying products have strict liabilities under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 so if things go wrong and someone is injured it is possible to claim.

You must begin court proceedings within three years of becoming aware of the damage, defects or manufacturer’s identity.

Clinical negligence / medical accidents

We have a specialist team to handle clinical negligence and medical accident claims. Much of our work involves highly complex investigation and legal argument using expert opinions.

There are various types of claim including:-

  • Birth injuries and cerebral palsy
  • Failed cosmetic surgery
  • Adverse drug reactions and their consequences
  • Misdiagnosis and delayed treatment
  • Incompetent, careless or incomplete treatment
  • Failures to refer or follow up patients.

If you or a relative believe you have been a victim of clinical negligence please contact our clinical negligence team, who will be happy to speak to you in confidence and without obligation.

Road Traffic accidents

  • Simple Whiplash rear end shunt claims to complex claims involving paraplegia.
  • Fatal accident claims.

Accidents At Work

  • Personal injuries suffered during the course of employment
  • Manual handling operations injuries
  • Slips and trips
  • Work related upper limb disorders
  • Mesothelioma & asbestosis claims.

Public Liability & Occupier’s Liability

  • Claims against councils and others where injuries have been sustained i.e. slips and trips
  • Injuries sustained in public places i.e. children’s parks/playgrounds and shops
  • Sporting injuries sustained in public or private grounds
  • Dog bite & dangerous horse injuries
  • Injuries on club premises
  • Injuries caused by independent contractors
  • Injuries in schools, injuries in swimming pools
  • Injuries in prisons
  • Claims against neighbours regarding defective premises causing injury
  • Public utilities liability.

Landlord & tenant, private/local authority

  • Housing disrepair claims

Product Liability

  • Defective electrical equipment, defective vehicle, defective drug/medication, defective chemical products, food poisoning due to defective packaging are examples.

Make an