Have you ever wondered what exactly is classed as a personal injury claim? Maybe you’re wondering whether you have a claim yourself.
My name is Rachel and I have 14 years experience of being a new business advisor at Stephensons and I am going to let you know what a personal injury claim is, who you could potentially claim against, how long you have to claim and how you can go about doing this.
At Stephensons we understand it can be very daunting when you start to look into making a claim but hopefully this brief and basic guide will reassure you that every claim can be different and that we will treat you as an individual.
So to begin... a personal injury claim is claiming compensation due to someone else’s negligence. There are a variety of different claims but the most common accidents which leads to a claim tend to fall under the following 4 categories:
Employers liability claims
This is also known as an “accident at work claim”. If you have been involved in an accident at work and it wasn't your fault, you may be able to make a claim against your employer to compensate you for any injuries or additional financial losses you may have sustained as the result of the accident.
Accidents at work can range from lifting injuries to incidents involving machinery or even a claim for Industrial disease which you may recently have been diagnosed with. Don’t be afraid to ask the question… do I have a claim?
Occupiers liability/public liability claims
Most people have heard of “tripping and slipping claims”. This is what these are, they are “claims in a public place” and are when you claim against a public body. These type of claims can involve accidents which take place on property or land owned by somebody else, and these claims are very common. Occupiers liability claims often involve personal injury accidents which occur in buildings, on “premises” or on land which is not controlled by you or your employer.
If you fall over or trip due to a raised pavement or pothole then you may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the local authority responsible for the upkeep of that road or pavement. Maybe you slipped in your local supermarket and want to claim or you could have been attacked by someone else’s dog. There are a variety of cases when it comes to occupiers liability so there is never any harm in enquiring as to whether you have a claim.
These types of claims can be made depending on the type of accident that has happened. Car insurance is mandatory and is put in place to protect car drivers, pedestrians, passengers, cyclists and bikers if they are involved in an accident.
There has been some recent changes with regards to whiplash reforms and what you may be entitled to, please take a look at our blog titled ‘whiplash reforms’ for further information on this. Compensation awards for minor soft tissue injuries resulting from a road traffic accident are now much lower and are claims which in future will have to be brought by the injured person themselves.
These are applications submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, by people who have been physically or mentally injured because they were the innocent victim of a violent crime.
This can be a member of the public, someone you work with or even a family member. If you have been assaulted and suffered serious injuries then you may be entitled to submit an application to the CICA for them to make you an award. Please note, awards made by the CICA are tariff based and are meant to be a gesture of goodwill, and are paid as an acknowledgement that you have suffered injury due to crime. The awards are not like compensation paid out in civil claims.
How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?
If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence then you have 3 years from the date of that injury to either settle your claim for compensation, or start court proceedings. If the accident happened abroad, on a plane or on a boat, then different time limits apply. So it’s always crucial that you seek legal advice and support as soon as possible after the injury occurred.
Waiting could mean you lose precious time within which to bring a claim, and of course delaying bringing a claim could mean vital evidence is lost, such as CCTV, defective equipment, evidence of the defect which caused the injury etc.
So it’s always important not to delay bringing a claim.
Any application made to the CICA must be done within 2 years, so even less time.
How can I make a claim?
At Stephensons we deal with all kinds of personal injury claim. If you feel that you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence then please do not hesitate to contact us. You can either call us on 0161 696 6235 or complete our online enquiry form.
Once we receive your enquiry one of our new business advisors will call you to discuss the matter further and discuss how the claim will be funded.
By Rachel Gildart, new business advisor