Most of the claims which are dealt with by personal injury lawyers relate, as the name suggests, to cases of people being injured, usually in one-off accidents or over a longer period of time in the workplace. Some cases involve medical treatment, but what they all have in common is the fact that the injury in question would not have happened if someone, somewhere, had not been negligent.
In many cases the identity of this negligent party will be pretty clear – the driver of a car which jumps a red light and hits you, for example, or the owner of a shop which failed to clear away the litter and loose wires over which you tripped and fell. In some cases, however, it may be more complex. If you trip over a pothole in a pavement, for example, the viability of any compensation claim will depend upon factors such as the size of the pot hole and how long it had been present. Similarly, the responsibility will vary from place to place, depending upon whether the footpath in question runs through public or private land.
This possible complexity and the nuances of the law are why its’ vital to turn to a reputable injury lawyer when it comes to seeking compensation. They will be able to tell you whether you have a case to pursue and will then set about making your side of the case as strong as possible, and the no win no fee system means that they won’t charge you a penny up front for doing so.
It may be that the incident which led to your injury doesn’t fall neatly within one of the more usual categories – i.e. road traffic accidents, work accidents, slips trips and falls or medical negligence. It must always be remembered that the injury in question could be psychological as well as physical – an accident may have left you with panic attacks, distressing flashbacks and a loss of confidence.
Amongst more unusual but no less justified claims which can be pursued are the following:
Defective Products – if you buy a product which in some way leads to you being injured then you may be able to make a claim for compensation, and this area is covered by the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This can range from electrical goods which give you a shock, toys which contain sharp edges, power tools which malfunction and even foods which are contaminated. In all cases, if the injury was caused by the inadequacy of the product and not through your own misuse then there may well be grounds for a claim against the manufacturer, a retailer or a combination of the two.
School injuries – in the rough and tumble of every day school life it may well be taken for granted that children are going to suffer the occasional bump and scrape. Accidents happen, but if your child is hurt because the school failed to provide a proper duty of care, then that’s a different matter and you’ve every right to seek compensation, not least because it will help to reassure your child that their school represents a safe environment. In England, more than £7.25m was paid in compensation for injuries to pupils in the three years from 2014 to 2016.
Criminal Injury Claims – criminal injury claims differ from other claims in that the money is usually claimed from the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), a government organisation created with the sole purpose of providing compensation for the victims of crime. It doesn’t matter if the perpetrator has never been caught or charged, or doesn’t have the funds to cover a compensation claim.
There are, of course, a multitude of different cases which don’t fit neatly into any one category, and what this means is that, if you’ve been hurt in any way and feel it wasn’t your fault, you should relay any details of your accident to an expert personal injury solicitor at the earliest possibility.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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