Back to basics: the fundamentals of personal injury law

An injured man, lying on the ground after being knocked off his bicycle by a car driver

What is personal injury law?

“Personal injury law” is quite a general term, isn’t it? In fact it covers a wide variety of types of cases – accidents at work, road traffic accidents, cycle accidents, industrial diseases such as Occupational Hearing Loss, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Repetitive Strain Injury, slips, trips and falls, accidents on shop premises, accidents in hotels… the list is almost endless. But all these types of cases fall within the area of personal injury law.

And importantly it should be borne in mind that personal injury does not just cover physical injury. It also covers physical, psychological and financial damage.

Negligence

To proceed with a claim for personal injury, however, there must be negligence. Negligence is an action or inaction that has a risk of causing injury. Here are some examples:

  • A driver who fails to look properly at a Give Way junction and collides with another vehicle has not intended to hurt anyone, but in failing to look properly and thereby cause an accident, they have been negligent.
  • An employer who asks his workers to lift or carry without first assessing the weights.
  • A cleaning company that doesn’t put out “wet floor” signs to warn of danger.
  • A shopping centre which doesn’t provide door mats at its entrance on wet days.
  • An employer who exposes their workers to significant noise levels and have them measured to check they are not causing or likely to cause damage or harm.
  • An employer who asks staff to carry out a task without first risk assessing it.

Is negligence easy to prove?

Firstly, you have to be able to prove that the person or entity that caused the injury had a duty of care towards you – that they had a duty to act with reasonable care in a way that would not cause harm.

The action or inaction must count as a breach of that duty.

It then has to be established that the action or inaction has caused personal injury.

If the aforementioned ingredients are there, then you should be able to prove negligence.

In summary, there are many different scenarios that can result in personal injury. Some cases are quite straight forward and others provide many layers of complexity. An experienced personal injury solicitor can assist you with your sort or case. Such a solicitor is likely to have encountered your type of case many times before and will have an established track record in successful claims.

Email Julie Harris
Call our personal injury claims team free on 0808 560 0872
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