A personal injury claim is a legal process used to recover financial compensation for anyone who has suffered a personal injury through no fault of their own.
A personal injury can be a physical or psychological injury or illness. The term ‘personal injury’ covers a broad spectrum of injury and accident types and can include diseases and deaths.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
There are many different types of personal injury claims – including those arising from road traffic accidents, accidents at work or in public places, slips and trips, defective product claims, holiday or foreign jurisdiction accidents, industrial disease claims, assaults and medical negligence.
Within these categories, injuries can obviously range from whiplash injuries and sprains to catastrophic limb loss, severe life-changing brain and spinal injuries and injuries or illness resulting in death.
Personal injury claims can only be made when an injury is caused by someone else. The defendant individual or organisation is deemed to be legally at fault if a claimant’s accident or injury is caused as a result of their negligence or breach of statutory duty. Negligence can be defined as behaviour or conduct that falls below a standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances.
Contributory negligence is a term used when a defendant accepts responsibility for a claimant’s accident but alleges that the claimant was partially responsible for their injuries.
Allegations of contributory negligence are quite common in personal injury claims and if upheld in the courts, could result in a reduction in the amount of compensation a claimant ends up receiving, depending on the degree of fault attributed to them.
Common examples include road traffic accidents where claimants may be judged partially responsible for their injuries if, for example, they were found to have not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.