I still often get asked what sort of injuries can I claim compensation for and I generally give the same response, “If you were injured, are made ill or contract a disease and it was somebody else’s fault then you can almost certainly make a claim”.
The next question that usually follows is “How much can I get?” and my response for that one is always “It varies”.
So many factors contribute towards compensation payouts that I will never give an estimate to anyone, especially friends, without full understanding what the injury was, what affect it had on the person and what negligence took place to cause the injury.
It’s very easy to look at websites that claim ‘we can get you £10,000 for your broken little finger’ but the truth is I’ve never put a price on any claim without knowing all of the details.
When looking at the types of things people can claim for I usually fit them into one of these types of claims:
- Traffic accident
Traffic claims are one of the most common and cover a fair few types of accident. Pedestrians and cyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles, driver and passenger injuries following collisions and motorcyclists being knocked off of their bikes.
If you’re injured as a result of the driver of a vehicle colliding with you or your vehicle then you’ve got every right to make a claim for compensation against the drivers insurance.
- Accident in the workplace
Workplace accidents do happen and if they happen due to negligence then you can make a claim. Even if your employer has safety systems in place you may still be able to claim if another employee or manager were negligent.
Under the health and safety at work act all employers must protect employees, visitors and customers on their premises by completing risk assessments and working out what can be done to reduce the risks.
- Serious injury
The main reason people make claims for serious injuries is because there are usually serious financial losses involved for the injured party. Temporary or permanent loss of employment and temporary and ongoing medical costs that can’t be paid for any more.
Serious injuries can involve brain injury, spinal injury or very serious head injuries amongst others.
- Environmental health injuries
Bacterial food poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning and conditions caused by pesticides are some examples of environmental health injuries. Exposure to chemicals or gases can also be looked into if there was a short or long term affect on your health or disfigurement of your body.
- Accident in a Public Place
I used to see loads of accident claims for accidents in public places. Potholes and poorly maintained paths are a big reason, poorly maintained stores or slippery store floors are also common reasons for making a claim.
If there were warning signs then the case is less likely so gathering evidence (photographic) to show there wasn’t any is useful for claim evidence. In the case of poorly maintained roads if the local authority or one of it’s contractors has highlighted the defect then get evidence of that to.
- Medical negligence (Clinical negligence)
Examples of medical negligence can include surgery mistakes, poor or misdiagnosis and injuries at birth.
You often hear of wrong parts of the body being treated reported in the press as well as leaving medical instruments inside the body of a patient following open surgery. This is quite a specialist area in personal injury compensation so you do need to deal with a specialist.
- Product defect or dangerous products
If you have an injury while using a product and you were using within the manufacturer’s recommendations then you may have a claim.
Chemicals leaking and burning you, products setting on fire or seating which collapses are all good examples of product defects.
Try to get photographic evidence of the defect and the damage it has caused. You’ll need to document as much as possible as large companies can have legal teams that don’t want to pay out to avoid an influx of complaints of a similar nature.
G Macs final thought
Once the accident has been defined I usually look at the severity of the injury ranging from fairly minor injuries through to fatalities to work out a compensation amount.
The main thing with all personal injury claims is that it has to be down to someone else’s negligence. If you have an accident and it was just that, an accident, then there is no one to claim against.
If somebody or an organisation has forgotten to do something or deliberately chosen not to do something then they are to blame for your injury and you can claim compensation.