A Summary About Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law deals with getting compensation for people who have been injured or fallen ill as a result of someone else’s fault. Legal action for personal injury can be based on a number of different types of law, such as; breach of employers liability to ensure safety in the workplace, breach of occupiers liability to maintain safe premises or breach of contract. Most personal injury claims are based on the law of negligence.

Legally, every person has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that people they come into contact with are not injured by their actions, where those actions that are foreseeable could cause harm. Where someone fails in this duty they are guilty of negligence and the person who is injured has a claim against them for compensation. Examples of common negligence include situations where a pedestrian is knocked down by a careless motorist or where someone is injured after tripping over obstacles which have been left on the thoroughfare.

How is a claim for personal injury made?
The Lord Chief Justice has issued a pre-action protocol on personal injury claims. This is essentially a series of steps and procedures which must be followed before any personal injury case can go to court. The pre-action protocol states that the claimant must first send the defendant a letter of claim setting out the circumstances of the accident, detailing the injury, explaining why the defendant is liable and setting out the compensation which the claimant believes they are entitled to. The defendant must be allowed a certain length of time to respond to this letter of claim. The pre-action protocol also sets out what should happen if the defendant wants to instruct a doctor to produce a medical report.

The aim of these procedures is to resolve cases before they come to court by forcing the claimant and defendant to discuss the matter and to try and negotiate appropriate compensation between themselves.

If no agreement on compensation can be reached the claimant will make a claim in either the County Court of the High Court. As long as the claim is worth more than £5000 it will be dealt with in a formal trial and it will be necessary for both sides to instruct lawyers.

What compensation is awarded in personal injury cases?
The Compensation which is awarded for personal injury varies from case to case. Usually the court will award a sum of money which represents the severity of the injury and the degree of pain and inconvenience which it has caused to the injured party. If the injury means that they are no longer able to do activities which they used to enjoy, then they will usually be given additional money to compensate for the damage to their quality of life and enjoyment.

The court will also award compensation for any financial loss which the claimant has suffered or may suffer in the future. In addition to compensation for time spent off work recovering from the injury, this will include the cost of physiotherapy and transportation to and from hospital, the cost of any special adaptations or mobility equipment, as well as a sum of money to represent the reduction in the claimants ability to earn a living or find a new job in future should this become necessary.

Finally, the court will award compensation for specific items of property which were damaged. For example, a claimant who was injured in a car accident would also be able to claim compensation for their ruined clothes, smashed glasses and damaged phone.

 

I am a legal writer covering advice on topics of law, for further text and similar works visit personal injury or contact a solicitor today.For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources I suggest you visit lawontheweb.co.uk.
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