Many of us are likely to become victims of some form of personal injury in our lifetime. Thankfully, most are mild and require very little treatment. However, there are instances when personal injuries are severe, and have long-term detrimental effects on health and wellbeing. In such circumstances, it is prudent to establish whether there is cause for pursuing legal action against the responsible party, to ensure that associated expenses are properly compensated.
In this article, we will look at the definition of personal injury, some of the most common examples, as well as where to turn if you suspect you are a victim.
Personal injury is defined as damage to an individual’s body, rather than their property, reputation, or any other asset. Given the breadth of this definition, people who have suffered a personal injury may not realize that they fall within it. As such, they are likely not to have taken legal action against responsible parties. Immediate and long-term consequences are instead endured in silence, without compensation for the time, effort, and financial impact of dealing with a personal injury.
Examples of personal injury
Trips and falls
Business premises, workplaces, hospitals, supermarkets, malls, government buildings, and other public spaces must be safe to walk through. Trips and falls may occur as a result of poor maintenance, spillages, damaged surfaces, inadequate lighting, and objects left in inappropriate places. Injuries can range from lacerations and contusions to concussion, fractures, and internal damage. It is therefore important that legal options are explored after a trip or fall; as well as providing the victim with appropriate compensation, it encourages caretakers of public spaces to keep them well-maintained and safe for use.
Road and transport accidents
Car and motorcycle accidents are relatively common. Whilst many do not cause significant harm, serious crashes can result in severe, life-changing or catastrophic injuries. Accidents also occur on other forms of transport, such as trains, boats, ships, and airplanes. Medical bills, the need for long-term physical treatment and psychological therapy, and changes to employment prospects can leave victims in substantial financial difficulty. Legal action is encouraged to ensure that victims receive the support they need. In addition, if a public transport operator has demonstrated negligence, legal action helps to correct these problems and protect other passengers.
Consumers are dependent on manufacturers to make products that are safe for use. If a product malfunctions, does not contain appropriate instructions, or is deliberately manufactured to a low quality, it causes unnecessary risk of injury to consumers. Faulty products must be reported to an industry regulator, and if injury occurs, legal action should be considered. As with other causes of personal injury, this not only compensates the victim, but contributes to future protection of other consumers.
In the workplace
Employers are ultimately responsible for the safety of their workforce; badly-maintained machinery or premises, lack of safety equipment, and insufficient training may all contribute to accidents at work, as well as resultant injuries. All workplace incidents should be reported to a line manager, human resources department, or union representative, and legal action may be pursued if compensation is determined to be required.
Where to turn next
If you have been the victim of a personal injury, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced legal professional, who will be able to assess your unique case and provide bespoke advice.