Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
If you sustain an injury due to somebody else’s mistake or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, before you file a personal injury claim against anyone, you will have to meet certain conditions. Failure to meet these conditions can get your case dismissed in court.
Two of the most important criteria for filing a PI claim are:
- You must have sustained an injury that was due to no fault of yours
- Your injury should have been caused because of somebody else’s negligence or rash behaviour
A personal injury claim can also be brought forward in a case where a product has been defective or faulty. When this happens, it is up to the pursuer of the claim to prove that there is a certain standard of safety that is expected with the product and it has not met these expectations.
Most of the personal injury compensation claims in the UK are made for the former reason, which is negligence by a person. When you research personal injury law, it may sound like raising a claim is simple and straightforward. However that is far from true if you have no legal experience. Filing and winning a personal injury claim can actually be pretty complicated. If you are planning on filing such a claim, it is a good idea to get a good solicitor to help you with it.
Components Of A Personal Injury Claim
- Duty of Care on the Part of the Defender
The basic idea behind negligence is that a person has either done something that they should not have done or they have not done something that they should have done. In either case, their action or inaction has led to another person being injured.
While this may sound simple, proving that the person who committed this mistake had owed the injured person a “duty of care” can be extremely challenging. For example, if ‘Mr. A’ has gone to the court and stated that ‘Mr. B’ was negligent, the court will ask ‘Mr. A’ whether ‘Mr. B’ owed him a duty of care and whether ‘Mr. A’ was entitled to expect this reasonable level of care.
Usually, the first part isn’t too difficult to prove. If it is reasonable to foresee that a person may be affected by any action carried out by the other person, it is their duty to take care that it should not happen. For example, a company that manufactures cosmetics has a duty of care to ensure that their products do not harm their customers’ skin.
As another example, on a construction site, an employer should put all precautionary measures in place to ensure that the all staff working at the site at not put at any risk due to heavy machinery or when working at heights on scaffolding.
- Breach in this Duty of Care
The difficult part to prove in a PI claim is that the duty that was owed to the pursuer was breached. This means that there was some kind of negligence on the part of the defendant – that they either did something that was not supposed to be done or did not do something that was supposed to be done. And this action has led to some kind of injury to the person bringing forth the claim.
Rash driving, badly maintained pavements and premises, lack of security measures in factories and construction sites are common causes of personal injuries. However, even though it may be plain to see what caused the injury, the onus is on the pursuer of the claim to prove that the injury was caused by the defender. If the pursuer cannot claim that the defender was negligent, the claim will not be entertained.
While proving negligence, there is a certain standard of care that has to be taken into consideration. It is only if the conduct of the person has been below this standard that they will then be considered to have acted negligently.
When the court is deciding the negligence of the defender, there are a number of things that they take into consideration. Some of them include:
- The seriousness of the injury or harm that has been caused to the pursuer
- The probability of injury to the pursuer
- The cost of precautions and the practicality of the situation
- The particular industry or profession of the defender and what they do in the industry, along with the standard practices of the industry
If the court feels that the defender acted in a negligent manner and if there was a certain standard of reasonable care that was not met, they will then decide the case in favour of the pursuer so they can be compensated for the injury that they suffered.
An important point to take note of is that anybody looking to make a PI claim must file their claim within three years from the time the accident happened or from the time the person first became aware of their injuries.