At Accident Advice Helpline we work on a large volume of compensation cases and we know that sometimes there can be confusion about what classes as a personal injury. Some people think it has to be particularly serious or do lasting damage, some think only physical injuries count, and others assume that illnesses are excluded. We would like to address some of those assumptions and set the record straight, because don’t want to see people missing out on compensation to which they’re rightfully entitled.
Degree of personal injury
You may have heard that courts sometimes dismiss claims for trivial injuries. This is true, but we find that accident victims often have a distorted idea of what ‘trivial’ means. You are unlikely to be taken seriously if you ask for compensation because you cut your little finger, but if you broke your little finger, you certainly will be.
The key to understanding whether or not an injury is trivial is to think about how it affects your life (or, if your activities are already limited for another reason, how it would affect the average person’s life). This means that, although a sprained ankle might not seem very serious, it can be worth claiming because it could affect your ability to get to work.
If you are unsure whether or not your injury counts, call our helpline and our advisors will be happy to discuss it with you.
Physical or psychological
Accidents don’t only leave us with physical damage, they can also be emotionally traumatic. If you’ve been badly emotionally affected by an accident, you might find that your day to day activities are restricted. You could experience nightmares that keep you from sleeping properly. You could develop a phobia or difficulties in communicating.
The law says that if problems such as these result from an accident that was someone else’s fault, you should be properly compensated. Compensation like this can fund counselling that helps to bring your problems under control.
Illnesses and injuries
Although we tend to talk in terms of accidents, we also take on cases involving illness if that illness has been caused by somebody else’s actions or negligence. For instance, if you pick up an infection after visiting a hospital that wasn’t kept properly clean, you may be entitled to compensation. This could also apply if you have an illness such as mesothelioma, brought on by spending time in an unsafe working environment.
In the case of illnesses that take a while to develop, extensions to the usual three year claims limit can sometimes by granted. Call our advisors if you think this might apply in your case.
Claiming compensation for your personal injury
If you have experienced any of these problems in a situation that was somebody else’s fault, we may be able to help you. As well as advising on what classes as a personal injury, we can connect you with an expert solicitor who can help you to pursue compensation for it. We’re ready to treat your injuries with the seriousness they deserve.
Date Published: October 14, 2013
Author: David Brown