Personal injury victims often ask whether it is worthwhile for them to pursue a legal claim following an accident. Personal injury victims can be cautious about claiming for various reasons, such as:
- They are scared they may lose their job because their accident occurred in the workplace
- They are unsure of whether they were owed a legal duty of care
- They do not think they will be able to prove who was at fault
- They do not believe they will gain much from pursuing a claim
- They believe the claims process is difficult, timely and expensive.
In this article the reasons for and benefits of pursuing a claim for personal injuries are explained.
There are various circumstances in which personal injuries are suffered as a result of the negligence of another person or entity. As personal injury solicitors, we tend to see cases that arise from:
- Ignorance of the law
- Failing to keep abreast with health and safety requirements
- Failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees such as gloves or safety boots simply to save money
- Failing to educate and train employees on safe working practices
- Failing to implement safe working practices within the work force
- Failing to maintain premises in a good state of repair for the benefit of employees or visitors to the workplace
- Poor maintenance of public highways
- Poor maintenance of equipment or machinery.
In these cases the negligent party has either ignored the law or acted in a negligent manner, usually in an attempt to save time and money at the cost of the injured person’s health.
The law places a responsibility on:
- Employers to protect employees in the workplace
- The owners and operators of public places, such as supermarkets, to ensure visitors are safe when visiting the premises
- Local authorities to ensure highways and public places are well maintained and are safe to use
- Medical experts and medical treatment providers to ensure that people are treated according to reasonable standards
- Main contractors to protect sub-contracted employees.
If these responsibilities are breached then the person or entity has broken the law and should be held to account for their wrong-doings.
Why is it so important to pursue a claim?
Morally, the most important reason for pursuing a legal claim is to achieve justice. If you have been injured through no fault of your own you have a right to ensure that the person or entity that caused the injuries is held accountable for their actions.
Proving negligence can be an extremely lengthy and complex task. The personal injury team at Boyes Turner has been operating for over 30 years and collectively has over 58 years of experience in dealing with all personal injury claims ranging from minor whiplash injuries to life-changing brain and spinal injury. Our extensive experience means you can rest assured that we have the skills and expertise to handle your claim and achieve the best possible outcome.
Treatments, medication and aids
Following an injury you may require treatment, medication and aids.
The type and level of injury suffered will determine exactly what your treatment requirements will be. Typical treatments, medications and aids that personal injury victims may require include:
- Prosthetics after amputation
- Walking aids such as a stick, a wheel chair or a motorised scooter
- Stair lifts
- NHS prescriptions
- Over the counter medications
- Non-NHS provided medical treatments and equipment
- Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy
- Cognitive behaviour therapy
- Holistic treatments.
The costs of these items can quickly add up and should not be paid for by a personal injury victim and should be recovered in a successful legal claim.
Loss of income
Many personal injury victims find themselves having to reduce their working hours, either temporarily during their recovery period, or permanently, in part or in full, owing to their ongoing disability.
In cases of fatal injury, the bereaved family may suffer extreme hardship from the loss of their former loved one’s income. Where the death of the family member was caused by someone else’s negligence and the financial loss to the dependant family can be proven, these losses can be recovered in a successful personal injury claim.
Care and assistance
Personal injury victims may require care and assistance with their day to day living following the accident. In cases of serious, life-changing injuries, the need for care and assistance can be life-long and constant.
Care needs may include:
- Assistance with dressing
- Assistance with bathing and toileting
- Running errands and fetching items
- Assistance going up and down stairs
- Assistance with daily chores
- Physical support
- Assistance in getting to and from medical appointments
- Psychological support
- After care following surgery
- Assistance with medication.
All of these types of care go over and above the usual care and assistance provided by a spouse or family member and can be very draining on the carer. The provision of this care sometimes also prevents the carer from going to work resulting in a further financial loss.
A successful legal claim would include a sum of money to compensate the carer for the care and assistance they have provided or in cases of severe injury, financial provision would be made for the employment of professional carers.
Out of pocket expenses
All personal injury victims will incur out of pocket expenses due to their accident, such as the treatments, medications, aids and loss of earnings discussed above. Further out of pocket expenses could also include:
- Travel expenses in attending medical appointments
- Parking expenses in attending medical appointments
- Paying for professional assistance with household activities, such as gardening, window cleaning, decorating and general DIY that the injured person can no longer manage owing to their injury
- Replacement clothing costs.
A successful legal claim would cater for these costs to be repaid to you.
Where the negligence has led to the victim’s death, reasonable funeral expenses will also be included in the claim.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss the possibility of pursuing a legal claim please call us on 0118 952 7137 for a free confidential discussion.