What does Personal Injury Actually involve?

We’ve all been there. The silly trip over your own feet that sends you flying onto the hard pavement and leaves with a minor scrape (your pride being more damaged than anything else!). It’s embarrassing, but does it mean you have a right to pursue a personal injury claim?

Well, in that case, no. But it’s just one of the questions asked by people – with the procession of personal injury TV ads accused of helping to create a claims culture. The fact is though, that there are many genuine grounds for people to pursue a personal injury claim without a hint of guilt. And remember too, a personal injury may not always be a physical one; stress or mental trauma caused by an accident or even witnessing an accident can count too. It all depends on the circumstances.

To help bring a little more clarity, here’s a quick rundown of common types of personal injury.

Vehicle-based injury

As the name suggests, this is any injury (physical or mental) suffered in any kind of road traffic accident. Not just cars – lorries, buses , vans, motorbikes, bicycles… if it happens on the road in any vehicle and you were injured (and not deemed at fault) you may have grounds to make a claim.

Slip and fall (premises liability)

Slips and trips are one of the most common reasons for personal injury claims every year. The most important thing to understand in these situations is who is at fault. When out on the street or in any kind or premises it’s all about responsibility. For example, a local authority is responsible for the upkeep of the pavement and road and a shopkeeper/owner is responsible for making sure a shop floor, entrance or even car park is not slippery and free from tripping hazards. If they haven’t made reasonable efforts to do so and you slip or trip and fall suffering an injury, you may have a claim.

Medical negligence

If you are injured or traumatised as a result of medical malpractice during a medical procedure or treatment you may ground to claim. But bear in mind, this is not the same as suffering any potential symptoms or side-effects associated with your procedure or treatment (which would usually be made clear to you by the doctor, surgeon or other member of the medical staff beforehand).

Product-related injury

This is an injury caused directly by any product – it could be anything from a children’s buggy to a dodgy kettle. If the product is in some way faulty and, as result, causes an injury, there may be grounds for compensation. Injury or illness caused by pharmaceutical products also falls into this category. But of course, always read the product advice leaflet before taking any medicines.