Who's Liable for Personal Injury?

When you have an accident, you may have to spend a lot of money when you weren’t expecting it.  You may have damaged your expensive clothing, or more importantly, incurred large medical fees.  You may have had to take time off work.  If you are self-employed you may have lost out on large business contracts, which financially can be crippling.

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If the accident was not your fault then you should not be the one who loses out.  If your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence then you may have a claim for compensation.  However, the next question is, against whom do you make your damages claim?

If you are injured (or catch a serious illness) IN THE WORKPLACE, then you may have a claim against your employer.  This includes injuries whilst driving a company vehicle.  Your employer has a duty of care to you and must ensure your premises are safe to work in.  He must ensure all vehicles are kept to a reasonably safe standard.  If he fails in his duty then he has been negligent and is liable for any injuries sustained.

If you are injured IN A PUBLIC PLACE, for example by slipping in the park or on broken paving stones, then the local council may be liable, as they have a duty to ensure public places are safe.

In PREMISES then the owner or occupier will be liable for any injuries.  An owner has a duty to ensure his premises are safe for his visitors, and in some cases, any trespassers.  For instance, if a child trespasser is injured climbing a cricket pavilion which then collapses, the proprietor may be liable.  Even with trespassers, if may be claimed the owner should have known children would be likely to climb it unless there were adequate signs warning about the dangers of climbing, or a fence surrounding the pavilion.

If you were injured in a HOSPITAL through the negligent treatment by a surgeon, then your claim will be against the hospital trust which employed the surgeon.  Of course, the treatment has to be negligent, which means the surgery was below the standard expected of a surgeon.  The same is true if you are injured by a dentist, where proceedings may be taken against the dental surgery.

The most common personal injuries occur in car or motorcycle accidents.  It is necessary to discover who is at fault, which is why obtaining witness statements from bystanders is crucial.  It is probably an individual driver who is at fault, but even then, in the absence of evidence you may be found to be partly to blame.  If this occurs, the court will assess how much to blame you are, and reduce your compensation accordingly.

Issues of liability can be complicated, which is why it is important to obtain specialist legal advice.  Our personal injury lawyers are trained to assess questions of liability, and we offer NO WIN NO FEE*agreements on personal injury cases, so call us today on 0845 077 0772. 

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