We have all heard about personal injury compensation claims, where, if you suffer a personal injury as a result of the fault of someone else, you may be able to make a claim for damages. But what is a personal injury and what types of personal injuries can result in you being able to claim compensation?
In this article we provide a definition of what constitutes a personal injury and describe the main types of injury that might result in a personal injury compensation claim.
Personal Injury – A Definition
Personal injury is essentially a legal term to describe an injury sustained by the victim of an accident. It includes injury to the body, in the form of the limbs, organs, or skin, and injury to the mind and emotions. A victim of an accident might suffer physical injury and psychological injury from the same cause. Both of these will fall within the definition of personal injury. Personal injury is distinguishable from injury or damage that is caused to a person’s property, although compensation claims for property damage may be included in a personal injury claim, as may a claim for financial losses such as medical expenses, travel expenses and loss of earnings that are consequences of the personal injury.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation Claim
There are very many types of personal injury that might result in a claim for compensation. Here are the most common:
- Claims for Physical Injury
Claims for physical injuries cover the pain and suffering caused to the victim of an accident through the negligence of another. The size of the claim will depend on the measurement of the extent of the pain and suffering caused and the length of time that the pain and suffering endures. In certain cases, it may last for the remainder off the victim’s life. Physical injury also covers any disability, either temporary or permanent that is caused to the victim. Clearly, permanent, significant disability claims command the greatest amount of compensation. Other types of injury that may not actually disable the victim from carrying out pre-accident activities are burns, scalds and scars. Although they may not prevent the victim from working or engaging in their pre-accident hobbies, they may have a permanent disfiguring effect that the victim is entitled to seek compensation for.
- Claims for Psychological Injury
Claims for psychological injury often accompany claims for physical injury because the consequences of a serious physical injury can affect the mind and emotions of an accident victim. A serious physical disability can have a debilitating psychological effect, as can, for example, serious scaring, which can cause permanent embarrassment and depression. The psychological component of a personal injury claim can thus be very substantial, especially if the emotional or psychological condition of the victim prevents them from working, as is sometimes the case.
Anyone who has been involved in an accident which they believe to be the fault of someone else and as, a result, suffered a physical or psychological injury may well be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. Such claims must normally be made within three years of the incident giving rise to the injury, so it is important to take early advice from a personal injury lawyer on the merits of your case and the likely compensation that you will receive.