Making a personal injury claim is something that no-one really thinks about until the moment that they suffer an injury. That means that someone who has been injured either at work or elsewhere, can find themselves in a position where they don’t know their rights, making them unsure whether they can even make a claim or who they might make it against. It’s not quite as easy as it once was, in some small part due to the government making moves to limit personal injury claims – meaning what qualifies as a legitimate case has become somewhat more confusing for potential victims to know their rights.


Let’s take a look at some of the issues that are commonly brought up by people who are concerned that they might not be eligible to make a claim for their personal injury.

What counts as a ‘personal injury’?

The phrase ‘personal injury’ is often misunderstood. In the context of claims, a personal injury can be considered a physical injury, illness or disease, or a psychological illness or injury. It could be something immediate that was caused by an accident such as a broken arm or a long-term condition that develops over time, like an asbestos-related disease.

If you have suffered any kind of injury or condition that has affected your life then you may well be able to make a personal injury claim.

Was someone else to blame?

This is crucial – to be able to make a personal injury there needs to be another party for you to claim against. If your injury was not caused at least partially by the negligence or mistakes of someone else, you will not be able to make a claim. But it is important to note that the issue of someone being to blame might not be initially obvious. For example, if you injured yourself at work you might assume that you were entirely at fault but it could be the case that your employer acted negligently and put you in a position that caused the accident.

What if you’re not sure who is to blame?

As mentioned above, it is common for people not to be sure whether anyone else is to blame for their injury. More than three million people are injured every year in accidents everywhere from their home to their workplace and outdoors – it is common for cases to be complicated, so it is well worth talking to a professional injury solicitor if you believe that there is any chance that the incident was not your fault. They will be able to provide you with advice and guidance that pertains to your situation.

What if you were partly to blame?

Many people who are injured believe that they are not eligible to make a claim because they were partly responsible for the accident. For example, if they were not wearing the correct equipment for a building site and were then injured. However, it is important to note that the legal system is equipped to deal with this sort of situation.

Even if you are partly to blame for the incident, the fact that someone else is at fault means that you are able to claim. It is just the case that you would have to accept a reduction in the amount that you can claim compared to the amount you would expect if you were not at all to blame for the accident.

Are you claiming within the time limit?

You might not be aware that there is a time limit within which you can make a claim. In the majority of cases the limit is that you should initiate a claim within three years of the injury taking place – however, it is always best to act as soon as possible regardless of when the injury occurred.

There are some exceptions to the rule. For example, in the case of a chronic condition that was acquired at work but you were aware of it at the time – for example, asbestosis for working in proximity for asbestos. Symptoms for such a condition may not show up for as long as 20 years after exposure. In this case, you would be able to claim from three years that the symptoms became apparent.

Do I need to collect evidence?

It is generally the case that if you suffer any kind of injury that you believe might be someone else’s fault, you should collect as much evidence as possible. In an ideal scenario you would take photos or get the details of any witnesses who might be willing to make a statement for you. Of course this is not always possible – once again you should speak to a personal injury solicitor who will be able to advise you on the kind of evidence you need for your claim.

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