No two personal injury claims are the same because there are so many factors that will have an effect on how the case is investigated and how the final outcome is decided upon.
For instance, the case of a child knocked down in the road by a careless driver won't be governed by the same legislation as the case of a patient given a faulty medical implant. Different people in different circumstances means specific regulations apply to making a claim.
This is why the variety of in-depth questions compensation lawyers ask is so important. The facts need to be established before the best decision for the client can be made.
However, there are a few principles that govern all personal injury compensation claims, regardless of the above.
Stripped down to the most basic principle, compensation will be awarded to you if you can prove:
- that someone owed you a duty of care,
- they breached that duty of care,
- and you were injured as a result.
In other words, that someone had a responsibility to take care of you, but negligently allowed you to be hurt.
These principles have been developed by the courts over many years and form the foundation of all personal injury cases. But there are some areas where the Government has decided that more detailed protection is necessary, either to close a loophole in the law, or to protect a certain section of the public.
The law in personal injury cases
The most widely known of these type of rules is the Health & Safety legislation, brought in to minimise the risk of injury in the workplace. There are many regulations that come under Health & Safety legislation, all of which are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). These include regulations on how employers asses and manage risks, how major injuries and illnesses are reported, and how the workplace environment is maintained.
The main piece of legislation is the Health and Safety Work etc Act 1974, which states that employers have the responsibility to ensure their employees remain as safe as possible "as far as is reasonably practical".
A more recent example is the Pleural Plaques Act, which was brought in by the Scottish Government to ensure that people who are diagnosed with pleural plaques as a result of negligent exposure to asbestos are entitled to raise an action for damages. Before the act was passed in 2009, suffering from pleural plaques alone was not seen as serious enough to warrant a claim for damages (this is still the case in England and Wales).
Other areas in which special regulations apply include:
- construction accidents
- offshore compensation claims
- criminal injuries compensation
- agricultural accidents
- accidents on an aircraft
- accidents abroad
- dog bite claims
- defective product claims
Make a claim with the personal injury experts
At Thompsons, it is our goal to change the law for the good of innocent people, and their families, who unjustly suffer due to someone else's negligence. We welcome any change in legislation that helps towards this cause.
As one of Scotland's largest personal injury firms, we pride ourselves on caring and standing up for individuals, and we believe this is what separates us from other law firms.