You may take legal action after you have been involved in an accident or injured because of somebody else’s actions or negligence*.
Personal injury claims generally involve:
- A plaintiff or claimant – this is the person making the claim (you).
- A defendant – the person(s) you are making the claim against.
- Your solicitor
- PIAB – Personal Injury Assessment Board (often called the Injuries Board). PIAB assesses most personal injury claims before any further steps are considered.
What Are the Common Injuries Sustained In Accidents?
For every type of accident, whether a car crash, a slip and fall, or a product related injury, there is a wide array of injury types that can occur. Every part of the body is susceptible to different forms of injury and the forces applied upon the body when an accident occurs will dictate the kind of injury as well as the severity.
As a personal injury law firm with over 50 years experience representing injured parties Ireland we understand the nature of various types of injuries. We are able to articulate the effects they have on a client’s life, and the types of medical care required, in the context of a personal injury case.
Injuries Commonly Sustained in Accidents
Arm and hand injury claims can arise in a variety of situations. They are most common in the workplace, at home and in public places. They often occur after a slip and fall accident, when working with dangerous machinery, or with repetitive tasks such as typing.
Elbow injury claims
Elbow injuries are often the result of overuse and repetitive motion. Common elbow injuries include:
- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) – this kind of elbow pain occurs when tendons outside the elbow become inflamed.
- Golfer’s Elbow (Epicondylitis) – this kind of elbow pain occurs when tendons inside the elbow become inflamed.
- Torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament – this elbow injury occurs through repetitive strain and affects the medial collateral ligament in the elbow.
Apart from repetitive strain, slips and falls are another cause of elbow injuries. They include:
- Dislocation – your elbow may become dislocated if your hand takes the force of the fall.
- Torn bicep tendons
- Fractured elbow
- Elbow bursitis
- Ulnar nerve entrapment
Wrist injury claims
Wrist injuries can also be caused by repetitive strain in the workplace. Your employer is responsible for ensuring that employees get adequate break/rest periods or receive wrist supports to prevent injury.
Repetitive-use wrist injuries may include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wrist tendonitis
- Wrist bursitis (an inflammation of the fluid sacs in the wrist joint)
- Cubital tunnel syndrome (this affects the ring or little fingers)
Slip and fall injuries may include:
- Wrist fractures
- Wrist sprain
Crushed arm or hand injury claims
Crush accidents are most common at work, especially if you work with heavy machinery or vehicles. They can also happen outside the workplace due to somebody else’s negligence.
The severity of crush injuries can range from minor ones that may keep you out of work for a few days or weeks to serious injuries that could have life-changing effects. You may be entitled to take legal action for even minor injuries.
If you have been involved in a crush injury, get medical treatment immediately. Consult an experienced solicitor to find out what legal routes are open to you.
Repetitive strain injury
Offices are often sources of repetitive strain injury claims. If your workplace is not maintained properly, and you don’t have the appropriate supports, you may suffer repetitive strain injury in your wrist or elbow.
If you have suffered a repetitive strain injury in your workplace, and your employer has not taken the necessary measures to ensure your safety, you may be able to claim.
Repetitive strain injuries include the following:
- Bursitis - this involves the inflammation of small sacs of fluid and can occur in joints such as the wrist or elbow.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome - compression of the nerve that goes through the wrist.
- Writer’s cramp - or focal hand dystonia (FHD) is a disorder usually caused by overuse of skills such as writing.
- Rotator cuff injuries - repeating the same shoulder motions again and again can cause pain due to stress on your rotator cuff muscles and tendons.
- Tendonitis - inflammation of a tendon in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or finger due to overuse can cause pain in the affected area.
- Ulna neuropathy - this disorder may be caused by entrapment of the ulnar nerve and cause numbness and tingling in the fingers.
- Vibration white finger (VWF) - a secondary form of Raynaud’s disease, is also called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or dead finger. It is caused by continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery.
Back & spinal injuries
Back and spinal injuries can range from the mild to the severe or even fatal. They can happen in the workplace, while travelling, at home, or in a public place. They include:
- Slipped or herniated discs
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Spondylolysis (stress fracture of the lower back)
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, an employer is required to ensure the health and safety of all employees in the workplace. If you have suffered a back or spinal injury as a result of a breach of the duty of care by your employer you may be entitled to pursue a claim for financial damages.
Slipped disc injury
A slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc,can be very painful because the damaged discs of cartilage connecting your vertebrae can press on the nerves in your neck and back. You may also feel numbness or weakness in the affected area. Slipped or herniated discs are often caused by heavy lifting and overexertion.
Causes of slipped discs
Here are some of the most common ways that slipped discs can occur:
- Lack of manual handling training.
- Sitting for lengthy periods
- Slips, trips, and falls
How to help prevent a slipped disc at work
You should be provided with proper manual handling training at work. This will ensure you:
- Check the weight of an object before attempting to lift it.
- Adopt the proper posture when lifting.
- Hold objects close to your body when moving.
Back and neck injury claims
Back and neck injuries can happen for a variety of reasons and can range from mild to life-changing or even fatal. Injuries can damage the soft tissues and muscles and may require medical rehabilitation.
Workplaces that do not implement appropriate safety measures in place may result in accidents such as slips, trips, and falls. These can cause back and neck injuries due to:
- Slippery floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Damaged/missing handrails on stairs
- Falls from a height
- Poor lighting
- Substandard or no personal protective equipment (PPE)
- No training
- Repetitive strain from repetitive movements
The employer may be held responsible for the accident if it is proven that they did not provide a safe working environment.
A whiplash injury is caused by a sudden jolt of the neck and head. It can cause numbness, severe pain, and sleep disruption, restricting your mobility and even affecting your daily activities. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, you may be eligible to make a claim for financial compensation. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash injuries.
You may not experience the symptoms of whiplash for several hours after the accident. However, once you do, you should seek medical treatment. The symptoms can worsen if you don’t get prompt medical attention.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Restricted mobility of the neck
- Chronic pain
- Tender neck muscles
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms
- Shoulder pain
Spinal injury claims
Most spinal injuries will cause some form of restricted mobility or even paralysis. The precise location and extent of the damage are what determines how severe the injury will be. Spinal injuries include:
- Cervical spinal injury (the area where the spinal cord attaches to the brain)
- Thoracic spinal injury (between the head and abdomen; usually results in paraplegia)
- Lumbosacral injury (lower back, abdomen and pelvic region; reduce control of the hips, urinary system and legs)
- Cauda equina syndrome (compression of the nerves at the base of the spinal cord; damages the nerves controlling the bladder and bowel)
Common causes of spinal injuries
- Road traffic accidents
- Slips and falls
- Sporting accidents
- Negligence during spinal surgery
- Negligence administering epidural injections
These are grounds on which you can make a claim for spinal injury:
- Medical malpractice
- Faulty products
Head and facial injury claims can be caused by accidents in the workplace, public places, or aat home. They can result in a range of injuries, including eye injuries, brain injuries, and damage to teeth. If you can prove that somebody else was responsible for causing the accident in which you suffered head and face injuries, you may be able to make a claim.
Eye injury claims
An eye injury may damage the eyeball and also the surrounding area, including the eye socket and the ligaments that control eye movement. Eye injuries can be caused by anything from medical negligence to accidents in the workplace. They can result in pain and even blindness. Here are some of the more common eye injuries:
- Superficial eye injuries may be minor, but they can cause disfiguring bruises
- Facial fractures
- Chemical burns
- Cuts or Lacerations
- Radiation burns
Brain injury claims
Brain injury claims must consider the possibly life-long effects of such an injury. Legal proceedings must take place within a strict time frame after the injury. Brain injuries can be acquired and/or traumatic and they can be mild, moderate, or severe in nature.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury that occurs since birth. In other words, you are not born with it and it does not happen as the result of birth-related trauma. Causes may include car accidents, slip and falls, and blows to the head.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by excessive force to the head. They are classed as:
A concussion is caused by a blow or a bump to the head or by a blow to the body that causes the brain to move . It can also be caused by a blow to the body that causes the brain to move around in the head. In some cases, post-concussion syndrome sets in, causing long-term headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
Severe brain injury
Blows to the head can cause severe brain injuries including:
- Bleeding on the Brain
- Brain Damage
- Behavioural Changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Cognitive problems
- Speech and language difficulties
- Cerebral fluid leaks
- Respiratory difficulties
Moderate brain Injury
Moderate brain injuries will make the person lose consciousness for a certain period of time. Symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Concentration difficulties
Mild Brain Injury
Mild brain injuries do not result in a loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia. Symptoms may include:
- Memory problems
- Concentration difficulties
Damage to teeth claims
If you have chipped, broken, or injured your teeth as a result of somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation. You will first need to determine who caused your injuries. This will depend on the circumstances of the injury.
Type of tooth damage claims include:
- Tooth displacement (dental avulsion) - when a tooth is completely removed.
- Loosened tooth (Luxation) - when a tooth becomes unstable.
- Tooth fracture - lines in the enamel, fractures around fillings, cracks, split teeth, fractures in the root of the tooth.
Damage to teeth can be caused by:
- Dental negligence (this may also apply to cosmetic dentistry)
- Road traffic accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Accidents in a public place
Injuries to the legs and feet can be very distressing because they restrict your mobility. If your legs or feet have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim for financial damages.
Leg and foot injuries may affect different parts of the limb, including the ankles, knees, and heels.
Ankle injury claims
Ankle injuries can make you unable to work or do ordinary tasks. To make a claim for an ankle injury, you must prove that the accident was not your fault.
Sometimes it is easy to show the accident that caused your ankle injury was not your fault. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor in work and there was no sign to indicate the slippery floor, your employer will generally be found liable because they have a duty of care to keep a hazard-free environment for employees.
Achilles tendon injury claims
Running down the back of the leg, the Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It can be injured in a variety of ways, including workplace accidents and accidents in public places.
The main symptom is pain and swelling in the heel when you walk or run. You may also suffer with tight calf muscles and a restricted range of motion.
Achilles tendon injuries
There may be a snapping sound when you rupture your Achilles tendon. You are also likely to experience a very sharp pain that stops you from standing upright. Intensive physiotherapy and/or surgery may be required to make a full recovery. The injury usually occurs during activity such as:
Wearing the wrong kind of shoes may contribute to an achilles tendon injury. To claim for this injury, you will have to establish that somebody else caused the accident in which you suffered it. You may also be able to make an achilles tendon injury claim if a medical practitioner was negligent when performing surgery.
Knee injury claims
Knee injuries can seriously restrict your movements and reduce your quality of life. If you have injured your knee due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a knee injury claim for compensation.
Compensation claims are generally dealt with by the Injuries Board, unless medical negligence caused the injury. The Injuries Board Ireland will assess a claim and determine how much compensation you should receive. A solicitor will help you to prepare your claim.
Knee injuries can result from:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Road traffic accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Cartilage damage to the knee
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Broken bones and stress fractures
- Arthritic damage caused by repetitive strain
Neck and shoulder injuries can range from the mild to the severe, and can have a serious effect on your well-being. They may prevent you from working or performing normal daily tasks. If you have injured your neck or shoulder due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim.
A common cause of neck and shoulder injury claims is slips and falls in public places or workplaces
Clavicle Fracture Claims
The clavicle, also known as the collarbone, connects your shoulder bone (scapula) to your sternum (breast bone). Clavicle injuries are common and usually caused by trips and falls. They can take some time to heal and may leave you with restricted mobility. Not only can daily activities become difficult, but the weakening of surrounding muscles may result in the need for long-term physiotherapy.
Determining who is responsible for the accident will depend on where it happened. For accidents in public places, usually the occupier of the premises or the local authorities and council are liable. They have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of all visitors to their premises.
Following an accident at work, your employer may be found liable as a result of negligent behaviour. They need to ensure that health and safety regulations in place minimise the risk of an accident.
Clavicle fracture symptoms may include:
- Intense pain
- Restricted movement
- Difficulty moving your arm and shoulder
Shoulder Injury Claims
Shoulder injuries commonly occur because of slips and falls in public places or at work or in road traffic accidents. Repetitive strain injuries can also affect the shoulder.
It is important to prove that another person was to blame for the accident that caused your shoulder injury if you wish to make a claim.
Some common shoulder injuries are:
- Frozen Shoulder
- Dislocated shoulder
- Rotator cuff problems
- Ligament damage
- Chipped Bones
- Repetitive Shoulder Injuries
We have an expectation that we will have a safe environment when we go to work. This is not always the case. If you can prove that your employer was negligent and breached their duty of care toward you, you may be able to claim for work-related injuries. It is important to consult a solicitor to help you pursue a legal claim.
Occupational asthma claims
Occupational asthma is a disorder that occurs through your work and is caused by breathing in particles that cause the lungs to swell and narrow. It can take a long time to develop, so many people with occupational asthma do not realise that it was caused by their work. They may notice that their symptoms seem worse during the working week or in the evening after a day’s work.
Professions where occupational asthma is most common
You are more likely to contract occupational asthma if you are a:
- Spray painter
- Agricultural worker
- Lab worker
Occupational Asthma Categories
Occupational asthma is either:
This is usually caused by inhaling gas, fumes, or vapours and generally develops within 24 hours of exposure, possibly as the result of a workplace accident.
This is more common than irritant-induced occupational asthma and generally takes a longer time period to develop. The sufferer becomes allergic to a certain substance in the workplace.
Occupational injury and work-related illness claims
Occupational injuries or work-related illnesses are usually caused by an unsafe working environment. If you can prove that your employer failed to maintain a safe working environment, provide the proper protection for you to do your job safely, or did not follow health and safety regulations, you may be entitled to make a claim.
Occupational injuries and work-related illness generally fall into the following categories:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)
- Stress, anxiety and depression (SAD)
- Chemical-related injuries
- Biological-related (bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc.) injuries
The specific kinds of injuries and illnesses you can suffer include:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cancer caused by exposure to toxic substances
- Industrial deafness
- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Causes of occupational injuries or work-related illnesses
Occupational injuries and work-related illnesses may be caused by any of the following:
- Poor training
- Badly maintained equipment
- Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Insufficient rest breaks
- Poor ventilation
- Overexposure to chemicals
- Dangerous work practices
Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of employees in the course of their work. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, they must provide employees with the appropriate training and protective equipment and ensure a safe working environment for staff. If your employer’s negligence caused your illness, they will be found liable.
Under the same act, employees should attend all training employers provide, cooperate with the employer in terms of the regulations in place, and report problems to their employer
If an employee is found to have behaved in a negligent manner, leading to an injury or illness, they will be found liable.
Industrial deafness claims
If you work in an environment with a high level of noise, you should wear ear protection to avoid industrial deafness. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to prevent industrial deafness. However, if you find it hard to hear certain frequencies in your working environment, you may need to investigate the noise levels.
Workplaces Where Occupational Hearing Loss Is Common
Noise-induced industrial deafness is more prevalent among people who work in:
- Construction sites
- Quarries & mines
- Call centres
Industrial disease describes illnesses that can be caused by unsafe working practices or exposure to harmful substances in the workplace. If you have suffered an injury at work that did not happen because of a specific event, it is likely to be categorised as an industrial disease.
Industrial diseases can be severe or even fatal (asbestosis, for example). Your employer has a duty of care to protect your health and safety while you are at work, so if you were harmed by working practices or exposure to harmful substances, you may be entitled to claim, even if you have left that place of employment.
Industrial diseases may include:
- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
- Repetitive strain injury
- Skin irritation
- Noise-related hearing loss or deafness
- Asthma or respiratory problems caused by exposure to chemicals and dusts
- Other lung diseases caused by dusts Psychological disorders
If you have developed symptoms that you think were caused by your work or working environment, you should inform your employer immediately and ask to be referred to an occupational health specialist for a further assessment. You should also seek medical attention from your GP.
Claims for injuries caused by industrial disease can be complex, so you are advised to consult an experienced solicitor to progress your claim.
Hearing loss claims
If your working environment operates at a high level of noise, you should wear ear protection to avoid hearing loss. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to prevent hearing loss. However, if you find it hard to hear certain frequencies in your working environment, you may need to investigate the noise levels.
Workplaces Where Occupational Hearing Loss Is Common
Noise-induced hearing loss is more common among workers employed in:
- Construction sites
- Quarries & mines
- Call centres
Many workers suffer tinnitus from exposure to excessive loud noise at work. This is a chronic condition that can cause difficulties sleeping and even depression. In many cases, the injury could have been presented if employers had provided proper hearing protection.
If you work, or you used to work, in a noisy environment such as a manufacturing facility and now have a ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming noise in your ears, you may have tinnitus. You should attend your GP immediately to be referred to an audiologist to confirm the diagnosis.
Your employer has a duty to make sure you have a safe environment and are not exposed to anything hazardous, including excessive noise.
It is important you get appropriate advice from an experienced solicitor.
Respiratory injury claims
You may be able to claim for respiratory injury if your employer failed in their duty of care to ensure that you were not exposed to damaging fumes, dust, chemicals, and other substances.
Asthma is the most common occupational respiratory problem. It can occur if you are not provided with appropriate protection from dust, gas, or fumes. Other industrial respiratory conditions include pneumoconiosis, bronchitis. and emphysema. These are also caused by harmful substances such as chemicals, fumes, or even flour. They are associated with occupations such as plastic manufacturing, metal work, chemical work, coal mining, painting, and baking.
Your employer is responsible for minimising the risks of exposure by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), proper shift rotation, and regular breaks. If you have been exposed to an unsafe working environment the consequences for your health can be severe, so it is important to consider making a claim.
A hernia occurs when tissue pushes through the wall of the cavity where it should reside. It is usually caused by manual handling.If left untreated, it can cause ongoing pain and mobility issues. If you have not received proper manual handling training or lifted heavy objects without the proper tools and machinery, you may suffer a hernia.
Types of Hernia
A hiatal hernia happens when the stomach bulges up into the chest through the opening of the diaphragm. This can be the result of an earlier injury, which weakened the muscle tissue. It can also happen if the stomach muscles are under excessive pressure due to coughing or heavy lifting.
Inguinal hernias happen when tissue pushes through weak spots in the abdominal muscles. It can prompt pain when you cough or lift something heavy. Without treatment, an inguinal hernia can cause long-term illness or injury. Medical treatment is required immediately to prevent the injury from deteriorating.
A femoral hernia is quite unusual, particularly in men. It causes pain and discomfort inside the thigh, as well as nausea and severe stomach pains. If left untreated, it can obstruct blood flow to the intestines.
Incisional hernias happen when a previous surgery causes the intestine to push through the abdominal wall. It can occur because of inactivity during the recovery stages of surgery and is particularly common among the elderly.
Proving who is liable for a hernia injury is difficult but vital for making a claim. If you lift heavy objects in work on a daily basis, your employer is obliged to ensure that you receive proper manual handling training to help prevent injury.
A rib injury claim arises following an accident or incident where blunt force is applied directly to a person's ribs. This can result in a fracture, break, bruising or tissue and muscle damage to the ribs or the structure which supports them in the rib cage, such as cartilage or muscles.
If you have suffered rib injuries caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages. The first step in this claims process is to establish who was responsible for causing the injuries. This will depend largely on the circumstances in which your injuries were suffered. Rib injuries can happen at work, playing sports, in road traffic accidents, and in public places.
Common rib injuries
- Broken and chipped ribs
- Internal injuries
- Tissue damage
- Ligament damage
- Chest injuries
Skin injuries can include dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, burns, cuts, and lacerations. These injuries may be sustained because of an accident, but the skin condition itself may develop over time. If you have suffered a skin injury due to no fault of your own, you may be entitled to make a claim for financial damages.
Proving who was liable for the skin injuries is the first step in making a claim. Skin injuries are commonly associated with accidents at work. This is usually through skin contact with a toxic substance or chemical. If your employer is found liable for failing to ensure the health and safety of their employees throughout the course of their work, you may have grounds for a claim. If the injuries were suffered in a public place, the owner or occupier of the premises may be found liable because they have a duty of care for the safety of visitors to the site. You may proceed to the next stage of the claims process, if you can prove liability.
To make a claim for a psychological injury, you must be able to prove that you suffered a quantifiable psychological injury because of somebody else’s negligence or failed duty of care.
Types of Psychological Injury Claims
Psychological injuries are varied and can range from the mild to the severe. The most common psychological injury compensation claims are for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These may arise in situations such as car accidents, accidents at work or public liability (trip and fall claims). Psychological injury claims can also arise from witnessing an especially traumatic event or medical negligence.
How psychological injuries are proven
Psychological injuries can be difficult to prove, so you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. Before you consider making a mental injury claim, you need to have been diagnosed with a medically recognised psychological illness/injury.
Each psychological injury claim is different because the effects of PTSD and other psychological illnesses vary so much. You have two years in which they can make a claim for financial damages, so it is important to speak with an experienced solicitor as soon as possible.
Perineal or vaginal tears involve a split in the skin and muscles between the vagina and the rectum, usually during a natural childbirth. It is a common occurrence in vaginal births, but it can be caused by negligent medical treatment.
Effects of perineal tear injuries
Women who carry babies weighing more than 8lb or 4kg are more likely to suffer a perineal tear. The risk is also higher during labours in which the second stage happens quickly or when assisted delivery (using a forceps or ventouse) is required.
The injury can cause severe pain to the pelvic and abdominal areas, negatively affecting the bonding between mother and child and increasing the risk of postnatal depression.
Symptoms can be long-lasting and cause serious pain and suffering in a woman’s life. If a woman suffers a perineal tear injury without a clear reason, it may be worth reviewing medical records to see if medical negligence occurred.
Amputation is a traumatic experience and a medical option that medical teams do not undertake lightly. Surgically removing a limb has life-changing effects on an individual’s quality of life. It can also lead to mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Why Amputations Happen
Surgical amputations take place when blood supply to the injured limb stops, causing necrosis, or the death of the cells in the tissue within the limb. The limb is then removed surgically.
Months of rehabilitation are required after an amputation. Patients must learn how to use a prosthetic limb and adapt to their changed circumstances.
If the injury that caused your amputation was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for financial damages. To find out more about your options, consult your solicitor.
Nerve injury can cause pain, numbness, and burning sensations. Chronic nerve pain can be life-changing for the affected person and cause damaging psychological effects, including depression.
If you have experienced a nerve injury because of an accident or surgery complications, you should consult a solicitor to find out if you are entitled to claim for your injuries. Nerve injury financial damages claims consider the potentially life-changing consequences of these kinds of injuries.
Common causes of nerve damage
- Nerves being severed during surgery
- Improper administration of anti-blood-clotting drugs
- Injury to the brachial plexus during childbirth
- Insufficient blood supply
- Negligence in procedures such as acupuncture
- Nerve exposure as a result of teeth damage
- Improper use of needles, particularly when taking blood
Not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent after the accident. Some effects may not appear at first, due to the initial shock, and you may not suffer pain until several days or even weeks later.
It is important to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you don’t notice your injuries, because a doctor may be able to notice something that you missed.
If you suffer delayed accident symptoms after an accident that was caused by another party, you may be eligible to make a claim for damages. You have a time limit of two years less one day to make a claim.
Common delayed accident injuries
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Blood clots
- Neck injury
- Brain injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Back pain
- Numb limbs
- Abdominal pains
Burns can happen in settings such as car accidents, workplace accidents, and public places. They can cause permanent nerve damage, as well as damage to tendons and ligaments, particularly if physical contact is made with fire, heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. Long-term effects can include scarring and reduced mobility.
If you have suffered a burn injury that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial damages. You need to prove who was responsible for the accident and your injuries before making a claim.
Burns are categorised into three groups based on their severity:
- First degree burns cause damage to the top layer of skin only.
- Second degree burns cause more severe damage and can penetrate the dermis, causing minor scarring. Such burns can become infected if not treated properly.
- Third degree burns are the most serious fire burns, penetrating the layer of skin beneath the dermis. Skin grafting may be required, and permanent scarring can result.
Common burn injury causes
- Electrical burns can be classed as low-voltage, high-voltage, or oral burns.
- Flash burns occur when an electrical arc that touches the skin.
- Arc burns happen when electricity moves from one place to another and, although they may not touch the person, they can be hot enough to start a fire on a person’s clothing.
- Flame burns can occur when objects touch an electric current, producing a flame that starts a fire.
A soft tissue injury causes damage to your muscles, ligaments or tendons. Such injuries often occur after a sprain, a contusion, or overuse.
They are classed in three grades, based on severity:
- Grade 1
This is a minor injury that will usually heal in under a fortnight.
- Grade 2
This is a moderate sprain or strain and may cause swelling. It can take up to four weeks to heal properly.
- Grade 3
This involves a complete rupture of the muscle that can cause severe pain and discomfort, as well as reduced mobility. Recovery times are much longer and may depend on the injured party’s age and general health.
Soft tissue injury claims are made through the Injuries Board as a personal injury claim. You need to prove who is liable for the cause of the injuries. If somebody else’s negligence caused the accident they could be found liable.
If you have suffered scarring in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Scar injuries are usually permanent skin disfigurements that are visible and unlikely to be removed by plastic surgery.
The first step in your scarring claim is to establish who was responsible for the accident that caused it. Claims for scar injury compensation vary hugely in terms of circumstances and the settlements agreed. Settlements of scar injury compensation can be influenced by the victim’s age, gender, and lifestyle.
You should consult a solicitor if you have suffered a scarring injury and are considering making a claim.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a serious traffic accident or a traumatising incident and cause long-term emotional difficulties. If you have suffered PTSD due to an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim financial damages.
Your first step is to get a medical diagnosis in writing that indicates you have suffered a physical injury that caused emotional pain and suffering. PTSD can be difficult to describe and manifests itself in different forms. It must be diagnosed based on the medical history of the victim, who must have been involved in a traumatic event, such as a car crash.
If you believe you are suffering from PTSD because of another person’s negligence and would like to pursue a PTSD claim, you need to contact your solicitor with the details of how and where the traumatic event happened.
Food retailers and suppliers have a duty of care to meet the hygiene standards put in place to protect their customers from getting sick. If you have suffered food poisoning after eating at a restaurant, pub or other food outlet, or after eating food bought in a shop, get medical treatment before consulting a solicitor.
Food poisoning infections include:
Legionnaires' disease is a severe and sometimes fatal lung condition caused by infected water. Basic water management practices prevent it occurring, so if you contract it, you may be able to claim financial damages because of the negligence of another party.
Legionnaire’s disease is caused by bacteria called Legionella. This bacteria is quite common, but it spreads under certain conditions to cause Legionnaires', a type of pneumonia.
The two factors that help Legionella spread are:
- A water temperature between 20 and 45°C
- A food source such as limescale, rust, or algae
Spas, hotels, and other large buildings with complex water systems present a greater risk of legionella contamination and are required to follow the appropriate maintenance regimes to prevent it happening. If you contract the disease on holiday, your tour operator is responsible for ensuring your hotel meets health and safety standards.