You might be thinking why have I posted a picture of stairs in this blog post. Well, the offending stairs above are actually linked to the story I am going to tell you.
Three years ago on this very day I was preparing to go food shopping as I was having a birthday party on the Saturday. As I was waiting for Tapanga to come home I heard frantic knocking on my door. It was Tapanga’s friend telling me Tapanga had fainted and she was laying in a stairwell. Obviously I was very concerned, rushed over there and she was up. Tapanga told me she had been electrocuted, I didn’t believe her at first because she had just been walking up some stairs.
When we got to the hospital they confirmed she had been electrocuted.
She had entry and exit points on the middle finger of each hand. Had some muscle damage and also a few other things wrong from the electrocution. She was admitted into hospital and had to stay there for a couple of days.
Turns out that the stairs she was climbing had been screwed into an electrical wire. When she put her hands on the banisters, her fingers touched the metal underneath the wood completing the circuit and sending the current completely through her.
I can’t talk too much about the in’s and out’s of it all as we are still going through our claim but, we were told by the electrician who came out to check that the current that was going through was high, very high. In fact at the hospital they said that Tapanga fainting is what saved her life as it broke the circuit she was creating. Plus, Tapanga had told us herself that she felt like she couldn’t possibly pull herself off it as she was stuck, she could feel the whole current through her body and it was highly scary.
I am just grateful she is well and safe now. Hopefully, she will get the compensation she is entitled to for what she had to endure.
So, how do you know if you can put in a Personal Injury Claim?
It is sometimes difficult to know when you have had an accident if you can bring a personal injury claim and if you are able to seek compensation for the injuries sustained in that accident. The legal team at London based lawyers Hodge Jones & Allen have put together a quick overview to try to answer these questions and dispose of some of the myths surrounding personal injury claims.
What types of personal injury claim are there?
A personal injury claim is a legal case you can bring if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault. A personal injury claim is used to recover compensation from the person responsible for your injury. It covers any physical or psychological injury sustained almost anywhere, from on the road, in a shop, in the workplace, or any public place because of a person’s negligence.
Personal injury claims also cover injuries or illnesses resulting from medical negligence in a hospital or industrial diseases such as asbestos related diseases. If you’ve suffered from a personal injury of any kind, whether from a car accident or having a fall in a shop, then you can make a claim for compensation.
There are quite a few different ways in which a person may suffer a personal injury. The most common types of personal injury claims are:
– Road traffic accidents – whether you’re a driver, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or passenger
– Accidents at work – these include work-related illnesses, injuries caused by other employees, defective equipment, falling from height, or working in a dangerous workplace
– A slip, trip or fall in a public place or private business – this includes being injured in a shop, on the pavement or something falling on you, such as a sign or a tree branch
– Holiday accidents – This is usually an accident in a hotel. If your holiday was a ‘package holiday’ you can bring a claim against the tour operator
– Faulty goods or services – when items and/or services are purchased from shops or contractors and they cause you injury
– Medical negligence – errors in hospital or errors in medical treatment
– Accidents involving animals – these include dog bites or horse riding accidents
How much compensation can I claim for?
The level of compensation that can be recovered will depend upon the nature of the injury and the losses and expenses that you may have suffered from. You can claim for two types of compensation:
- General Damages: This is for your pain and suffering. A medical report is used as evidence to show the extent and duration of the injury
- Special Damages: This is for the financial expenses you have incurred following the accident. This includes loss of earnings, care and assistance, medical expenses, treatment costs and travel expenses. This type of claim is designed to put you back in the financial position if the accident had never occurred. Please remember to keep any receipts or invoices of these expenses so that these can show the financial trouble you might have encountered
Together, both the General Damages and Special Damages make up your total claim for compensation. As it’s tough to predict exactly how much you could earn, it’s best to speak to a personal injury lawyer first before making a claim and seeing just how much you could possibly claim in compensation as they’ll be able to give you a rough estimate of compensation amounts.
What are the time limits for a personal injury claim?
Unfortunately, time limits apply to all personal injury claims. In England and Wales, court proceedings must happen within 3 years of the date of your accident or 3 years from the date of knowledge that the accident caused an injury in the case of any medical negligence injuries. This is called the limitation date.
If legal proceedings are not started within 3 years, the case will be considered time-barred, which means you will not be able to bring a personal injury claim. However, a number of exceptions do apply in certain circumstances, and sometimes the time limit can be more or less than 3 years. These can include:
– If a child has suffered a personal injury, they have 3 years from their 18th birthday to bring a personal claim
– If an accident occurred abroad and you are not covered under the Package Holiday Regulations (i.e. you have not paid an all-inclusive overall price which includes a combination of least two elements of the holiday such as travel, accommodation or an excursion) then you will be subject to the limitation date of the country where the accident occurred. For example, Spain has a 1 year limitation date
– If an accident occurred on an aeroplane the time limit is 2 years in which to bring a claim
– In fatal cases that are directly or indirectly associated with the accident or exposure, the 3-year limitation begins from the date of death
You should always start the claim as soon as possible so that whoever you choose to represent you legally has the most amount of time to build a strong case to help you. Provided you are within the 3 year limit and the accident occurred in the UK, you will be in time to bring a personal injury claim.
What to do next with a personal injury claim?
For some, the thought of pursuing a personal injury claim can be a daunting prospect but don’t despair. There are many different lawyers and legal firms out there, but one of the UK’s finest personal injury solicitors in London are Hodge Jones & Allen. They also do work nationwide, so if you’re outside of London you can still take advantage of their services.
Their friendly and knowledgeable solicitors will guide you through the entire process, starting from assessing how likely you are to be able to claim for a personal injury all the way through to keeping you informed every step of the case. As such, we can highly recommend them if you need to make a personal injury claim.