What qualifies as personal injury?

If you believe that the hardship you have suffered could have been prevented, you may be entitled to bring a claim. Common examples of personal injury include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, accidents involving machinery and other accidents at work.

In order to bring a personal injury claim, you must have suffered physical or psychological injuries – what the legal industry refers to as 'pain and suffering'. This term refers to both the physical and emotional injuries suffered by a victim following an accident. Any substantial physical pain or mental anguish you suffer following an accident may qualify as pain and suffering for settlement purposes.

Examples of physical medical conditions that may qualify for pain and suffering compensation include back pain, broken or fractured bones, headaches, pulled or sprained muscles and dislocated joints. You can also claim for illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos or other types of dust at work.

Your injuries could also be emotional – it might be that a car accident left you with only minor physical injuries, but you have been left traumatised by the events that occurred. Chronic mental anguish following an accident can result in debilitating pain and suffering. Some examples of emotional pain and suffering include psychological trauma, insomnia, anger issues, loss of quality of life or post-traumatic stress disorder.

As well as compensation for the injury itself you may be able to claim back any financial losses, such as lost earnings, caused by an accident.

People who are considering making a claim for personal injury compensation have three years from the date of the accident or incident in which to bring a claim. Beyond that, the law prevents a claim being made even if the person is still experiencing pain and suffering as a result of the accident.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.