When Can I Make a Compensation Claim?
Every year, thousands of people suffer injuries or illness as a result of accidents or violent crimes that happen at home, work or even in public places. In many cases, these accidents were not the fault of the person involved and, in fact, completely avoidable. It is in situations such as these where you are entitled to make a compensation claim and our personal injury lawyers may be able to help you through this process provided that the proceedings begin within the limitation period. This is typically three years of the date of the accident, but this may be waived if:
- The claimant is under 18 years of age
- The claimant suffers from a mental disability
- The claimant is being treated under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Additionally, this three year time limit can also be disregarded in cases involving diseases which take a long time to develop after initial infection or exposure to hazardous materials.
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Claims for Accidental Personal Injury or Illness
The primary purpose of pursuing a compensation claim is to help make up for the physical and mental suffering that may have been brought about by the accident you are attempting to claim for, whether it happened at home, at work or on the road. As long as you can prove that your injury happened through no fault of your own, a compensation claim could help you:
- Cope with physical or mental anguish you experienced (or are still experiencing)
- Make up for lost earnings
- Replace damaged equipment, vehicles or goods
- Pay for any medical expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your accident
As previously mentioned, personal injury claims require you to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of another party. This latter could be one of a number of responsible, including:
- Your employer (in the case of a work-related incident)
- Another driver (such as in a road accident)
- A local council (common if an accident took place in an improperly maintained public place)
- A doctor or surgeon (for medical negligence claims)
Work Injury Compensation Claims
Compensation claims for injuries sustained in the workplace are, unfortunately, some of the most common. Your employer is bound by law to ensure that you have a safe environment in which to do your job. However, work injuries can – and do – occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Insufficient training
- Unsuitable or absent safety equipment
- Faulty, poorly maintained or dangerous machinery
- Unsafe contact with hazardous substances
If your employer has not fulfilled their duty of care and you have suffered an illness or injury as a direct result of their negligence, you are within your rights to pursue a work or personal injury claim.
Criminal Injury Compensation Claims
Compensation claims for criminal injuries are considered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, with the final sum paid based on a tariff that assigns different amounts of compensation to different types of injury. As long as the incident is reported to the police within 48 hours of it occurring, compensation may be available even if the injured person has died (although the family must be able to prove that they were financially dependent).
However, you cannot make a criminal injury compensation claim if:
- The incident in question occurred before 1979
- The incident was perpetrated by a family member in the same household
You should also bear in mind that the Criminal Compensation Authority will also take into account any record of criminal behaviour in your name and may reduce or refuse your compensation claim payout accordingly.
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